Alabama and Georgia to renew rivalry in national championship showdown

By Pete Burn, Homero De la Fuente and Jacob Lev, CNN

    (CNN) -- No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia will go at it again Monday night in the College Football Playoff National Championship game.

The rematch pits the Crimson Tide against Georgia for the second time in little over a month, after Alabama handed the Bulldogs their only loss of the regular season in the SEC Championship Game on December 4 in Atlanta. The Tide defeated the Bulldogs 41-24.

Monday's clash between the SEC rivals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis will be televised on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET.

It comes after the semifinals saw reigning champion Alabama dominate Cincinnati 27-6 in the Cotton Bowl. Then Georgia bounced back from its loss to Alabama by thumping Michigan 34-11 in the Orange Bowl.

Crimson Tide quarterback and 2021 Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young threw for 181 yards and three touchdowns against Cincinnati, while running back Brian Robinson Jr. rushed for 204 yards.

"I didn't think I was going to be a spotlight. We just game-planned," Robinson said. "It was just, whatever they throw at us, we got to adjust to it."

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett carved up the Michigan defense, throwing for 310 yards and three touchdowns, and running back James Cook added 109 yards receiving and a touchdown.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart complimented his quarterback when asked why the Bulldogs were throwing quick routes early in the game.

"I don't think it was a calculated get-the-ball-out-quick answer," Smart said. "It was what the defense gives you. Nowadays you take what the defense gives you, and Stetson had to make a lot of decisions people weren't aware of, and he made good decisions on where to go with the ball."

The stout Bulldog defense kept the Michigan offense in check, not allowing a touchdown until late in the fourth quarter. Georgia cornerback Derion Kendrick intercepted Michigan starting quarterback Cade McNamara twice.

"Everybody is going to make plays. It's about what you're going to do the next play and the next play," Kendrick said. "I gave up a few plays, but I kept pushing, and you see the results."

The climax of the college football season comes after several bowl games were canceled due to Covid-19 protocols.

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