ATLANTA — The last time Georgia played a game in Atlanta, it owned the margins. It made the key plays in short yardage. Picked up the important fourth downs. Didn’t turn the ball over in the shadow of its own goalpost.
On Saturday, the Bulldogs seemed to lose all those areas. By result, Georgia lost to Alabama in Atlanta once again, adding a 27-24 defeat to its long list of failures in the SEC championship game against Nick Saban.
The loss is Georgia’s first since the 2021 SEC Championship Game, which also came against Alabama. The Bulldogs had won 29 consecutive games, an SEC record.
Now, it will likely miss the College Football Playoff for the first time since the 2020 season.
Many will point to the officiating in this game as to why Georgia just couldn’t overcome the Crimson Tide. There was one fairly egregious call by the officials that led to an Alabama touchdown just before halftime.
But the Bulldogs had mistakes of their own doing that proved just as harmful. Multiple failed third-and-shorts on halfback tosses. Three consecutive negative plays and then a false start predated a 50-yard missed field goal from Peyton Woodring, that naturally doinked off the upright.
A botched handoff that gifted Alabama three points in the third quarter. Even the opening kickoff sailed out of bounds for Georgia.
On a night when the Bulldogs needed to be its best against Saban and Alabama, Georgia just wasn’t good enough. And that’s why for the first time almost two years, the Bulldogs are exiting a game with a loss, instead of celebrating with a win.
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