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Alabama holds off Georgia 32-28, advances to title game

  • Alabama running back Eddie Lacy (42) leaps over a Georgia defender during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    Alabama running back Eddie Lacy (42) leaps over a Georgia defender during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree (9) runs back a blocked field goal  for a touchdown during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Alabama, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree (9) runs back a blocked field goal for a touchdown during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Alabama, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Alabama running back Eddie Lacy (42) runs into the end zone for a touchdown as Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo (18) defends during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

    Alabama running back Eddie Lacy (42) runs into the end zone for a touchdown as Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo (18) defends during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

  • Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon (4) scores a touchdown against Georgia safety Shawn Williams (36) during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

    Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon (4) scores a touchdown against Georgia safety Shawn Williams (36) during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

  • Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree (9) wraps up Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon (4) during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

    Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree (9) wraps up Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon (4) during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

  • Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree (9) reacts after returning a blocked field goal  for a touchdown during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Alabama, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree (9) reacts after returning a blocked field goal for a touchdown during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Alabama, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Alabama linebacker Xzavier Dickson (47) tackles Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray (11) during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

    Alabama linebacker Xzavier Dickson (47) tackles Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray (11) during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

  • Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree (9) reaches for a blocked field goal before returning it for a touchdown during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Alabama, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree (9) reaches for a blocked field goal before returning it for a touchdown during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Alabama, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Alabama running back Eddie Lacy (42) is hit by Georgia safety Shawn Williams (36) during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football†game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Jamie Martin)

    Alabama running back Eddie Lacy (42) is hit by Georgia safety Shawn Williams (36) during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football†game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Jamie Martin)

  • Fans prepare to enter the Georgia Dome for the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game between Alabama and Georgia, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    Fans prepare to enter the Georgia Dome for the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game between Alabama and Georgia, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon (4) evades several Georgia defenders during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football†game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

    Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon (4) evades several Georgia defenders during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football†game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

  • Georgia defensive lineman John Jenkins reacts to sacking Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron (10) during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football†game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    Georgia defensive lineman John Jenkins reacts to sacking Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron (10) during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football†game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Alabama running back Eddie Lacy (42) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against Georgia during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

    Alabama running back Eddie Lacy (42) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against Georgia during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

  • Alabama running back Eddie Lacy (42) leaps over a Georgia defender during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    Alabama running back Eddie Lacy (42) leaps over a Georgia defender during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Alabama running back Eddie Lacy (42) leaps over a Georgia defender during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree (9) runs back a blocked field goal  for a touchdown during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Alabama, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • Alabama running back Eddie Lacy (42) runs into the end zone for a touchdown as Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo (18) defends during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
  • Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon (4) scores a touchdown against Georgia safety Shawn Williams (36) during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
  • Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree (9) wraps up Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon (4) during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
  • Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree (9) reacts after returning a blocked field goal  for a touchdown during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Alabama, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • Alabama linebacker Xzavier Dickson (47) tackles Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray (11) during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
  • Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree (9) reaches for a blocked field goal before returning it for a touchdown during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Alabama, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • Alabama running back Eddie Lacy (42) is hit by Georgia safety Shawn Williams (36) during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football†game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Jamie Martin)
  • Fans prepare to enter the Georgia Dome for the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game between Alabama and Georgia, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon (4) evades several Georgia defenders during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football†game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
  • Georgia defensive lineman John Jenkins reacts to sacking Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron (10) during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football†game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • Alabama running back Eddie Lacy (42) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against Georgia during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
  • Alabama running back Eddie Lacy (42) leaps over a Georgia defender during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Alabama is heading back to the national championship game – by a mere 5 yards.

AJ McCarron threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper with 3:15 remaining, and the No. 2 Crimson Tide barely held off No. 3 Georgia, 32-28, in a Southeastern Conference title game for the ages yesterday.

After an apparent game-clinching interception by Alabama was overturned on a video review, Georgia’s Aaron Murray completed a 15-yard pass to Arthur Lynch, a 23-yarder to Tavarres King and a 26-yarder to Lynch, who was hauled down at the Alabama 8 as the clock continued to run.

The Bulldogs were out of timeouts.

Instead of spiking the ball and gathering themselves, the Bulldog snapped the ball with nine seconds to go. Murray attempted a pass into the corner but it was deflected at the line, winding up in the arms of Chris Conley out in the right flat.

Surprised to get the ball, he slipped down at the 5.

