Live updates: Alabama and Georgia meet in College Football Playoff championship game

Live updates: Alabama and Georgia meet in College Football Playoff championship game

The college football champion for the 2021 season will be crowned in Indianapolis on Monday night as SEC rivals Alabama and Georgia meet in the playoff’s national title game.

The meeting is a rematch from last month when the Crimson Tide took down the then-No. 1 Bulldogs, 41-24, that earned them a place in the playoff and gave coach Nick Saban his fourth victory in four tries against former assistant Kirby Smart.

Saban is seeking his seventh national title at Alabama and his eighth overall, more than any coach in major college football history. It would also be the second repeat championship for the Crimson Tide under Saban after winning in 2011 and 2012. 

Georgia will be trying to end a 41-year drought between titles that dates back to the freshman season of all-time great Herschel Walker in 1980. The Bulldogs also lost to Alabama in the 2017 title game, the other previous meeting of conference foes in the national championship.

There will be star power all around the field with Alabama’s offense boasting Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young at quarterback and Jameson Williams at receiver, along with All-America linebacker Will Anderson. Georgia will counter with several defensive stars, led by defensive lineman Jordan Davis and linebacker Naboke Dean.

It should be a great game. We’ll provide updates on all the action throughout. Please follow along.

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Paths to victory for Alabama, Georgia in title game

Look for an early feeling-out period when the Alabama and Georgia meet on Monday night in the College Football Playoff national championship game. The Crimson Tide will look to see what the Bulldogs learned from last month’s loss. How Georgia tweaks a clearly flawed game plan — and how Alabama responds to a new defensive approach — might be the factor that ultimately decides this matchup of SEC powers. But it’s not the only ingredient needed to win. Boiled down, these are the steps that will pilot the Bulldogs or Crimson Tide to the top of college football.

– Paul Myerberg

Second Alabama-Georgia showdown won’t be a dud

These teams played just over a month ago for the SEC championship, and Alabama won in convincing fashion, 41-24. That won’t happen in this edition. Remember what happened the last time these schools squared off in the FCS championship four years ago. That one was nothing short of an instant classic, with Alabama rallying for a 26-23 overtime win on a walk-off TD pass.

We can’t promise a similar finish, but we do know that both teams have a whole lot of talent. Both coaching staffs have had several weeks to pore over the footage from this season’s previous encounter, so there will certainly be some adjustments on each side. In theory, this one should be a lot more competitive.

– Eddie Timanus

Steve Spurrier backs Georgia to win rematch with Alabama

Former Florida and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier expects a rematch reversal when No. 1 Alabama faces No. 3 Georgia in the national championship on Monday. The Crimson Tide defeated Georgia 41-24 to win the SEC Championship on Dec. 4, but Spurrier has been bullish on the Bulldogs’ title chances throughout the season, and the first result didn’t dissuade his thinking.

“They’re due for the football gods to maybe smile on them this time,” Spurrier said.

– Blake Topppmeyer, USA TODAY Network

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