Did Stetson Bennett fumble ball on pivotal Georgia drive vs. Alabama?

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Alabama and Georgia waited to produce their first controversial play of Monday's College Football Playoff championship until perhaps the biggest point in the game.

Facing third-and-8 from his 27, Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett rolled right to avoid pressure from an oncoming Alabama blitz. He appeared to throw the ball away, resulting in an incomplete pass or — at worst — intentional grounding. Except: ACC officials calling the game ruled he had lost control of the ball prior to his arm moving forward, resulting in a fumble recovered by Alabama.

MORE: Alabama vs. Georgia live score, updates, highlights from 2022 College Football Playoff championship

Here is the play in question:

The play went to review, with officials taking their time to come up with their call. Below is a view of Malachi Moore recovering the ball along the sideline.

MORE: Jameson Williams injury update: Alabama WR leaves national championship vs. Georgia with knee injury

The fumble call was eventually upheld, giving Alabama a first down at the Georgia 16. Five plays later, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young hit tight end Cameron Latu for the Crimson Tide's first touchdown of the game. Following a failed 2-point conversion, Alabama led 18-13.

Georgia returned the favor on its ensuing drive, as Bennett completed a 40-yard touchdown pass to Adonai Mitchell for his first touchdown of the game. Following a failed 2-point conversion by the Bulldogs, Georgia led 19-18 with 8:09 left to play.

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