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#pounditTuesday, January 25, 2022

College Football

Kirby Smart goes viral after showing off his incredible jumping ability

Kirby Smart jumps

Kirby Smart not only led Georgia to the national championship on Monday night, but he also had a viral moment during the game.

Kelee Ringo sealed the Bulldogs’ 33-18 win over Alabama with a 79-yard pick-six in the final minute. As Ringo was making the interception, Smart leaped on the sidelines to show his excitement. He also showcased his jumping ability:

People immediately took notice of Smart’s impressive vertical:

That was impressive.

He doesn’t look like it anymore, but Smart, now 46, was quite the athlete. He played DB at Georgia and was an All-SEC player as a senior. He had 13 career interceptions and was an undrafted free agent signing by the Colts.

Nick Saban’s message to Kirby Smart in postgame handshake revealed

Nick Saban talks to Kirby Smart

Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide came up short in the national championship game against Georgia, but the Tide coach was classy in defeat.

Georgia came back from down 9-6 at the half and down 18-13 in the fourth quarter to win 33-18 and finish the season 14-1.

Saban seemed genuinely happy for his former assistant, Kirby Smart, who was previously 0-4 against Saban.

Saban gave Smart a hug and appeared to tell him “good job” during their postgame handshake.

Then Saban gave Smart quite the hat tip, admitting, “you guys kicked our a– in the fourth quarter. Congrats,” he told Smart.

Saban continued to pay Smart compliments in his postgame interview with ESPN’s Holly Rowe.

“I’m proud of Kirby,” Saban said. “I’m proud of the program he’s built. He’s done an outstanding job with his team. They’ve played great. They’ve probably been the most consistent team all year long.”

Saban also appeared to tell Smart that they believe Jameson Williams suffered an ACL injury.

What’s so interesting is that Saban was previously undefeated against his former assistants. But this season, his Tide lost twice — both times to former assistants (Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M was the other). Saban is now 25-2 against his former assistants.

Would Saban have loved to win the game? Of course. But in the long run, losing to Georgia is not such a bad thing. Losses — especially in championship games — provide Saban the motivation to keep going and keep doing what he does best. His Crimson Tide will be back, and maybe they will be hungry for revenge.

Kirby Smart reveals what ticked off Georgia before game

Kirby Smart with a headset on

Kirby Smart on Monday night led Georgia to its first national championship since 1980. After previously going 0-4 against Nick Saban, Smart led his Bulldogs to a 33-18 win in the CFP title game.

After the win, Smart revealed something that his team used as motivation against Alabama, something that made them “hungry.”

“There were people who said we weren’t conditioned enough. And it pissed a lot of people off on our sideline. And they came to work,” Smart said in his postgame interview with ESPN’s Molly McGrath.

The issue Smart pointed to is an odd one. Georgia’s conditioning hardly registered as a pregame storyline.

The only time conditioning was mentioned was a few days before the game when Jordan Davis said his conditioning for the SEC Championship Game was off.

Few others talked about conditioning.

You know what this means? It means that Smart is manufacturing his own slights in order to motivate his team. He really does take after Nick Saban.

Photo: Nov 25, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart shown on the sideline against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the first half at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Stetson Bennett seen crying as Georgia wins championship

Stetson Bennett cries

Stetson Bennett is an ugly crier. But he played a pretty game on the biggest stage, at the biggest time, to earn the right to cry on national TV.

Bennett went 17/26 for 224 yards and two touchdown passes while leading Georgia to a big 33-18 win over Alabama in the national championship game. He threw an absolute dime on a 40-yard touchdown pass to Adonai Mitchell in the fourth quarter, giving his team the lead for good.

After Kelee Ringo sealed things with a pick-six, all the emotions poured out of Bennett.

“It just hit me. As soon as he caught (the interception), I just teared up. I didn’t plan it,” Bennett said in his postgame interview on ESPN.

The former walk-on quarterback just started to cry happy tears:

Bennett was a 2-star quarterback recruit coming out of high school.

Now he has led his home state team to a national championship, and he played one heck of a game and earned the title. Best of all, he helped Georgia overcome Alabama, the team that kept haunting them.

Keep crying, Stetson. You earned it and deserve it, and your tears show just how much the win meant to you, and just how much you had to overcome to get there.

Alabama awarded controversial fumble on key Stetson Bennett play in 4th quarter

Stetson Bennett loses a ball

Alabama was awarded a fumble on a critical play by Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett in the fourth quarter of the CFP National Championship Game on Monday night.

Georgia was leading 13-12 in the fourth quarter and had a 3rd-and-8 at their 27. Bennett was under pressure and tried to scramble away. Just as Christian Harris was tackling him, Bennett started to try throwing a pass.

He lost control of the ball, and Brian Branch somehow grabbed it just before going out of bounds.

The officials ruled that it was a fumble. They reviewed the play to see whether the fumble call would stand or whether they would penalize Bennett for intentional grounding. They decided the call on the field would stand, giving Alabama a huge turnover and the ball at the Georgia 16.

Here’s another look:

Bryce Young ended up throwing a touchdown pass to Cameron Latu to give Bama an 18-13 lead.

Not only was that a huge, game-changing call, but what’s extra tough for Georgia fans to stomach is that a similar play early in the game was reviewed and went against them. Many felt the refs should have ruled in the offense’s favor on both calls to maintain consistency. Instead, both calls benefited Alabama (here was the first call).

Video: James Cook breaks biggest run in CFP championship game history

James Cook runs

James Cook delivered one of the biggest plays we have seen in a CFP national championship game.

Cook broke for a 67-yard run late in the third quarter of the championship game between Georgia and Alabama to set up the first touchdown of the game.

The big rush from Cook was the longest in the history of the CFP title game.

It was also the longest run allowed by Alabama since Georgia’s Nick Chubb in 2015.

Though Cook made the big play, it was Zamir White who later punched it in from a yard out to give Georgia the lead. The Bulldogs took a 13-9 lead in the game, though Alabama answered the touchdown with a field goal to make it 13-12 in the fourth quarter.

Everyone made the same joke about the Alabama-Georgia game

Alabama and Georgia play

The first half of the CFP National Championship Game between Alabama and Georgia at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Monday night was low-scoring, which led to plenty of jokes.

Bama led Georgia 9-6 at the half. There were five field goals and no touchdowns through the first two quarters. The game very much resembled a low-scoring field goal affair more common among Big Ten teams, which was fitting considering the game was played in Indy — the site of the Big Ten Championship Game.

You can bet that wasn’t lost on the fans. Take a look at some of the tweets:

This is just what happens when you go to Big Ten country.

Jameson Williams suffers left knee injury during championship game

Jameson Williams holds his knee

Jameson Williams went down with a left knee injury during the national championship game on Monday night between Alabama and Georgia.

Williams caught a 40-yard pass down the middle of the field on Bama’s first play after a touchback following Georgia’s field goal to tie the game at 3 in the second quarter. The Crimson Tide wide receiver tried to plant and his left knee got hurt.

Williams went down and was seen grabbing his left knee.

Williams had four catches for 65 yards prior to his injury. He was seen going into the medical tent and then walking unaided on the sideline. The junior entered the game with 75 catches for 1,507 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Video: Bill O’Brien throws fit in press box after failed 3rd down play

Bill OBrien with his arms raised

Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien was a very unhappy man at the end of his team’s first drive in Monday’s national championship game.

The Crimson Tide were set up for 3rd and 5 from the Georgia 19-yard line, and O’Brien broke out a perfect play call that would have set Alabama up with 1st and goal at the very least. Unfortunately, tight end Jahleel Billingsley slipped on the route, leading to an incompletion.

O’Brien’s reaction to the play not coming together was caught on camera, and it was an all-time great freakout.

O’Brien looked like he was running through every curse word in the book there. Considering how well the play was drawn up, it’s tough to blame him for his frustration.

This is not the first time we’ve seen O’Brien lose his temper on camera. You can’t say he isn’t passionate.

Video: Ex-Alabama star took the wrong plane to Indianapolis

Marlon Humphrey in a workout

Former Alabama defensive back Marlon Humphrey thinks he took the wrong plane to Indianapolis.

Georgia fans were having a gay old time on their way to Indy and while in Indy for the championship game between their Bulldogs and the Crimson Tide. Videos have been going viral on social media showing Georgia fans chanting all throughout various locations on their way to the game.

Humphrey happened to be on a plane with a bunch of Georgia fans and felt very much out of place.

Humphrey played at Alabama in 2015 and 2016 before becoming a first-round pick by the Ravens. He was knocked out for the season in early December by a pec injury.

Next time he should gather up some more Tide fans to travel with him so he can have some more backing on his flight!

Photo: Jan 25, 2020; Kissimmee, Florida, USA; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey (44) during AFC Practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports