The first half of the 2022 National Championship was a far cry from Alabama and Georgia’s previous meeting. Instead of high a scoring affair between college football’s top two teams, it was both defenses who took center stage inside Lucas Oil Stadium.
On its opening drive of the game, the Crimson Tide and offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien looked to put its best foot forward by moving up-tempo on the Bulldogs unit. O’Brien and quarterback Bryce Young cooked up a 14 play drive going for 56-yards but resulted in a Will Reichard field goal if not for tight end Jahleel Billingsley who slipped up on the drive’s final third down.
Georgia’s offense didn’t see the same success marginal success as Alabama’s. After a 14-yard sack by linebacker Christian Harris, Stetson Bennett and the offense was forced to punt without gaining any positive yards.
Both teams would then trade punts for the next several series until Bennett found wide receiver George Pickens for a 52-yard pickup into Alabama territory early in the second quarter which resulted in three points for the Bulldogs.
But the Crimson Tide’s biggest loss on the field wasn’t a sack or tackle for loss, it was losing wide receiver Jameson Williams in the second quarter following a 40-yard reception. It was a non-contact injury as Williams was helped to the medical tent and would later walk to the locker room under his own power. Alabama wasn’t able to take advantage of the field positioning as it was held to another field goal from Reichard.
The offense would squander another touchdown opportunity on its next drive following a 61-yard reception from tight end Cameron Latu. Georgia stuffed Alabama on first and after a dropped pass, Young was sacked on third-down and continued Reichard’s busy night.
Alabama goes to the half leading Georgia 9-6 with just two quarters left in the college football season.
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77