One Title Down, One To Go For Tide
Alabama won its fourth SEC Championship Game with its 32-28 win over Georgia in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Saturday night. It was Bama's first appearance in the game against an SEC East team other than Florida.
In addition to its 23 SEC Championships, Alabama also won four Southern Conference titles (1924, 1925, 1926 and 1930), giving the school 27 conference football championships.
On Sunday, Alabama's appearance in the BCS National Championship Game will be made official. The BCS Selection Show will be televised on ESPN beginning at 7:30 p.m. CST. The Crimson Tide, now 12-1 on the season and ranked second in the nation, earned its place into the Jan. 7 BCS National Championship Game against Notre Dame by virtue of its win over second ranked Georgia.
With the win over Georgia, Alabama is now 61-3 when leading at the half under head coach Nick Saban.
Saban is now 4-1 as a coach in SEC Championship Games, 2-0 at LSU and 2-1 at Alabama.
A Western Division team has now won four consecutive SEC Championship Games. The East has an 11-10 edge.
With the Alabama victory, the Crimson Tide is now 37-25-4 against Georgia.
Alabama rushed for 350 yards and is 48-0 since the start of the 2008 season when the Tide rushes for at least 150 yards.
Alabama has scored at least one rushing touchdown in all but one game this season. The Tide has scored two or more in 10 games, including eight in a row.
Alabama running backs Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon both ran for over 100 yards. It marks the second time this season the tandem has eclipsed 100 yards in the same game (Missouri, Oct. 13 was the other).
With 181 yards against Georgia, Lacy has rushed for 1,182 yards this season. That total ranks ninth on the Alabama single-season rushing yards list.
With 153 rushing yards against Georgia, Yeldon has rushed for exactly 1,000 yards this season.
Alabama became the first team to have two backs rush for over 100 yards in the title game.
Lacy now ranks tied for fifth in the season record books with 16 rushing touchdowns. His 29 career rushing touchdowns rank tied for sixth all-time.
Lacy became just the second running back to be named MVP of the SEC Championship Game. LSU's Justin Vincent won the honor in 2003.
Alabama's 350 yards rushing was a title game record, besting the old mark of 300 it had against Florida in 1999.
With 127 receiving yards against Georgia, wide receiver Amari Cooper now has 894 receiving yards this season. That total ranks Cooper sixth in Alabama history for single-season receiving yards.
Cooper's 127 yards gave him his fourth 100-yard receiving game in his first year with the Crimson Tide. That already ranks Cooper in a tie for sixth in Alabama history for 100-yard receiving performances.
Alabama entered the locker room at the half holding Georgia to seven points. The Crimson Tide has now held 11 opponents to seven points or less in the first half this season.
Alabama safety HaHa Clinton-Dix intercepted his fourth pass of the season. The four interceptions is tied with Robert Lester for the team lead. It was the 17th interception on the year for the Tide.
Senior Jeremy Shelley is still the only kicker in the nation yet to miss an extra point or a field goal in 2012. Thus far, Shelley has hit all 64 of his extra point attempts and all 11 of his field goals.
The 0-0 score at the end of the first quarter was the first time in SEC Championship Game history there had not been a score in the opening stanza. The previous low score had been Florida 3, Arkansas 0 in 2006.
Something had to give on SEC Championship Game trends. Georgia was the first team to score in the game and the team that had scored first had won 11 of the 20 previous games. However, Bama had the halftime lead, and the team leading at intermission had won 15 of the previous 20 contests.\
Attendance for the game was 75,624.
Alabama captains were nose tackle Jesse Williams, guard Chance Warmack, and safety Robert Lester.
In pre-game ceremonies, the SEC recognized a former legend from each member school. Paul Crane, former Tide linebacker and center, was the Alabama representative. Also recognized from Texas A&M was former Bama Assistant Coach John David Crow.
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