ATLANTA — From rout to rally, Alabama pulled off the biggest comeback in Southeastern Conference Championship Game history Saturday against Georgia.
Bama trailed Georgia by 14 points early in the third quarter but rallied for 21 unanswered points in a 35-28 victory. The 14-point comeback surpassed Tennessee’s rally from a 13-point second-quarter deficit in 1997 to beat Auburn 30-29.
Estay, Archie Manning honored
Former players from all 14 SEC schools were honored here Friday night at the annual SEC Legends Dinner at the Hyatt Regency and recognized on the field before Saturday’s kickoff.
LSU defensive tackle Ronnie Estay was among those honored. A member of the LSU, Louisiana and Canadian Football League halls of fame, Estay played at LSU from 1968-71, helping the Tigers to the 1970 SEC championship and earning All-American honors as a senior.
Also honored this weekend is former Ole Miss and New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning. He is receiving the SEC’s Michael L. Slive Distinguished Service Award, named for the late SEC commissioner.
Moment of silence
A moment of silence was observed before kickoff Saturday for former President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday night at age 94, and Vanderbilt tight end Turner Cockrell, who died Thursday of cancer at age 21.
Making the calls
Former Southeastern Louisiana quarterback Martin Hankins served as a back judge Saturday. Hankins played for the Lions in 2003-04.
No members of the officiating crew who called LSU’s 74-72 seven-overtime loss Nov. 24 at Texas A&M officiated the championship game. SEC coordinator of football officials Steve Shaw said Tuesday the conference would likely use its highest-graded crew for the game but did not rule out the possibility of bringing in one or two officials who merited inclusion from their work this season.
Ten for the tie
Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm completed 10 straight passes in the first half, tying an SEC Championship Game record set in 2014 by Alabama’s Blake Sims.
Lapping the field
Alabama's 2018 championship is its 27th SEC title. That is more championships than any other two SEC schools combined.
Georgia and Tennessee are tied for second with 13 SEC titles each. LSU ranks fourth with 11.
Alabama is also now 8-4 in SEC championship games, surpassing Florida's seven wins.