What Alabama football's DBs said about key interceptions in SEC championship vs Georgia

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  • Stetson Bennett
    American football quarterback
  • Jordan Battle
    American football safety
  • Bryce Young
    American football quarterback

ATLANTA — One of the biggest differences between Alabama football and Georgia that allowed the Crimson Tide to pull away with a 41-24 SEC Championship Game win on Saturday was the quarterback play.

While Alabama's Bryce Young threw for 421 yards and three touchdowns in a Heisman Trophy effort, Georgia's Stetson Bennett threw two key interceptions. One was returned 42 yards for a touchdown by Alabama safety Jordan Battle, making it 38-17 in the second half.

"He's a leader for this defense. He's a leader on this team," junior defensive back DeMarcco Hellams said. "I always told him, in big-time games, big-time players make big-time plays. Jordan knew we needed a play, and he did a great job making a play and he did a great job finishing."

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Hellams had Alabama's other interception, halting a promising second-half drive for Bennett and Georgia's offense. Edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. forced Bennett out of the pocket on the play, leading to a bad throw.

"I saw the tight end coming across," Hellams said. "I saw Will. He had good pressure on the quarterback. I knew he had to deliver the ball soon, and when the ball is in the air, I feel like it's mine every time."

The secondary had been an area of concern late in the season, most notably after allowing Arkansas to throw for 358 yards two weeks ago in a near-upset. But since then, the defensive backs have stepped up; a key Josh Jobe interception ignited the Tide's 10-point fourth-quarter comeback at Auburn a week ago.

The game-changing defensive plays added up again in the SEC Championship Game thanks to solid game-planning, Battle thought.

"I think the main thing in this game was our disguises," he said. "We put in a lot of disguises this week. That was the big thing. Just have (Bennett's) eyes wandering around before the play. I think we did a good job on the back end and linebackers stemming and disguising. So I think that was a big part of the game."

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: What Alabama DBs said about key interceptions in SEC Championship Game

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