The overtime touchdown that won Alabama the national title over Georgia on Monday might already have become legendary. Down by 10 points with less than 10 minutes to go, Alabama came back to tie it, and after blowing a field goal in the final seconds, it scored a fantastic touchdown in overtime. Freshman Tua Tagovailoa heaved the ball 41 yards down the field, and freshman DeVonta Smith found it, picked it from the air, and ran into the end zone.
Georgia fans are certainly feeling the heartbreak. But for fans that were around 35 years ago, Alabama’s game-winning touchdown may have caused flashbacks to another moment of Georgia football disappointment.
— Pick Six Previews (@PickSixPreviews) January 9, 2018
That is Penn State scoring the game-winning touchdown over Georgia in the 1983 Sugar Bowl. With Georgia and Penn State ranked No. 1 and No. 2, the Sugar Bowl was the de facto national title game. And Georgia lost it on a touchdown that looks eerily similar to the one Alabama scored on Monday. Here’s a gif of Alabama’s TD if you need more convincing.
DeVonta Smith didn’t exactly dive into the end zone like Penn State receiver Greg Garrity did. But the pass from PSU quarterback Todd Blackledge looks so much like Tagovailoa’s pass to Smith that it’s eerie. The final scores were almost the same, too! Georgia lost 26-23 to Alabama, and 27-23 to Penn State.
The two plays aren’t exactly the same, of course. Blackledge’s TD pass was 47 yards while Tagovailoa’s was 41. Alabama’s touchdown was in overtime and it ended the game, while Penn State’s was in the fourth quarter with time left on the clock. But the eventual result was the same: Georgia loses the game and the national title.
Time heals all wounds. Eventually Georgia fans will move on from this heartbreak and the image of that Alabama touchdown pass will fade a little from memory. Until Georgia loses another big game on a touchdown and the internet reminds them that it’s all happened before.
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