The Georgia Bulldogs won the 2021-2022 national championship on Monday night, defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.
While the game started out as a field goal fest, the second half saw both teams trade touchdowns and turnovers. No turnover was more backbreaking than the pick-six that Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young threw with just a few minutes remaining. The interception was returned all the way to the house by Kelee Ringo, sealing the deal for a 33-18 victory.
GEORGIA PICK-SIX! pic.twitter.com/Rivb1Lv0cr
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) January 11, 2022
While Georgia fans (and those tired of seeing Alabama win) were excited by the interception, no one was more excited than Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, who practically jumped out of the stadium before chasing Ringo down the sideline, hoping to get him to fall down rather than score the touchdown, thereby allowing Georgia to keep the ball and run down the clock. However, when it was clear Ringo was going to score and put the game pretty much out of reach, he was just as pleased.
Kirby Smart's reaction to the Dawgs' pick-six is amazing 😄 pic.twitter.com/QEVnj72HKg
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 11, 2022
The sight of Smart leaping into the air had college football fans loving the moment and reacting to it on social media immediately.
Kirby Smart jumped so high on that pick you can fit a second Kirby Smart under Kirby Smart pic.twitter.com/hHo6Otyz2l
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) January 11, 2022
The most fitting way for Georgia to seal a national title: On a thrilling interception return after Kirby Smart screamed at the DB to fall down and not score
— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) January 11, 2022
That Kirby Smart jump was incredible
— Josh Furlong (@JFurKSL) January 11, 2022
I love the Kirby Smart "go down" and then "oh he's gonna score, hell yeah…wait, go down, ok score yes yes yes, Ringo that was stupid but good and I love you"
— Michael Felder (@InTheBleachers) January 11, 2022
Smart vertical pic.twitter.com/QapFpDU2jH
— Ⓜ️𝕒𝕣𝕔𝕦𝕤𝔻 ▶️ (@_MarcusD3_) January 11, 2022
We’re not entirely sure how they’ll do it, but when they build the inevitable statue for Smart, the image of him leaping in the air might just be the perfect lasting one for Bulldogs fans.
Smart, who is now one of only five active head coaches to have won a national title, will be celebrating along with his players tonight. It’ll be a well-earned party they’ve been hoping to have since 1980.