ATHENS, Ga. — Maybe a downpour was all No. 13 Alabama needed to figure out its game. When the sky opened up and the downpour came to Sanford Stadium, so did the Crimson Tide in a 38-10 win over No. 8 Georgia.
“The dam broke, and unfortunately, we just didn’t have enough counterpunches to get back in it,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said following the loss.
Yes, the sky opened up, but Alabama was able to execute in every facet of the game. Offense, defense and special teams scored on Saturday.
“I was really proud of our players today, our team today,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “I thought this was a difficult challenge for them. I told them before the game that the plan that we had for them, ordinary men couldn’t go out there and get it done. We needed them to be extraordinary, and that they were, and they were special.”
The team wasn’t perfect. A couple fumbles on offense and an 83-yard touchdown run by Nick Chubb kept Georgia in the game in spurts.
Quarterback Jake Coker was 11-for-16 with no interceptions or sacks. He threw for 190 yards and a touchdown. He rushed for 28 yards and a touchdown.
“Our big thing is to make sure [Coker] is comfortable,” left tackle Cam Robinson said. “If we give him time and give him some rhythm then he’ll be able to play pitch and catch with our playmakers on the other side.”
Running back Derrick Henry netted 148 yards and a touchdown. He averaged 5.7 yards per carry.
Alabama’s defense held Georgia without a first down until the end of the first quarter. Georgia had 299 total yards, including 193 rushing. The secondary had three interceptions, including a pick-six.
Freshman Minkah Fitzpatrick blocked a punt and returned it one yard for a touchdown. He also recorded a sack and a pass breakup.
Safety Eddie Jackson picked off Georgia backup quarterback Brice Ramsey and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown.
Redshirt freshman Marlon Humphrey intercepted Ramsey in the third quarter. Freshman Ronnie Harrison finished off Georgia’s final possession with a 29-yard interception return for Alabama to burn off the final seconds on the clock.
“They’re just beyond their years, how they can come out and just execute what they’re supposed to do, play fast,” senior cornerback Cyrus Jones said. “Normally you see freshmen out there and they’re kind of nervous, but these guys are poised.”
Georgia’s starter Greyson Lambert went 10-for-24 with an interception on the last Georgia possession of the game.
The Bulldogs turned to Ramsey when the rain started coming down harder.
“It was a wet day, and it’s hard to handle that wet ball, but Brice [Ramsey] has always thrown a wet ball pretty well,” Richt said. “That was part of the thinking. … It’s tough to throw and catch in that kind of weather. And it’s tough to mount a comeback in that kind of torrential downpour.”
Alabama never fell behind. It took a 3-0 lead on a 29-yard field goal from Adam Griffith. After Georgia tied it up on a 27-yard field goal, the Crimson Tide scored 35 unanswered points until Chubb’s run.
“Georgia’s got a really good team,” Saban said. “Tough circumstances out there for us today, both teams. Our team handled it well, and I think that’s why we had success. A lot of mental toughness, a lot of physical toughness, and I’m really proud of the way our guys showed competitive character in the game.”
Alabama (4-1, 1-1 SEC) hosts Arkansas on Saturday at 6 p.m. CT for homecoming.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports