The Latest: Georgia arrives with backup TE on crutches

ATLANTA/January 8, 2018 (AP)(STL.News) —     The Latest on the College Football Playoff national football championship game on Monday night (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

Georgia won’t be at full strength at tight end in its national championship game against Alabama.

Sophomore Charlie Woerner, who set a career high with three catches in the Bulldogs’ Rose Bowl playoff win over Oklahoma last week, was on crutches when the team entered Mercedes-Benz Stadium for Monday night’s game.

Coach Kirby Smart said Sunday Woerner’s status was doubtful after the sophomore suffered a leg injury in last week’s win, so the crutches were not a big surprise.

Woerner, listed with Isaac Nauta behind starting tight end Jeb Blazevich, had nine catches for 100 yards this season.

Woerner is the nephew of former Georgia defensive back and return specialist Scott Woerner, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Scott Woerner was a standout on Georgia’s 1980 national championship team.

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3:30 a.m.

No. 4 Alabama faces No. 3 Georgia in an all-Southeastern Conference College Football Playoff national championship game Monday night.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban tries to tie former Alabama coach Bear Bryant’s record six major poll national championships. Saban has led the Tide to four national championships since 2009, and the last three national championship games.

Georgia, coached by former Saban assistant Kirby Smart, is looking for its first national championship since 1980.

The Bulldogs feature the most prolific running back combination in college football in senior Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. They combined for six touchdowns in the Bulldogs semifinal victory against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl.

Alabama has to No. 1 rushing defense in the country and smothered Clemson in the Sugar Bowl semifinal to get here.

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by Associated Press – published on STL.News by St. Louis Media, LLC (ZS)

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