Bama Survives, Georgia Falls | Bonehead Picks

Bama Survives, Georgia Falls

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It almost became destiny in the making for the second time in 51 years when number #1, #2 and #3 all fell at the same time. On January 1, 1966, Michigan State fell to UCLA, Arkansas to LSU and Nebraska to Alabama during bowl season. On November 11 on Veteran’s Day, that feat almost happened in the CFP era, but we now know the SEC will still be in the picture when the next rankings come out but most likely with only one team. This is how it almost went down.

Georgia was favored by -2.5 at Auburn, but was outplayed on every side of the ball. The Bulldogs’ only success was being 2-2 on fourth down and neither Jake Fromm or the running game could get off. Georgia committed more penalties, some that gave Auburn new light and allowed Kerryon Johnson to set up Jarrett Stidham to connect for three touchdowns. Fromm was sacked 3.5 times and limited to 184 yards and one score with Nick Chubb and Soni Michel just 48 yards combined.

Around the same time Alabama was taking on Mississippi State in Starkville, Mark Richt’s alma mater Miami (FL) dismantled third ranked Notre Dame at home. The Crimson Tide was without four starting linebackers which may be the reason Nick Fitzgerald almost single handedly disected their defense, with Aeris Williams scoring twice. It was practically back and forth with Alabama scoring last with :25 left, Jalen Hurts throwing to Devonta Smith thanks to a pass interference penalty and despite being sacked five times.

It took key throws from Hurts and swift moving from Calvin Ridley too keep things alive as Alabama trailed three times throughout the entire game. Mississippi State converted eight of its fifteen third down attempts thanks to Fitzgerald’s arms and legs, but on the final possession before Alabama scored one last time he was stopped. The Bulldogs knowing they had more speed in the backfield had the chance to go for it on fourth down with 6:38 left, but Dan Mullen opted to punt.

Andy Pappanastos had the chance to help Bama retake the lead with 2:08 left, but a 41 yard field goal hit the left upright which set up the final three drives. Mississippi State had :25 to throw into the end zone to possibly tie the game but two hail marys went incomplete. They had one untimed down thanks to a pass interference penalty, but went over the end zone.

With Georgia and Notre Dame fallen, Alabama will most likely stay in the top four and move to number one along with Clemson and with Oklahoma beating TCU joining the party now. We will know for sure when the new rankings come out on Tuesday.

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