Resilient Georgia Bulldogs capture first national football title in four decades

Georgia's Zamir White celebrates after running for a touchdown during the second half of the College Football Playoff championship football game against Alabama Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Five weeks after their undefeated season was disrupted, the Georgia Bulldogs earned redemption, defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide 33-18 Monday night to win the College Football National Championship.

It is the first national title for Georgia football since the 1980 season.

After a blowout Alabama win in the Southeastern Conference championship game on Dec. 4, Monday’s game was a nail-biter. The teams traded field goals in the first half, with Alabama leading 9-6 at the half.

But in the second half, Georgia’s defense held and Bulldogs’ quarterback Stetson Bennett delivered two critical touchdown passes in the last 8 ½ minutes of the game. The 23-year-old completed 17 passes on the night, throwing for 224 yards.

Georgia’s Keele Ringo sealed the victory with a 79-yard interception return for a touchdown with 54 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Georgia finished the season 14-1 and ended a seven-game losing streak against Alabama.

For Bulldogs’ head coach Kirby Smart, it marked the first victory ever as a head coach against his mentor, Alabama’s Nick Saban.