Alabama player who punched an opponent and tried to fight a coach later made a championship-changing play after he was allowed to stay in

  • Alabama completed a huge comeback in the second half and beat Georgia in overtime to win the national championship.
  • Linebacker Mekhi Brown hurt Alabama's chances when he was flagged for striking an opponent in the head after a play.
  • Brown was later seen losing his cool on the bench and going after a coach.
  • Brown was allowed to stay in the game and later made a huge tackle that helped set up Alabama's game-tying touchdown.


Alabama is the college football national champions for the fifth time in nine years, but it wasn't easy.

The Crimson Tide needed a thrilling comeback in the second half, led by a true freshman back-up quarterback, and a long touchdown in overtime to get the win. They also got some help in the fourth quarter from a linebacker whom a lot of people felt shouldn't have even been in the game.

It started late in the third quarter after Alabama kicked a field goal to cut the lead to 20-10. Any momentum Bama seemed to be gaining nearly went out the window on the ensuing kickoff when linebacker Mekhi Brown struck a Georgia player in the face with what appeared to be a punch.


Brown was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, but luckily for him and for Alabama, he was not ejected.

On the sideline, he got an earful from head coach Nick Saban.

Apparently somebody else said something that Brown did not like as a few moments later, he was seen on the sideline trying to fight a coach or staff member.


At this point, most assumed Brown's night was over. He might not have been ejected, but it seemed as if he had at least earned a benching for the rest of the game.

Wrong.

In the fourth quarter, Alabama kicked another field goal to make it a one-score game, 20-13. On the kickoff, Brown was back in the game and he delivered a huge hit to stop the runner.


It was not the biggest play of the game, but it was important.

In a game where field position mattered all night, Georgia was pinned back on their own 14-yard line. Alabama would force a punt after just three plays. With decent field position of their own at that point, the Crimson Tide marched down and scored the game-tying touchdown.

Who knows what would have happened, but maybe Alabama doesn't force overtime if Brown had been benched or sent to the locker room before making his only tackle of the game.

Related: See inside Alabama's celebration: 

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Alabama celebrates winning national championship
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Alabama celebrates winning national championship
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Trevon Diggs #7 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates beating the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime to win the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Alabama Crimson Tide won 26-23. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Jalen Hurts #2 and Shaun Dion Hamilton #20 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrate beating the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime to win the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Alabama Crimson Tide won 26-23. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide holds the trophy while celebrating with his team after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime to win the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: The Alabama Crimson Tide celebrate beating the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime and winning the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. Alabama won 26-23. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide holds the trophy while celebrating with his team after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime to win the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates beating the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime to win the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. Alabama won 26-23. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Rashaan Evans #32 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates with his team after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime to win the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Najee Harris #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates beating the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime to win the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. Alabama won 26-23. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Derek Kief #81 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates beating the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime to win the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. Alabama won 26-23. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: A general view of the stadium as the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates beating the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime and winning the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. Alabama won 26-23. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
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