Bryce Young, No. 3 Alabama Beat No. 1 Georgia 41-24 to Win 2021 SEC Championship

Erin WalshDecember 5, 2021

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 04: Bryce Young #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks to pass as Nakobe Dean #17 of the Georgia Bulldogs defends in the second quarter of the SEC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 04, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The SEC Championship Game had massive College Football Playoff implications, and the No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide came out on top, defeating the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs 41-24 on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

While Alabama's win essentially guarantees a berth in the CFP, Georgia likely had already clinched a top-four spot despite the loss.

Alabama has played in 14 SEC Championship Games, including appearances in three of the last five. The win marks its second straight season as the SEC's best and 10th overall championship.

The Crimson Tide are now 10-4 in the conference title game.

Notable Player Stats

Bryce Young, QB, ALA: 26/44 for 421 YDS, 3 TD and 3 CAR for 40 YDS, 1 TD

Stetson Bennett, QB, UGA: 29/47 for 340 YDS, 3 TD, 2 INT

Jameson Williams, WR, ALA: 7 REC for 184 YDS, 2 TD

Brock Bowers, TE, UGA: 10 REC for 139 YDS, 1 TD

Bryce Young Makes his Case for the Heisman

Young had one of his best games of the season on Saturday night against Georgia, and his efforts have the Crimson Tide headed to the College Football Playoff for the second straight year.

The 20-year-old got out to a rough start, though. Alabama punted on its first two drives before Young led the Crimson Tide on two consecutive touchdown drives.

Young hit Jameson Williams for his first touchdown on a 67-yard pass with 14:12 remaining in the second quarter.

CBS Sports @CBSSports

JAMESON WILLIAMS IS GONE<a href="https://twitter.com/AlabamaFTBL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AlabamaFTBL</a> strikes back. <a href="https://t.co/JHFIBMwuwF">pic.twitter.com/JHFIBMwuwF</a>

That's when things started to click for the Alabama offense. Young recorded his second touchdown on a 13-yard pass to John Metchie III with 9:46 remaining in the second quarter to give the Crimson Tide a 14-10 lead.

CBS Sports @CBSSports

BAMA TAKES THE LEAD<a href="https://twitter.com/AlabamaFTBL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AlabamaFTBL</a> finds John Metchie in the end zone <a href="https://t.co/radNehuVBt">pic.twitter.com/radNehuVBt</a>

Young then led Alabama on a 79-yard drive before Will Reichard knocked in a 33-yard field goal to give the Crimson Tide a 17-10 lead. While Georgia responded with a quick touchdown to tie the game, Young came up clutch just before halftime, rushing in for an 11-yard score with 26 seconds remaining in the half.


Bama would not have the lead at halftime without this effort from Bryce Young <a href="https://t.co/hxzWt3KAtE">pic.twitter.com/hxzWt3KAtE</a>

CBS Sports @CBSSports

BRYCE YOUNG WILL DO IT HIMSELF<a href="https://twitter.com/AlabamaFTBL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AlabamaFTBL</a> back in front <a href="https://t.co/m4XO2M76KG">pic.twitter.com/m4XO2M76KG</a>

Even though Metchie was ruled out in the second half with a leg injury, it was no problem for the Alabama offense, as Young opened the second half with a 55-yard touchdown strike to Williams.

CBS Sports @CBSSports

"Jameson down there somewhere." - Bryce Young, probably <a href="https://t.co/hdCRpnzus3">pic.twitter.com/hdCRpnzus3</a>

Though the offense stalled thereafter, Young had already done enough damage to not only lock in a CFP berth but significantly help his Heisman Trophy resume, too.

While his Heisman odds improved with a 317-yard, two-touchdown performance in a win over Auburn in the Iron Bowl, Young's performance against Georgia may have made him the front-runner for the award, as he shredded what had been the best defense in all of college football:

Mike Rodak @mikerodak

Bryce Young has set SEC championship game records for total offense and passing yards, breaking Mac Jones’ record for the latter.

Players such as C.J. Stroud and Matt Corral also have strong cases in what has been a close Heisman race, but none have accomplished the historic feats that Young achieved on Saturday night.

Georgia Defense Doesn't Live Up to the Hype

The Georgia defense entered the SEC championship game allowing just 230.4 yards and 6.9 points per game. However, the Bulldogs were unimpressive against the Crimson Tide and failed to meet the expectations that they had established during the regular season.

Young and the Alabama offense put up 365 yards and 24 points in the first half alone. 

CBS Sports @CBSSports

Total yards per game allowed by the Georgia defense this season: 230<br><br>Total yards gained by the Alabama offense in the FIRST HALF: 365 <a href="https://t.co/bvDlSyPIPC">pic.twitter.com/bvDlSyPIPC</a>

The team's defensive struggles continued into the second half, as it allowed Young and Alabama to score a touchdown on their first drive of the third quarter.

Many took note of how poorly Georgia's defense played on Saturday night.

The Action Network @ActionNetworkHQ

GeOrGiA hAs ThE gReAtEsT dEfEnSe Of aLl-TiMe <a href="https://t.co/121iD85fCz">pic.twitter.com/121iD85fCz</a>

Louis Riddick @LRiddickESPN

Y’all said this Georgia defense had no weaknesses…

Adam Rittenberg @ESPNRittenberg

Bryce Young is destroying Georgia's historically elite defense. A Heisman performance, win or lose.

Grant McAuley @grantmcauley

If you find the Georgia defense, please let them know their parents are waiting at the front of the store.

Georgia's top-rated defense entered Saturday's game allowing just 151.5 passing yards per game—by far the best mark of any team in the nation—yet Young nearly tripled that mark.

The Bulldogs were also allowing just 78.9 rushing yards per contest before the SEC championship game. It allowed Alabama to rush for 116 yards.

While their impressive regular-season stats should be commended, it may have been partially fueled by the unranked or low-ranked teams they faced all season. Tennessee and Florida were arguably the best offenses the Bulldogs played.

The Gators have averaged 470.2 yards of total offense per game, while the Volunteers have averaged 459 yards per contest. Most of the other teams Georgia faced didn't even come close.

Stetson Bennett's subpar play didn't help either, tossing two interceptions, one of which Alabama returned for a touchdown. Regardless, if the Georgia defense plays like they did on Saturday in the CFP, the Bulldogs can kiss their national title hopes goodbye.

What's Next?

Both teams are most likely on their way to the College Football Playoff. Now they await the official bracket.