That has led Pruitt to use one of Saban's fallback sayings more frequently, too. The Bulldogs did to Alabama what no one had done during the Saban era - no one. In addition, if the Bulldogs win, all 16 Academy Sports + Outdoors stores in Georgia will reopen to begin selling UGA championship products.
Smart is an Alabama native who coached under Nick Saban from 2007-15 before leaving for his alma mater, Georgia.
Devin Bellamy sacked Tua Tagovailoa on Alabama's first play. The Crimson Tide were down 13-0 to the Bulldogs at the half.
Shoe Station, an Alabama-based chain, has ordered more than 5,600 t-shirts to celebrate. In the two losses, Alabama had the lead in the fourth quarter. Jalen Hurts struggled to make anything significant happen in the first half. He was also 12 of 19 for 197 yards and two touchdowns. The question is whether I was wrong because Alabama is actually better than I thought, or whether it's because Clemson just couldn't take advantage. As a quarterback, he has 19 more carries than leading rusher Damien Harris. Isaiah Buggs turned in a team-high 10 tackles. Alabama improved to 69-11 in 80 games as the No. 1-ranked team in the AP poll since 1936.
Alabama's defense, forever a Saban calling card, is run by new Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt. Saban had already cemented his spot among college football's hierarchy of coaches before Monday night, but for anyone who was still holding back on suggesting Saban belongs in the conversation for best coaches of all time, there is no more room to allow that conversation to be avoided. Alabama went ahead 28-0 before Tennessee returned an interception 97 yards for its only score of the game. And LSU won in 2007.
Hurts doesn't have to drive the offense alone.
Outside Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where the uncharacteristic cold front merged with rain, crowds were larger than might be expected waiting to get in, as police along with Secret Service searched bags and attendees had to go through metal detectors.
On the season, the freshman has played in seven games, completing 35 of his 53 passes for eight touchdowns and one interception.
Meanwhile, junior wide receiver Calvin Ridley has played in 43 games for Alabama, with 1 fumble that was recovered. On the sport's biggest stage, against an opponent built in its own image, Alabama reminded everyone that football is more than a 30-minute game - and in doing so cemented the program's place as the greatest dynasty to ever exist in college football. Jalen Hurts was 7 of 7 for 180 yards and three touchdowns. Smith is averaging 7.7 yards per carry and 9.3 "highlight yards" per opportunity, per Football Study Hall (highlight yards is a measure of explosiveness that look at a running back's production after he has gained at least five yards). Instead, the semifinals saw them dominate defending national champ Clemson with a 24-6 Sugar Bowl victory that served as a rematch of last year's title game.
In the first half, Georgia's offense led by freshman quarterback Jake Fromm carved up the Alabama defense.
Crimson Tide sophomore linebacker Mack Wilson, hobbled the past month with a foot injury, should be fully healthy on Monday, Pruitt said.