Dawgs lose a classic in the Dome

ATLANTA -- True to its motto, Georgia's team left the game of the year in college football with no regrets about its effort.

Todd Gurley rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's SEC title game.

But it's still Alabama's time in the national sunshine.

The Crimson Tide outlasted the Bulldogs 32-28 in a classic of an SEC title game at the Georgia Dome on Saturday that wasn't decided until the game's final seconds.


"Alabama is a great team, obviously," UGA coach Mark Richt said. "I think we're pretty good too. The boys gave great effort and I'm really proud of them. Somebody just asked me what I thought the difference was and only thing I can think of is we just ran out of time."

Against the defending national champs and nation's second-ranked team, Georgia proved it belonged, going the distance and claiming a lead in the fourth quarter.

Alabama outgained Georgia 512 yards to 394 for the game, but the Crimson Tide had to hold on at the end of a defensive stalemate that turned into a brief shootout and then became a street fight to the very finish,

Chris Conley caught a deflected pass inside Alabama's 5-yard line, allowing the clock to expire on Georgia's final march, when went 80 yards in 1:08 before couldn't reach the end zone.

Alabama running backs Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon each topped 100 yards rushing, as the Crimson Tide ran for an SEC title game record 350 yards.

Todd Gurley had 122 yards on 23 carries to lead Georgia, which also got 265 passing yards from Aaron Murray.

Georgia jumped ahead 21-10 with 6:31 left in the third quarter, when Cornelius Washington blocked an Alabama field goal try and Alec Ogletree ran 55 yards with the loose ball for the touchdown.

Alabama got it going on the ground after that, leading to 77 and 74-yard drives that allowed the Crimson Tide to reclaim the lead at 25-21 on the first play of the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs kept coming, however, with Aaron Murray finding Tavarres King with a deep pass to set up a 10-yard Gurley touchdown with 12:54 to play.

Georgia led 28-25, but after possessions were traded, Alabama's McCarron hit Amari Cooper with a 45-yard touchdown pass, giving the Crimson Tide lead back at 32-28.

The Bulldogs had 3:15 to answer, but gave up a sack on first down and then fired two incomplete passes before punting with 2:17 to play.

Alabama couldn't run out the clock with three runs, and Georgia had 1:08 and no timeouts. The Bulldogs got inside the Tide's 5-yard line when the clock expired on the final play, a deflected ball caught by Conley in-bounds.

With the loss, Georgia will learn its bowl destination Sunday, with the Capital One, Cotton and Chick-fil-A Bowls -- and perhaps others -- all looming as possibilities, though both coaches Saturday made the case for Georgia to find its way into a BCS bowl game.

The BCS only allows two teams from the same conference in each year, and Florida figures to have one spot wrapped up.

"I think it's a crying shame if Georgia doesn't get to go to a BCS bowl game," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "They should get to go to a BCS bowl game. They played a tremendous game today. That was a great football game by both teams. And they could have won at the end just as soon as us. It came right down to the last play. ...

"I think it's ridiculous. I watch teams that are 7-5 that are talking about they might go to a BCS game because they won their championship. Something's not right here."

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