No. 2 Alabama roars back for 41-24 win over No. 3 Georgia

Alabama coach Nick Saban leads his team to the field before an NCAA college football game. File photo. (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – A positive COVID-19 test couldn’t keep Nick Saban from the sideline, and Georgia’s heralded defense had scant hope of keeping Alabama’s playmakers out of the end zone.

Mac Jones passed for 417 yards and four touchdowns and the No. 2 Crimson Tide picked apart No. 3 Georgia in the second half of a 41-24 victory Saturday night. It ended up being a decisive 'Bama victory in a collision of the Southeastern Conference’s last remaining unbeaten teams.

The Crimson Tide (4-0), with Saban stalking the sideline after all, rallied with three touchdowns in a 10-minute span starting late in the third quarter.

The nation's top scoring offense ultimately got the emphatic upper hand in a battle with the Bulldogs (3-1) and one of the nation's best defenses.

“This was an obvious great win against a very, very good football team,” said Saban, who was cleared early in the day after a false COVID positiv e. "I was very proud of the way our guys fought in the game.

“I sort of knew it was going to be a 15-round fight and we wouldn’t be winning until the late rounds.”

Georgia had no answer for Jones and star receivers Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith, especially with Alabama's own beleaguered defense grabbing two second-half interceptions and three overall. Freshman Malachi Moore had one at the goal line and returned it 42 yards.

Smith caught 11 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns, including one in the fourth quarter that effectively put it out of reach.