Alabama defeated Georgia 26-23 in overtime of Monday night’s College Football Playoff championship game.
The Crimson Tide had no points entering halftime, trailing 13-0 before Nick Saban decided to put true freshman Tua Tagovailoa in at quarterback over incumbent starter Jalen Hurts. Tagovailoa made the difference in the game, stepping in to throw three touchdowns and lead all of Alabama’s scoring drives.
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This title game was one for the ages, so let’s break it down by looking at five interesting stats it produced.
Nick Saban 12-0 vs. assistants
This stat was shared before Monday night’s game, but it’s still incredible, especially since it held up. Kirby Smart was Saban’s former defensive coordinator before taking over at Georgia. And he learned first-hand just how hard it is to take down Saban.
|Coach||Team||Record vs. Saban||Score vs. Saban|
|Jim McElwain||Colorado State, Florida||0-3||114-37|
|Mark Dantonio||Michigan State||0-2||87-7|
|Jimbo Fisher||Florida State||0-1||24-7|
66 percent of total offense came from freshmen
That’s the percentage of total offense produced by freshmen in Monday’s game. They played a huge role for both teams in the title game, accounting for over half the yards (489 of 736). Since the second half of the championship came down to Jake Fromm and Tagovailoa (both freshmen), the majority of the yards obviously came from them.
However, other freshman played a large role as well, including Alabama freshman Najee Harris, who was the team’s leading rusher with 64 yards. Georgia freshman back D’Andre Swift played well also. And although we didn’t count receiving yards (those are accounted for under passing yards), freshman receiver DeVonta Smith made the biggest impact of all with his game-winning 41-yard touchdown catch.
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Alabama and Georgia recruiting swaps
Speaking of Smith, he once committed to Georgia while in Amite High School (Amite, La). He decided to decommit after the departure of coach Mark Richt. In addition, Alabama only offered Tagovailoa after they lost the commitment of Fromm, who decided to follow Smart to play at Georgia instead.
Bama has more national titles than teams have conference titles
Credit for this stat goes to /r/CFB Reddit for this stat: “Alabama, Arkansas State, Boise State, and Oklahoma have all won 5 (outright or shared) conference titles since the 2009 season. Meanwhile, Alabama has won 5 national titles since 2009.”
This truly shows just how dominant Bama has been during this dynasty. Another title fact for you: This is the Tide’s fifth national title in nine seasons, the shortest span to win five titles since the modern era of college football began in 1936. The previous mark was set by Alabama legend Bear Bryant, who got five titles in the span of 16 years from 1964-89 (his second through sixth titles, respectively).
Alabama loves being underdog
Since 2011, Alabama is 6-0 in postseason play when ranked lower than their opponent. It’s only 2-3 when ranked higher (credit: r/CFB Reddit).
A full breakdown:
- 2011 Citrus Bowl: No. 16 Alabama beats No. 9 Michigan State
- 2012 BCS National Championship: No. 2 Alabama beats No. 1 LSU
- 2013 BCS National Championship: No. 2 Alabama beats No. 1 Notre Dame
- 2014 Sugar Bowl: No. 3 Alabama loses to No. 11 Oklahoma
- 2015 Sugar Bowl: No. 1 Alabama loses to No. 4 Ohio State
- 2015 Cotton Bowl: No. 2 Alabama beats No. 3 Michigan State
- 2016 CFP Championship: No. 2 Alabama beats No. 1 Clemson
- 2016 Peach Bowl: No. 1 Alabama beats No. 4 Washington
- 2017 CFP Championship: No. 1 Alabama loses to No. 2 Clemson
- 2018 Sugar Bowl: No. 4 Alabama beats No. 1 Clemson
- 2018 CFP Championship: No. 4 Alabama beats No. 3 Georgia