Georgia and Alabama were in midst of a slugfest in the College Football Playoff National Championship when a seemingly innocuous play turned into a massive, momentum-shifting moment early in the fourth quarter. With Georgia leading the Tide, 13-12, Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett IV was pressured by Alabama’s Christian Harris. Bennett tried to get rid of the ball to avoid the sack as Harris hit his arm, and the ball flew out of his hand and landed near the sideline.
Alabama’s Brian Branch picked up the ball seemingly not knowing the play was going to be ruled a fumble on the field. His foot was juuust inbounds. The refs reviewed the play and the call on the field stood.
Alabama took over in the red zone, and scored the go-ahead touchdown a few plays later. In what was otherwise a pretty boring national championship game to this point, the fumble was the biggest and most controversial play of the night.
Branch had his foot inbounds by a millimeter. He appeared to have no idea he was recovering a fumble as the play happened.
Here’s the Georgia radio call of the play:
Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young hit Cameron Latu for a three-yard touchdown pass a few plays later. The short touchdown drive was aided by a roughing the passer call against the Georgia defense.
You can bet this is the play everyone will be talking about tomorrow.