Dec 13, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron (5) throws the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
2012 SEC Championship Game – Murray vs. McCarron
Alabama Football and Georgia entered the SEC Championship Game with one loss each, in large part because of the performance of their veteran quarterbacks. Both juniors, Murray was in his third season as a starter and McCarron was in his second.
After falling to the South Carolina Gamecocks early in October, Georgia escaped with a close win at Kentucky but was dominant for the rest of the regular season. The Bulldogs beat rivals Florida, Auburn, and Georgia Tech by a combined score of 97-19.
The Tide started off 9-0 and welcomed first-year SEC member Texas A&M to Tuscaloosa with hopes of clinching the SEC West. Instead, Texas A&M used an afternoon CBS game to introduce the country to redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel and defeat the Tide 29-24. Alabama clinched the West two weeks later in a 49-0 blowout win over rival Auburn.
For the first time since the 2009 season, the SEC Championship Game was again a de facto semifinal game. No.1 Notre Dame had already completed their undefeated regular season, and the SEC Champion was all but guaranteed to face the Irish in the BCS Championship.
After a messy first quarter that ended scoreless, Georgia used a fake punt to convert a 4th down on a drive that ended in a 19-yard touchdown pass. Eddie Lacy ripped off a 41-yard touchdown run to respond, and a Ha Ha Clinton-Dix interception set up a Jeremy Shelley field goal as time expired to send the Tide to the locker room with a 10-7 lead.
Georgia responded with two touchdowns coming out of the half, one on a Todd Gurley run and one on a blocked Cade Foster field goal. Alabama responded with a TJ Yeldon touchdown, then took the lead early in the 4th quarter with an Eddie Lacy touchdown.
Georgia used an excellent drive by quarterback Aaron Murray to try to stage a last minute comeback, but a pass caught on the 5 yard line ran the clock out and sealed the 32-28 victory for the Tide.
Next: 2012 BCS National Championship