Georgia found a bigger dose of offensive magic late on her next trip. Bennett, a few paces behind the 50, fired a pitch with enough arc that George Pickens, a wide receiver, had time to pivot into the thicket he had fled and search for the ball. He jumped, grabbed and then landed on his back, the ball 37 yards closer to a provisional prize.
A 5-yard touchdown caught two plays later by Darnell Washington gave Georgia a 10-point lead – the kind of deficit Nick Saban’s Alabama had only faced sporadically.
Still, Tide’s Jameson Williams was in hiding, his formidable speed weakening just a week after his ejection for aiming for a punt in the rivalry game at Auburn. On the third try, with Alabama alone 33, he ran towards midfield, into the hollow of the “C” on the SEC logo.
Bryce Young, the quarterback and Heisman Trophy contender, was looking for an option and a hope.
Williams’ eyes wobbled from the backfield to the end zone as the ball arrived. He cut the grass, heading towards the left pylon of the goal line. A defensive back gave the chase, but could be forgiven for concluding around the 15th, and most likely earlier, that it would be an unsuccessful pursuit.
He was a few yards behind Williams as Williams took off for a touchdown. Williams had traveled 67 yards on the play, more than Alabama’s offensive production in the entire first quarter. Full possession lasted 44 seconds.
The two-point game was reduced to one.
Georgia responded with a three-and-out.
And so not even 90 seconds after it began to silence much of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, about 70 miles from the Georgia campus, the Alabama offensive returned to the field under bright lights.
Alabama grabbed 63 yards in no time. Georgia’s defensive fortress attempted to regroup, but it collapsed again after stopping a single hasty attempt.