Alabama, Georgia Rematch Set For College Football National Championship
By Jason Hall
January 1, 2022
The Bulldogs (13-1) defeated No. 2 Michigan, 34-11, during the Capital One Orange Bowl on Saturday (December 31), after the Crimson Tide (13-1) beat No. 4 Cincinnati, 27-6, hours prior.
Alabama handed Georgia its only loss during a 41-24 rout in the SEC Championship Game on December 4 and head coach Kirby Smart said after Saturday's win he was solely focused on beating his former team, where he had previously served as defensive coordinator under Nick Saban for eight seasons (2008-15).
"We'll look back on that win and that'll be great, but we're focused on the task ahead, and that's the objective," Smart said after the game via ESPN. "They worked their tail off for three to four weeks to get this opportunity, and it was a one-game season, and now it's another one-game season."
Fifth-year senior and first-year featured back Brian Robinson Jr. led Alabama with a career-high 204 yards during Saturday's victory, while Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young threw for three touchdowns.
"B-Rob was huge for us all night," Young said via ESPN after the game. "Making that first guy miss, falling forward fighting for those extra yards. He was a constant."
"As a young kid, just always wanted to be a part of this program. Just always wanted to play for a national championship," Robinson added. "Just being able to go out there and just lead this team in this big game on this big stage ... it's like a dream come true."
Alabama has previously appeared in a record 11 College Football Playoff games since the format change in 2014, which includes an NCAA best three national championships, five CFB Playoff Game appearances and eight wins in both the semifinal and final round games.
Alabama and Georgia had previously made the College Football Playoff simultaneously in 2017-18, with the Crimson Tide defeating the Bulldogs, 26-23, in overtime of the 2018 College Football Playoff Final.