Alabama took a 9-6 lead into the halftime locker room in Indianapolis during the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship Game.
Alabama received the opening kickoff after the Dawgs won the toss and deferred to the second half. After starting on their own 25-yard line, Bryce Young would lead the Tide to a quick first down, before seemingly disaster struck. It came on a 1st and ten from their 44-yard line. What was initially called a fumble and a 45-yard touchdown return by Nakobe Dean was called back after a review called it an incomplete pass.
They would take advantage of the overturned call and take their attack inside the Georgia redzone. However, that’s where things stalled out and they would have to settle for a 37-yard field goal from Will Reichard to make it 3-0 Alabama with 9:55 left in the first quarter.
Georgia’s first offensive possession started from their 25-yard line as well, and the Tide defense wasted no time making their presence known. Christian Harris met Stetson Bennett in the backfield for an opening drive 14-yard sack. This was the start of a quick 3-and-out, which also had an 11-yard scamper from Bennett that ended with him recovering his own fumble.
Following a Georgia punt, things started to settle down for both teams. After a quick first down from the Tide on a 15-yard pass from Young to Jameson Williams, the drive stalled out. A first Bama put of the game would give the Dawgs possession at their own 25.
Yet again, it would be a three-and-out for Georgia. The Tide would then follow suit with their first three-and-out of the game, as Georgia’s defense continued to settle into this one.
Bennett would finally get the offense going on the ensuing possession, connecting with Darnell Washington for a nine-yard completion over the middle for a first down, their first of the game. Bennett followed that up with a 52-yard laser downfield to a diving George Pickens to set up the Dawgs just outside the redzone. After getting into a goal-to-go situation, the Tide’s defense would halt the party, forcing a 24-yard field goal from Jack Podlesny, tying things up a three with 12:35 left in the 1st half.
Young would answer with a 40-yard completion to Williams across the middle left hashes. However, as Williams tried to make a cut, his left knee looked to give way, and Williams immediately grabbed it. He would need to be helped off the field and would go into the medical tent before making his way back to the locker room for extra attention.
The injury seemed to take the air out of the tide offense as their drive fizzled out. They would settle for a 45-yard Reichard field goal to make it 6-3 with 11:13 left in the half.
Georgia’s offense, unable to continue momentum, suffered a third three-and-out of the game.
Bama would again see a big play early in their drive, this time coming on 2nd and five as Young looked down the left sideline and threw a dart to a streaking Cameron Latu. This would again turn into a field goal from the Tide, with Reichard drilling this one from 37-yards to make it 9-3 Bama with 7:07 left in the half.
Georgia would answer at the other end with a field goal of their own. It came from 49-yards from Podlesny to cap a nine-play 34-yard drive, making it 9-6 Tide with 3:09 left in the half.
Neither the Tide nor Dawgs would see much offensive progression on their final possession of the first half.
Passing – Bryce Young 15 of 26 passing for 206-yards
Rushing – Brian Robinson Jr. 7 carries for 18-yards
Receiving – Jameson Williams 4 catches for 65-yards
Slade Bolden 6 catches for 37-yards
Passing – Stetson Bennett 11 of 17 passing for 127-yards
Rushing – Zamir White 5 carries for 22-yards
Receiving – Brock Bowers 3 catches for 21-yards
George Pickens 1 catch for 52-yards
Written by Adrian Beecher
Image Credit: CFP Images