FQ/CFBHome Team of the Week: Week 14, 2021 — Alabama

by Mike Ferguson

Photo courtesy of Alabama athletics

Two teams from the SEC will take part in the College Football Playoff.

The reason? An epic performance from Alabama in Saturday’s SEC Championship.

It isn’t often that Alabama is an underdog, but that was the case on Saturday. The Crimson Tide responded with a 41-24 triumph over No. 1 Georgia in Atlanta.

As a result, Nick Saban’s team has been recognized as the Fifth Quarter/CFBHome Team of the Week:

Bryce Young Puts on a Clinic

For Alabama redshirt freshman quarterback Bryce Young, Saturday’s performance may have wrapped up the Heisman Trophy.

Entering the SEC Championship, Georgia had given up just nine touchdowns all season. Many of those had come in garbage time. The Bulldogs had pitched three shutouts and were allowing less than seven points per game.

Alabama fell behind 10-0 early, but came storming back. Young was a big reason for that, passing for 421 yards, rushing for 40 more and accounting for four total touchdowns.

On an afternoon where he finished with seven catches for 184 yards, Jameson Williams caught touchdowns covering 67 and 55 yards. John Metchie III was also on the receiving end of a touchdown. Up front, Alabama held a dominant Georgia defensive line without a sack.

Georgia managed 442 yards, but the Crimson Tide made plays defensively when it mattered. Linebacker Will Anderson Jr. tallied a sack and two tackles for loss.

Jordan Battle essentially put the game away with a 42-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. DeMarcco Hellams also came away with an interception for the Crimson Tide.

Don’t Doubt ‘Bama

Alabama entered Saturday’s contest as an underdog for the first time in more than six years. It had been 92 games since the Crimson Tide were last receiving points from the oddsmakers.

As nearly a touchdown-underdog on Saturday, Alabama silenced all of its doubters. Prior to Saturday, the last time that Alabama had served as an underdog also came against Georgia.

On Oct. 3, 2015, the Crimson Tide were a 1.5-point underdog at Georgia. They won that contest, 38-10.

SEC Domination

With Saturday’s victory, Alabama now owns 29 SEC titles. Since Saban took over as head coach in 2007, the Crimson Tide have won the conference eight times in 15 years.

That’s more than the rest of the conference combined. Over the stretch, the only other SEC schools to win the conference more than once are LSU and Auburn.

Up Next

The upset loss keeps Georgia from its first SEC Championship since 2017, but the Bulldogs still have national championship hopes. They’ll play Michigan in the Orange Bowl as part of the College Football Playoff on Dec. 31.

Alabama is the new No. 1 and will also be part of the College Football Playoff on New Year’s Eve. It will face Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl.

Mike Ferguson is the managing editor for Fifth Quarter. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.

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