Memorable moments from national championship game

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"Alabama's side was to the left of our tent, and the Georgia side was to the right of the tent".

"This was, I think, one of our best recruiting classes, this freshman class from previous year, especially with offensive talent", Saban said in the postgame press conference.

While the momentum was short-lived, Tony Brown stayed focused and managed to bring in a hard interception on Georgia's first drive of the game.

"So that's something we have to build on in this year's recruiting and continue to build on because we're going to lose a lot of good players who are seniors, probably have several players go out for the draft".

The college football national champions have arrived back in Tuscaloosa.

That all-SEC national championship game - with Alabama knocking off Georgia in OT on the heroics of a freshman quarterback - turned out to be quite a thriller, but it wouldn't have been possible if the committee hadn't made the unprecedented decision to include two teams from the same conference.

The Crimson Tide never led until the final play.

Maybe you've rewatched that game and figured it looked the same the second time as it did the first, but while covering the game, I felt Alabama was lucky to get to overtime. Georgia's talent level is so strong that when a player, even a star, leaves, the next player won't be that big of a drop off. On 2nd-and-26, he looked off a Georgia safety and delivered that season-defining strike to Smith that made him look like an National Football League veteran handling a late-game situation. The semifinals were played on December 31 the last two seasons.

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"If this second half doesn't flip like this, and Alabama is moving the ball and doesn't change [quarterbacks], people that really know what's going on would tell you that Tua was leaving", he said. "That's what everybody that's here comes here to do".

Saban's big gamble appeared to pay off when Tagovailoa connected with Calvin Ridley for a seven-yard touchdown to tie the game with 3:49 to play.

Still, Tagovailoa left the locker room at halftime and completed 14-of-26 passes for 166 yards, adding another 27 yards rushing.

Tagovailoa delivered, throwing three touchdown passes and leading Alabama to a national title win in only his eighth appearance.

Glenn Medeiros, Saint Louis School president, said he was at a function when Tagovailoa came into the game.

"Jalen and Tua have a phenomenal relationship", tight end Hale Hentges said. The freshman quarterback played a big part in Alabama's seventeenth national title.

And no matter how gracious Hurts was after he was benched on Monday - and he sure put on a good face - he won't be happy sitting the bench after two strong seasons.

"When it happened, we were just kind of in disbelief, the whole place, you know everybody was screaming and celebrating".

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