By JOHN ZENOR, AP Sports Writer

Bryce Young couldn’t deliver another dramatic drive with his two best wide receivers watching from the sideline.

Not with the nation’s best defense in the way.

The Alabama sophomore had his Heisman Trophy-winning season effectively ended by a last-minute pick six in a 33-18 loss to Georgia in the College Football Playoff championship game Monday night in Indianapolis.

Young pushed the Crimson Tide across midfield in the final two minutes before Kelee Ringo picked off an underthrown downfield pass intended for backup Traeshon Holden and returned it 79 yards for the back-breaking touchdown.

Stuck playing catchup in the fourth quarter, Alabama desperately could have used either of its top pass catchers.

All-American Jameson Williams appeared to injure his left knee in the first half and didn’t return, joining fellow 1,000-yard receiver John Metchie III on Alabama’s injured list. That took away the nation’s top deep threat and the chance to fire away to the speedster with four touchdowns of at least 70 yards.

Young finished his first season as a starter going 35 of 57 for 369 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.

Williams had four catches for 65 yards after a seven-catch, 184-yard, two-touchdown performance in the Southeastern Conference title game against the Bulldogs.

Metchie was out with a knee injury sustained in the first half of that first meeting. They had been Young’s go-to receivers all season.

Without his favorite targets, the steady-handed Young was left with less experienced targets like Agiye Hall, Ja’Corey Brooks and Holden. All talented, all fairly green.

When Alabama took over with eight minutes left down a point, Young threw an incompletion to Hall and a pass to Slade Bolden was broken up.

He got it across midfield with a 12-yard pass to tight end Cameron Latu before two incompletions to Brooks and the fateful pick. Brooks had nabbed the biggest catch of the season late against Auburn, when Young marched the Crimson Tide 97 yards to force overtime.

The offense had to settle for five Will Reichard field goal attempts Monday. He made four and had a 48-yarder blocked late in the third quarter.

Latu did have five catches for 102 yards and a 3-yard touchdown.

More AP college football: and

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tagged in: