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Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts heads Crimson Tide to win over Georgia Bulldogs, SEC Championship

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) talks to fans after the southeastern conference championship NCAA college football match between Georgia and…

Jalen Hurts spent most of the season watching from the sideline, cheering on the guy who took his job and hoped for a chance to lead the Alabama Crimson Tide.

He did not do the pout. He did not grab. He did not transfer.

On Saturday, with the Alabama season held in balance, Hurts received the call.

Junior quarterback threw for a touchdown and ran for another with just over one minute left at the clock, rallying top rated Alabama to a 35-28 victory over No. 4 Georgia in the Southeast Conference Championship game.

It was a fantastic twist on the scenario that played less than 11 months earlier in the same area. 19659005] “I’ve probably never been more proud of a player than Jalen,” an emotional coach Nick Saban said moments after the triumph.

If they had posted this script to Hollywood, it would be laughable with space to be too unbelievable.

In last season’s national title game at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, between these two teams, Tua Tagovailoa replaced an ineffective Hurts at the start of the second half with Alabama’s subsequent Georgia 13-0. [19659005] The replacement threw three touchdown passes, ink luding a 41-yarder in overtime that gave Tide a fantastic 26-23 victory.

Tagovailoa won the starting job directly this season and performed brilliantly before Saturday, throwing 36 touchdown passes with just two interceptions.

The SEC title game took a different path. Georgia beat Tagovailoa, which was interrupted twice, spent much of her spare time in the medical tent and was largely ineffective when Bulldogs built a pair of two-touchdown leaders.

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is taken away from the field after the southeastern conference championship NCAA college football match between Georgia and Alabama, Saturday, December 1, 2018, in Atlanta. Alabama won 35-28.

Finally, with just over 11 minutes left, Tagovailoa went too well after one of his own linemen went on his right foot when he tried to throw.

Enter Hurts, who posted a 26-2 record as the starter before Tagovailoa claimed the job.

He led calm Crimson Tide into a betting touchdown with a 10-yard pass to Jerry Jeudy, capping a 16-play, 80 farm that consumed more than 7 minutes.

When Bulldogs was filled to a fake point near the midfield, Hurts took things in his own hands for the winning result. Spotting an opening in the middle, he took off on a 15-yard TD ride by 1:04 left.

“It’s never been before to have a guy who won as many games as he won … start as a freshman, just lose a couple of games all the time he was the starter, and so suddenly he’s not the quarterback, says Saban.

“How do you handle it? How do you handle it? You must have a huge amount of class and character to put the team first, knowing that your situation is not what it used to be. “

Hurts completed 7 of 9 passes for 82 meters, walking with five berries for 28 meters in less than a quarter of the action.

” It feels like I break my silence, “Hurts said.

He spoke loudly against Bulldogs, and when he hit the field after the winning TD, Tagovailoa was one of the first teammates to greet him.

Then they stood side by side on the podium in the middle while Alabama got their SEC- championship trophy.

“When he entered the game, lineman Mack Wilson said,” I told Dylan Moses, “Man, it’s like deja vu.” I was like, “See him go in and take us back and win the game. “I knew he would do it and I’m pretty sure everyone else did it too.”

Crimson Tide goes back to College Football Playoff, looking for his second straight national title and the sixth of the latest decade under Saban.

“I know in Alabama, there’s always the chance to win,” Hurts said. “I’m so happy, so happy for everyone.”

Georgia can also make a good good fall for the playoff, but Bulldogs are likely to be omitted. Big 12 champion Oklahoma (12-1) avenged his only loss by striking Texas, and Ohio State (12-1) knocked off Northwestern in the Big Ten title.

This was another galling loss for Saban’s former assistant, Kirby Smart. He quickly built Georgia in a national power plant, but he continues to come short against his ex-boss.

For the second time in less than a year, Bulldogs hit a double-digit lead to Crimson Tide. While this did not end with the blast of the national title game, it hurt as badly. The Bulldogs had a second chance to beat the team that had been No. 1 in the polls throughout the season, a team that has perhaps built the biggest dynasty in the college’s history of football.

“With one team you have to be able to put them away because they keep on hanging,” said Georgia Näta. “They have been doing it for many years.”

Associated Press contributed to this report

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