AP Photo/Paul Sancya
Alabama’s Bryce Young was the best player in college football during the regular season as the Heisman Trophy winner, but he was unable to lead his team to the sport’s highest peak.
He threw two interceptions during Monday’s 33-18 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game and told reporters after the defeat, “I just wish I could have been better tonight.”
The stats were solid outside of the two picks, as Young went 35-of-57 passing for 369 yards and one touchdown.
However, his touchdown pass to Cameron Latu was the only time Alabama found the end zone. Its promising drives kept stalling into field-goal tries, and Will Reichard did what he could by converting four of his five kicks even though a crucial one was blocked in the second half.
Still, Young finding a way to convert those into touchdowns would have made the difference.
It also would have helped if he didn’t throw a pick-six to Kelee Ringo in the final minutes to all but clinch Georgia’s victory or another interception to Christopher Smith early in the second half when the Crimson Tide were attempting to build on their 9-6 lead at the time.
While Young will rue those mistakes and the missed chances, he was also working with a shorthanded offense.
Star wide receiver John Metchie III was sidelined coming into the game, and fellow star pass-catcher Jameson Williams exited in the first half with a knee injury he suffered after breaking free in the middle of the field for a big gain.
That left Young without his two primary targets from the regular season, and the offense struggled as a result.