Georgia Bulldogs vs Alabama Crimson Tide: 2018 College Football National Championship Game live scores, blog

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    For the first time since 2012, two teams from the powerful Southeastern Conference, the University of Georgia Bulldogs and the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, will square off in Atlanta for National Championship immortality. Join The Roar for live blog coverage of the 2018 College Football National Championship Game on Tuesday from 12pm AEDT.

    Georgia come in as Southeastern Conference (SEC) champions, boasting an impressive 13-1 record that includes the impressive scalps of Notre Dame and Auburn. They won the Rose Bowl Game last week, this year doubling as a playoff semi-final, prevailing over the Oklahoma Sooners in a two-overtime epic, 54-48. The win touched off delirium in the Peach State, and a belief that Kirby Smart’s team can win the Bulldogs’ first national championship since 1980 – an eternity ago in football-mad Georgia.

    It’s pretty much business as usual across in Alabama, where the Tide are aiming for their fifth national championship in head coach Nick Saban’s nine-year tenure.

    A controversial selection in the final four, the Tide, also 13-1 coming in, sent an ominous message to the football world with a defence-inspired 24-6 throttling of defending national champions Clemson last week in the Sugar Bowl semi-final, holding the Tigers’ offence to a paltry 188 total yards in the process.

    Saban’s men are healthy and they’re playing with a chip on their talented shoulders, out for redemption after a narrow, late loss in last year’s title game.

    All eyes will be on the battle that’ll decide the football game: Alabama’s defence against a very potent Georgia running game – a mouth-watering prospect. The Bulldogs boast the best one-two running back punch that we’ve seen in a very long time in Sony Michel and Nick Chubb.

    These prodigiously talented athletes have, behind a great offensive line, embarrassed some very good defences this year. As Saban will doubtless be preaching to his star-laden defence, you give Chubb and Michel an inch, they’ll take a mile. A skerrick of a gap, they’re through, and you’re in trouble.

    How they go against an Alabama defence that strangled a pretty good Clemson offence last week in New Orleans remains to be seen. It’s definitely a strength versus strength contest.

    The Tide don’t make running the ball easy. Not with guys like mammoth defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne, who made big plays on both defence and offence, clogging up the middle. Behind him, linebackers like Terrell Lewis and Mack Wilson figure to make life hard.

    The Tide will be without Anfernee Jennings, another stud in the linebacking corps, who’ll miss the game following successful knee surgery.

    And what if the Bulldogs can’t get anything going in the run game? Step up, Jake Fromm. Georgia’s freshman quarterback isn’t the sort of guy who lights up the stat sheet with big numbers but is super accurate ultra careful with the football.

    He’ll try to do what Alabama’s then-freshman signal-caller Jalen Hurts couldn’t do one year ago: win a national championship at his first attempt. If he’s to win it through the air, star Georgia receivers Chris Godwin and Javon Wimms figure to play a huge role.

    So does ball-hawking Tide safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, a unanimous All-American. You take a look at the Sugar Bowl and realise, on current form, Alabama doesn’t have a weak link anywhere on defence. They were a marauding bunch against Clemson.

    The group that’ll take the field Monday night is as good as any other Saban has put together. They’re hungry, and if there’s a group in college football capable of containing the impact Georgia can have on the ground, it’s these guys.

    Offensively for the Tide, with Hurts at the controls and aiming for redemption, they’re hard to slow down. If it’s not wide receiver Calvin Ridley making big plays, it’s Bo Scarbrough, the bullocking Tide running back who is going to be the next great backfield star in Tuscaloosa. And don’t forget that Hurts can make plays with his legs, too. Ridley is due a big game after an uncharacteristically quiet performance against Clemson.

    I can’t wait to see the Tide try to handle a Georgia defence that got torched early by Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl but adjusted well in the second half to slow the Sooners down.

    Keep a close eye on Georgia’s linebackers Roquan Smith (in 2017, a unanimous All-American selection and the Butkus Award winner for best linebacker in America) and Lorenzo Carter. Those two have been the beating heart of a tremendous Bulldog defence all year, and will play a large role in the outcome of Monday night’s contest.

    Here’s a stat worth mentioning: Nick Saban is a perfect 11-0 when he’s taking on former assistants who’ve left Tuscaloosa to become head coaches elsewhere. Today, the best college coach in my lifetime (and, perhaps, ever) will look over to the other sideline, clap eyes on his former defensive lieutenant Kirby Smart, and set about extending his record to 12-0.

    Prediction
    Don’t get me wrong: I like Georgia. They’re a very good football team, and their season has been superb. But Saban’s Alabama teams are polished performers on the big stage, and there’s enough players left from last year who won’t want to taste bitter defeat again.

    Take into account their performance, particularly defensively, in the Sugar Bowl last week, and I just can’t go against Saban’s team.

    It’s going to be a close game – I can’t wait to see it unfold. I doubt there’ll be more than a touchdown in it, a low-scoring SEC contest where both defences are going to be hitting hard and, more than likely making life very miserable for the offences.

    This national championship game will go right to the wire, a pivotal play or two deep in the fourth quarter. And Alabama prevails.

    Join The Roar for live blog coverage of the 2018 College Football National Championship Game on from midday AEDT.

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    The Crowd Says (253)

    The Roar Live Blog: Latest comments displayed at the top of the page | Click here to jump to leave a comment

    • 10:22pm
      Jason Cave said | 10:22pm | ! Report

      If the College Football Championship Final was this good, how is the Super Bowl next month going to top that?

    • Roar Guru

      4:18pm
      Andrew Kitchener said | 4:18pm | ! Report

      Wow, what a game. What a season! Is it August yet? Thanks for your company today.

      Alabama are National Champions, winning 26-23 in overtime.

    • Roar Guru

      4:15pm
      Andrew Kitchener said | 4:15pm | ! Report

      Like I said in my preview, hard to go against Saban and Alabama. They keep finding ways to win, no matter the situation.

    • Roar Guru

      4:14pm
      Andrew Kitchener said | 4:14pm | ! Report

      Tua Tagovailoa – an instant hero in Alabama. Freshman, never started a college game, comes in down 13 at half time and wins it for the Tide.

    • Roar Guru

      4:13pm
      Andrew Kitchener said | 4:13pm | ! Report

      It looked like disaster for Alabama when Tagovailoa was sacked on 1st down. From zero to hero! What a throw!!

    • Roar Guru

      4:12pm
      Andrew Kitchener said | 4:12pm | ! Report

      Nick Saban – an incredible coach! He’s now 12-0 against former assistants!

    • Roar Guru

      4:10pm
      Andrew Kitchener said | 4:10pm | ! Report

      Devante Smith catches the game-winner streaking down the left-hand sideline to win it all for Alabama. My goodness!

    • Roar Guru

      4:10pm
      Andrew Kitchener said | 4:10pm | ! Report

      TIDE WIN!!

      TIDE WIN!!

      TIDE WIN!!!

    • 4:09pm
      Nate said | 4:09pm | ! Report

      Great pressure kick. How must the Bama kicker feel watching that?

    • Roar Guru

      4:09pm
      Andrew Kitchener said | 4:09pm | ! Report

      2nd and 26 for Alabama.

    • Roar Guru

      4:09pm
      Andrew Kitchener said | 4:09pm | ! Report

      HUGE SACK!! Tagovailoa is dragged down just like Fromm was. He needed to get rid of it!

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