Georgia Bulldogs Lead Alabama Crimson Tide 19-7 In College Football Championship Game
Updated at 10:40 p.m. ET
In the third quarter, the Georgia Bulldogs lead the Alabama Crimson Tide 19-7 in the College Football Playoff National Championship game in Atlanta.
The Bulldogs scored their second touchdown of the game on a 80-yard reception by receiver Mecole Hardman. Rodrigo Blankenship kicked the point-after.
After being held scoreless in the first half, Alabama got on the board with a 6-yard touchdown pass by freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to Henry Riggs III. Andy Pappanastos followed with the point-after kick. The scores came on a seven-play drive for 56 yards.
Tagovailoa started the second half for Alabama after a lackluster performance by starting quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Late in the second quarter, Georgia scored a touchdown on a one-yard run by Mecole Hardman and a point-after kick by Rodrigo Blankenship. That capped off a 69-yard drive.
Blankenship earlier had kicked two field goals of 41 and 27 yards.
Georgia's freshman quarterback Jake Fromm has paced his team with a mix of medium-length passes which have set up the Bulldogs a potent running attack.
Georgia's offense has dominated the game with twice as many offensive plays as Alabama which hasn't managed to sustain a drive throughout the contest.
And what's a college football title game without the presence of the nation's chief executive who can bring his own drama to the game?
We'll get back to President Trump in a moment.
The University of Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1) and the University of Georgia Bulldogs (13-1) faced off at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta to determine which team would be crowned the champions of college football.
There's no shortage of storylines for this contest.
The game pits Georgia's potent running game against Alabama's stout rushing defense.
Alabama, led by arguably the best college football coach in the game, Nick Saban, is looking for its fifth national title in nine years.
Georgia is led by Kirby Smart, who spent nine years as a Saban assistant coach and is looking to best the master by bringing the Peach State its first title since 1980. No former assistant coach has ever beaten Saban.
Did I mention that Trump, who once, as a football mogul, tried to break the National Football League's hold on pro football and failed, was there for the first half?
The Atlanta chapter of the NAACP encouraged people to stage a "snowflake" protest by waving small white towels at any mention of Trump. But apparently that didn't happen.
Chapter president Richard Rose told USA Today that his group would also protest on social media, but their planned action would be limited.
"Rose said the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP will not officially participate in any physical gathering before or during the game due to weather and security concerns," reported the national daily.
The Associated Press reported that ESPN, which is broadcasting the game, called the likelihood of Trump's being interviewed during the game as "unlikely."
It was likely that Trump would be on safe ground at a game between competitors of two deep-red states.
But as the New Yorker pointed out:
"While it's true that Alabama and Georgia went for Trump in the 2016 presidential election, he's not exactly beloved in either state. Clarke County, Georgia, home to the UGA, went for Hillary Clinton in 2016 by a nearly 40 percent margin. And Alabama recently dealt Trump a double whammy in the special election to fill the seat left vacant by his Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Republicans in the state first rejected Trump-endorsed Luther Strange in the GOP primary and then dealt a loss to Roy Moore in last month's special election."
And in case you're wondering how popular Nick Saban is in Alabama, consider this: more than 400 voters cast their ballot during that recent special election for the 66-year-old coach as a write-in candidate. Not that Saban ever did anything to encourage that support. As Al.com reports, Saban said bluntly, "I don't get involved in politics."