National Championship Game: Georgia vs. Alabama

  • Alex Makrides
12:20 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 Sports
ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton
Georgia defender John Atkins celebrates beating Oklahoma 54-48 during double over time in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game on Monday, January 1, 2018, in Pasadena. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

The College Football Playoff National Championship is set. It will be an all-SEC affair and pit the master against his protege.

Nick Saban and No. 4 Alabama will take on former Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and No. 3 Georgia on Jan. 8, at 8 p.m. in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Alabama rolled to a 24-6 win over No. 1 Clemson in the third playoff matchup between the two teams in the past three seasons. The Crimson Tide’s defense was too dominant for the Tigers to overcome. Clemson gained just 188 total yards, after going for more than 500 yards in the previous meetings. Defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne had an interception and was rewarded in the third quarter with an offensive touchdown grab. And 13 seconds later linebacker Mack Wilson returned a interception 18 yards for a pick-six. 

The Bulldogs will be coming back home after a thrilling 54-48 overtime win over No. 2 Oklahoma. Georgia, which trailed by 17 points in the second quarter, rallied and scored the game-tying touchdown with 55 seconds remaining in regulation on a Nick Chubb 2-yard run. After the teams traded field goals in the first overtime, Lorenzo Carter blocked an Oklahoma field goal attempt in the second overtime. Two plays later, Sony Michel scored his fourth touchdown of the game on a 27-yard run to bring the Bulldogs back to Atlanta with a chance at a national championship.

> Also: Bulldogs celebrate Rose Bowl win 

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