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Alabama leaders react to College Football National Championship

Bryant-Denny Stadium during an Alabama football game.

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The University of Alabama college football team on Monday won yet another national championship when the team defeated the University of Georgia in overtime 26 to 23 in Atlanta.  This is the fifth national championship that Coach Nick Saban has won at the University of Alabama in the last nine years.  Many Alabama political leaders congratulated the team for once again achieving excellence in the sport.

Congresswoman Terri Sewell, D-Selma, who represents Tuscaloosa along with Congressman Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, said on social media, “What a historic win for Alabama!! Congrats to the Tide on a 17th national title and to Coach Saban on his sixth championship victory!”

Aderholt said, “As Alabama’s fight song says, they taught the bulldogs to behave. But what a great game. These were clearly the two best teams in college football. Congratulations to Coach Saban and the Crimson Tide.”

Congressman Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose, simply said, “WHAT. A. GAME. #RollTide.”

Congresswoman Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, said, “What a game!! Congratulations University of Alabama Athletics on bringing home the national championship!”

Before the game, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said, “Proud to see The University of Alabama & our entire state represented on the national level tonight as the Crimson Tide takes the field for the College Football National Championship!”

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Most football prognosticators had predicted that Alabama would defeat Georgia.  Nobody predicted that Georgia would dominate the first half 13 to 0.  Georgia head coach, and longtime Alabama defensive coordinator, Kirby Smart held Alabama to just one field goal attempt, that was missed, in the first half.  Georgia had more plays, more yards, more point, and dominated time of possession in the first half of the game.

Undaunted, Coach Nick Saban changed quarterbacks at half time.  Sophomore Jalen Hurts who was 26 and 2 as a starter was benched for freshman Tua Togovailoa, who had not played meaningful minutes in a SEC game before.

While Tua threw one interception because he thought the call was a pass play when everyone else was running a run play, the freshman was brilliant both as a passer and as a runner, shredding Georgia’s defense as he led Alabama on four scoring drives for 20 points and finally what appeared to be the game winning field goal.  Alabama’s kicker missed the winning kick at the end of regulation forcing overtime.  The Alabama defense held Georgia to a field goal, while Togovailoa threw the game winning touchdown to fellow freshman DeVonte Smith in overtime to end the game and win the national championship.

Nick Saban now has a 12 and 0 record against his former assistant coaches.  This is Saban’s sixth career national championship.

Alabama had entered the playoffs as the #4 team in the country, narrowly beating Ohio State for the fourth and final spot in the playoff.  Alabama’s only defeat this season was to Auburn in Auburn.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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