comscore Hurts replaces injured Tua to rally No. 1 Alabama past No. 4 Georgia for the SEC title | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Hurts replaces injured Tua to rally No. 1 Alabama past No. 4 Georgia for the SEC title

  • Associated Press

    Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) celebrated his touchdown against Georgia during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship in Atlanta today.

Jalen Hurts, replacing an injured Tua Tagovailoa in the fourth quarter, rallied No. 1 Alabama for two fourth-quarter touchdowns for a thrilling 35-28 victory over No. 4 Georgia in the Southeastern Conference championship game in Atlanta today.

Hurts, who was 26-2 as a starter before being replaced during last season’s national championship game, also against Georgia, scored on a 15-yard quarterback draw with 1:04 left to play to break a 28-all tie.

The Bulldogs drove to the Crimson Tide’s 39 with three seconds left, but Jake Fromm’s pass was batted down in the end zone, clinching the SEC title and a berth in the College Football Playoffs for the defending national champion Tide.

“So proud of this guy,” said Alabama coach Nick Saban, who choked up during a postgame TV interview while pointing to Hurts.

“All year waiting on my opportunity,” Hurts said during an on-field TV interview. “My opportunity came today … We found a way to get it done today.”

“For him to get his opportunity, I think everyone is happier,” Tagovailoa said during a postgame ceremony. “Kudos to Jalen, kudos to the team as well.”

Hurts completed seven of nine passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed five times for 28 yards and the go-ahead touchdown.

Tagovailoa, under heavy pressure, completed 10 of 25 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown. He was intercepted twice while deep in Georgia territory.

Tagovailoa left in the fourth quarter when an offensive lineman stepped on his ankle while the Saint Louis product was delivering a pass.

Hurts entered with Alabama trailing 28-21. He led a 16-play, 80-yard drive, culminating with a 10-yard scoring pass on third-and-10 from the 10 with 5:19 left.

Georgia advanced to the 50 and, on fourth-and-11, Justin Fields was stopped on a fake punt at the 48, giving Alabama the ball on its 48 with 2:59 left. Hurts then drove the Tide for the winning score.

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