The Student Becomes the Master & Georgia Wins the CFB National Championship!

Coach Smart

Since Kirby Smart came to town in 2016, Georgia has been knocking on the door of the National Championship. In only his second year, Smart coached his team into the National Championship game, losing to his mentor Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Smart coached under Saban from 2006 to 2015. He was the student for eleven years. Monday Night, Coach Smart became the master.

The Bulldogs started the season with blue chip transfer JT Daniels under center. Daniels played a few games and suffered an injury paving the way for Stetson Bennett to lead the Dawgs as signal caller for the rest of the season. For three seasons Bennett, a Georgia native, was buried on the depth chart behind the likes of Jake Fromm, D’Wan Mathis and JT Daniels. At 5’11 and 190 pounds no one gave him a chance to be successful….except himself, his coaches and his teammates. Self-belief is a powerful accelerant. It led him to throw for over 2600 yards, and 27 touchdowns this year. Self-belief allowed him to lead his team to victory in Indianapolis.

Georgia ran the tables on the regular season until they ran into Alabama in the SEC championship. Alabama embarrassed the undefeated Dawgs. Yet, that did not discourage the Georgia Bulldogs as the readied themselves for the college football playoff. Decisively beating Michigan in Orange Bowl, they set themselves up for a rematch against the Crimson Tide.

The game was a tight defensive battle for the majority of the game. Heisman trophy winner Bryce Young slung the ball all over the yard, accumulating 369 yards and a touchdown. This is remarkable given that he played without Jameson Williams most of the game. Yet, the Georgia defense held Young in check with a bend don’t break formula. They let him dominate between the 20’s but bottled up the Crimson Tide in the red-zone forcing 4 field goals and allowing only one touchdown pass. The George defense was smothering. They held Alabama to only 30 yards rushing on 28 carries. That is almost unheard of for a Crimson Tide squad. The Bulldog front seven headlined by nose tackle Jordan Davis and middle linebacker Nakobe Dean harassed Bryce Young the whole game. The pressure from the front seven forced Young to throw one interception. Young’s second interception was a desperation play in the last few minutes of the game. He was trying to make a play and underthrew the ball, ultimately icing his team’s fate when Kelee Ringo took the interception to the house for six points.

Alabama had led the whole game until late in the 3rd, when James Cook (Dalvin Cook’s little brother), ripped off a 67-yard run putting the Dawgs on the 13 yard line, positioning them well to score three plays later on a Zamir White run. Cook’s run was the longest run of the year against the Alabama defense. The score went from 6 to 9 to 13 to 9 heading into the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter was jammed packed with action. Early in the fourth, the score was 13 to 9 with UGA in the lead. Alabama drove 72 yards on ten plays to only score a field goal, cutting their deficit to one point. Then the Crimson Tide pressured Bennett forcing a fumble and collecting it on the Georgia 16-yard line. A few plays later, Bryce Young threw a touchdown strike to Cameron Latu. The score is now 13 to 18 in Alabama’s favor. It was the last time they would hold the lead in this game. After Bennett fumbled away the ball on his own 16-yard line, Smart dialed up four pass plays, three which were complete. The third completion was a 40-yard touchdown strike to Adonai Mitchell. Bennett was built for adversity, and he showed it on this drive. Then the Georgia defense forced a three and out. Returning to the field, the Georgia offense leaned on its run game, eventually positioning the Dawg offense on the Alabama 15-yard line. Bennett threw a short pass to freshman tight end Brock Bowers who ran it in 15 yards for the touchdown. However, eight points down, Alabama would get another chance as it was still a one possession game. A few plays later Young throws a pick six and Georgia becomes the national champions again after a 41 year wait!


Georgia has been knocking on the door of a national championship for years. Mark Richt almost led them to the promised land. Kirby Smart lost the championship game to Alabama four years earlier. They always have talented squads who for one reason or another consistently underperformed when the lights shined brightest. For the first time in 41 years, the Georgia Bulldogs are national champions. The last national champion team featured Herschel Walker. This year’s team features UGA alum Kirby Smart, the student who became the master.

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