Georgia defensive back Kelee Ringo made a game-sealing pick-six to give the third-ranked Bulldogs a 33-18 win over Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship, securing the program’s first title since 1980 along the way.
The top-ranked Crimson Tide trailed by eight points late in the fourth quarter and played patiently as it needed a score. Facing third-and-10 at the 44-yard line, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Bryce Young stepped back in the pocket and targeted Trae Holden, but the ball floated short and was picked off by Ringo.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart shouted at Ringo to get down so the Bulldogs could run out the clock, but the freshman had no intention of doing that. Instead, Ringo took the ball and ran down the field for a pick-six that will live forever as one of the biggest plays in program history to give his team a 15-point lead.
Relee’s interception capped off 20 unanswered points for the Bulldogs following a fumble by quarterback Stetson Bennett that gave Alabama its first lead of the fourth quarter. Bennett threw an incredible 40-yard touchdown pass to freshman receiver Adonai Mitchell just four plays after Young tossed a seemingly game-changing touchdown. One drive later, Georgia bulldozed Alabama’s defensive front in a seven-play touchdown drive that ended with a touchdown pass from Bennett to Brock Bowers.
Not only did Georgia earn its first national championship in 41 years on Monday night, but in winning the CFP National Championship, Smart notched his first victory against his former boss, NIck Saban.