Georgia couldn’t get off another play. Alabama celebrated as confetti fell from the Georgia Dome roof. The Bulldogs collapsed on the field, stunned they had come so close to knocking off the team that has won two of the last three national titles.

The Tide will get a chance to make it three out of four when they face top-ranked Notre Dame for the BCS crown on Jan. 7 in Miami.

“I’m ready to have heart attack here,” Alabama Coach Nick Saban said.

For the Bulldogs (11-2), the consolation prize will likely be a spot in the Capital One Bowl, though they certainly looked like a team fully deserving of a BCS bid. Georgia Coach Mark Richt said his team had the play it wanted at the end, but Alabama ruined it by getting a hand on the ball.

“I told the guys I was disappointed, but I’m not disappointed in them,” Richt said. “They’re warriors. We had a chance at the end. We just didn’t get it done.”

In a back-and-forth second half that looked nothing like a game in the defensive-minded SEC, the Crimson Tide trailed 21-10 after Alec Ogletree returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Alabama rallied behind a punishing run game, finishing with 350 yards on the ground, an SEC championship game record. Eddie Lacy rumbled for 181 yards on 20 carries, including two TDs. Freshman T.J. Yeldon added 153 yards on 25 carries, also scoring a TD.

But the Tide won it through the air.

With Georgia stacking the line, McCarron fooled the Bulldogs with play action and delivered a perfectly thrown pass to Cooper, who beat Damian Swann in single coverage down the left side.

The Bulldogs punted the ball back to Alabama with 2:25 left, relying on their defense to finally stop the Tide. Georgia used up its final two timeouts, forced a punt and got the ball back at its 15 with 1:16 remaining.

Alabama broke into a celebration when a pass down the middle for Conley was deflected and Dee Milliner appeared to make a diving interception. But the replay showed the ball hit the ground, so Murray and the Georgia offense trotted back on the field for their last gasp.

No. 7 Kansas St. 42,
No. 23 Texas 24

Kansas State scored 35 second-half points to win a share of the Big 12 title.

Collin Klein ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries and John Hubert had three rushing touchdowns and 66 yards on 14 carries.

No. 12 Oklahoma 24,
TCU 17

Landry Jones threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns, Damien Williams ran untouched 66 yards for a score and Oklahoma held on to win at TCU and clinch a share of the Big 12 title.

TCU’s fourth-down pass to the goal-line in the final minute was well-defended and fell incomplete.

The Sooners (10-2, 8-1 Big 12) won their eighth consecutive Big 12 game since a late-September loss to Kansas State.

No. 13 Florida St. 21,
Georgia Tech 15

James Wilder Jr. ran two touchdowns as Florida State held off Georgia Tech to capture its first Atlantic Coast Conference champions since 2005 earn a trip to the Orange Bowl.

It was Florida State’s 13th ACC title.

The heavily favored Seminoles (11-2) built a 21-6 lead at the half and held on to win, helping to erase some of the sting from last week’s 37-26 loss to their bitter rival, No. 4 Florida.

Despite its record, Georgia Tech (6-7) is bowl eligible after receiving a waiver from the NCAA on Thursday.

No. 16 Oregon State 77,
Nicholls State 3

Storm Woods ran for two touchdowns in the first quarter and Oregon State put up its highest point total ever, routing Nicholls State in a game postponed by Hurricane Isaac.

The Beavers surpassed their 76-0 win over Willamette in 1931.

Oregon State (9-3) started playing its substitutes against the lower-division Colonels in taking a 35-0 halftime lead. Markus Wheaton caught 12 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown and sat out the second half.

Officials from both schools decided to put off the Sept. 1 opener when the storm bore down on the Colonels’ campus in Thibodeaux, La.

The Beavers had a complete turnaround from their 3-9 finish last year.

Baylor 41,
No. 24 Oklahoma State 34

Lache Seastrunk rushed for 178 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, and Nick Florence passed for 296 yards as Baylor beat Oklahoma State.

Seastrunk’s long scoring run gave Baylor a 41-27 lead with 5:11 left in the game.

No. 25 Boise State 27,
Nevada 21

Joe Southwick threw two touchdown passes to lead Boise State over Nevada, earning the Broncos a share of the Mountain West Conference title and ensuring their nation’s best seventh consecutive 10-win season.

D.J. Harper ran for 130 yards for Boise State (10-2, 7-1) and the Broncos’ defense put the clamps on a Nevada offense that was averaging 38 points per game.

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