Report card: Alabama defense gets D+ for struggles in fourth quarter vs Georgia in title game

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

INDIANAPOLIS — The last quarter of the Georgia test proved too difficult for the Crimson Tide. 

Alabama stuck around with the Bulldogs for much of the game, but an inconsistent offense combined with a defense that couldn't find a way late resulted in a College Football Playoff championship loss for Alabama. 

No. 3 Georgia (14-1) defeated the No. 1 Crimson Tide 33-18 on Monday at Lucas Oil Stadium. 

Here is a report card for the Crimson Tide (13-2). 

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Offense

Unlike the victory in the SEC Championship game, the Alabama offense struggled to sustain success this time around against Georgia. Playing without its top two receivers didn't make it easy against one of the nation's best defenses. Still, Alabama couldn't find a way to make enough plays on offense. 

Grade: D+

Defense

Alabama's defense put together an impressive effort for much of the game in flustering quarterback Stetson Bennett, but the Crimson Tide eventually broke down late. Georgia scored two offensive touchdowns late in the fourth. 

Grade: C+

Special teams

Kicker Will Reichard stepped up throughout when the offense couldn't finish in the end zone. However, Alabama allowed one kick to be blocked. 

Grade: B+

Coaching

Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien needed to call a brilliant game to overcome the loss of receiver Jameson Williams during the game, already working without John Metchie III. Pete Golding also called a solid defense for most of the game, but Georgia's offense found gaps late. 

Grade: B-

Overall

The adversity of overcoming the loss of Williams was no small ask, but Alabama didn't make the plays it could have, even without him. The defense could only hold on for so long until Georgia broke through late to win the national championship. 

Grade: C+

Contact Alabama reporter Nick Kelly: nkelly@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly