2022 National Championship: Alabama Remain asks ‘what if?’ when a major injury derails hopes of a title return

No. 3 Georgia turned down No. 1 Alabama’s offer to repeat Monday’s national championship as Bulldogs won the National Championship 2022 College Football Qualifier 33-18. But for a Crimson Tide team to finish the season 13-2, there will always be an element of “what if” attached to the memory of the loss that prompted coach Nick Saban to turn down the title. its seventh country with the program.

What if Alabama’s frontrunners in the hosts John Metchie III hadn’t lost in the knockout stages to a knee injury in their SEC Championship Game win over Georgia on Dec. And what if Jameson Williams, the team leader in the field of yards and touchdowns, had not had his night cut short due to a knee injury in the second quarter of the title game Monday?

Beating their top two receiving goals, and with full-backs Josh Jobe and Jalyn Armor-Davis already injured, the Crimson Tide lacked their usual athletic advantage in the perimeter against a Georgia team that has relatively good recruitment.

“It’s a cumulative effect of all the injuries we’ve had,” Saban told ESPN’s Holly Rowe after the game. “…We have a lot of people that are key components of this team that didn’t make it into this game.”

Metchie and Williams accounted for 56.3% of Alabama’s pitches at the start of the game. As Williams came out in the second half, Heisman Trophy award-winning midfielder Bryce Young was forced to coordinate with relatively unproven goals in the perimeter.

Freshman receiver Ja’Corey Brooks has grown to six catches in 47 yards after entering with just nine catches in the year, but the Crimson Tide has become too reliant on the pass – as they usually are 2021 season – allowing the Georgia defense to start with shots that disrupted Young’s flow. Unlike in the SEC Championship Game when he wasn’t fired, Young was knocked out behind the script line three times on Monday. He was a reluctant runner as a result, finishing with -43 yards on the net between bags.

On defense, the Crimson Tide surrendered an explosive number of plays in the passing game without Jobe and Armor-Davis. Jobe is facing a toe injury after starting the whole season in the corner, while Armor-Davis is sidelined with a hip injury after starting most of the season. The Bulldogs have dealt with their injury rate this season in early fall, but were healthier in position Monday night than they have been all season. That shows on the tally with quarterback Stetson Bennett IV distributing his 17 finishes to nine different receivers – including a 52-yard bomb for George Pickens – against Alabama’s depleted secondary. .

“But I’m extremely proud of this team,” Saban said. “This team won the SEC championship, beat Georgia to do it. Obviously, they beat us today. I hate it, had a great season and a lot of track record as a team. As a team, we didn’t finish the fourth quarter better than we did. It’s disappointing and I know they’re disappointed, but I’m really proud of this team. They’ve come through so much. to get here today. We’re just not done in the fourth quarter.”

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https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/national-championship-2022-alabama-left-asking-what-if-as-key-injuries-derail-back-to-back-title-hopes/ 2022 National Championship: Alabama Remain asks ‘what if?’ when a major injury derails hopes of a title return

Charles Jones

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