ATLANTA — Georgia football saw its historic 29-game win streak — and possibly its quest for a third straight national championship — come to an end in the SEC Championship Game against Alabama.

The Crimson Tide scored a 27-24 victory over the previously unbeaten Bulldogs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday afternoon, capitalizing on Georgia mistakes and converting two key fourth-downs into touchdowns in the second quarter.

The Bulldogs (12-1) and Alabama (12-1) will await the result of the Florida State-Louisville ACC Championship Game on Saturday night, and then see how the 13-member CFP committee chooses the four-team field on Sunday.

Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe was 13-of-23 passing for 192 yards and 2 touchdowns and was sacked four times.

But Milroe came up big on a key fourth-quarter touchdown drive, and then again with a 30-yard run to help ice the game with UGA desperately needing a stop in the final minutes.

Georgia had cut the lead to 27-24 with 2:52 left when Kendall Milton scored on a fourth-down run from the 1-yard line, following the lead block of offensive lineman Micah Morris, who had lined up as a fullback.

Milton powered through would-be tacklers to the 1-yard line on a first-and-goal from the 6, but Beck was turned back on a dive and then Milton was stopped on third-and-goal, leading to a UGA timeout before the scoring play.

Milton’s successful run capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive that was aided by an Alabama face mask penalty after Beck was sacked back to the UGA 34.

UGA made the most of the penalty as Beck hit Mekhi Mews for 14 yards to the Tide 26, and then Brock Bowers reeled in a catch for another 14 yards to the 6 to set up the goal line sequence.

Beck finished 21-of-29 passing for 243 yards, also scoring a touchdown on a 1-yard dive and was sacked twice.

The Bulldogs’ top two receiving threats, Brock Bowers and Ladd McConkey, played but were limited by injuries after not practicing the two weeks leading up to the game.

Bowers 5 catches for 53 yards and McConkey 3 for 38, even as it was clear each player was not 100 percent.

Georgia out-gained Alabama 321-306, but the Bulldogs trailed 20-10 entering the fourth quarter and could not mount a comeback.

The Bulldogs win streak started with a win over Michigan in the 2021 CFP Orange Bowl semifinal after it had lost to Alabama in this same building in the 2021 SEC Championship Game by a 41-24 count.

The Tide’s win over the Bulldogs moved Alabama’s record over Georgia in SEC Championship Games to 4-0.

Special teams spark

Georgia turned to its punt return team to attempt a fourth-quarter comeback, as freshman Anthony Evans went deep as a double safety with Mekhi Mews on a punt return.

Evans fielded the punt and returned it 28 yards to the Alabama 35, bringing the Bulldogs’ fans to their feet and changing the flow of the game.

Two Milton runs and a third-down pass interference penalty moved Georgia to the Tide’s 16-yard line, and then Ladd McConkey gained 15 yards on a catch to set up a 1-yard TD dive by Beck that cut the deficit to 20-17 with 10:16 left.

Alabama answered with a touchdown to go back up by 10 points on the ensuing drive, going 75 yards on 9 plays as Milroe carved up the Georgia defense with four passes to Isaiah Bond that netted 57 of those yards, including a 13-yard completion after scrambling away from UGA pass rushers on third-and-2.

Alabama fourth-down conversions

The Tide was down 7-3 in the second quarter when it went for a fourth-and-1 at the Georgia 20, Roydell Williams converting with a 2-yard run.

Two plays later, Jamarion Miller raced wide open, UGA freshman linebacker Raylen Wilson racing helplessly behind in pursuit, and Jalen Milroe delivered a 28-yard TD strike to put Alabama up 10-7.

The Tide cashed in on another fourth-down conversion on its next drive, still up 10-7, Nick Saban elected to go for a fourth-and-4 at the Bulldogs’ 37.

Milroe found Isaiah Bond for a 17-yard gain to the Georgia 15-yard line to extend the drive.

Two plays later, Milroe hit Burton for a 15-yard touchdown to make it 17-7 with 48 seconds left in the first half

Push back to miss

Georgia cost itself 3 points in the first half with two uncharacteristic negative plays that led to kicker Peyton Woodring missing a career-long 50-yard field goal attempt, the football clanking off the upright and snapping a streak of 16 consecutive made field goals.

Prior to the field goal attempt, a third-and-12 turned into a fourth-and-17 after Dallas Turner ran through the block of Earnest Greene and sacked Beck for a 6-yard loss, and then prior to the attempt Jared Wilson was whistled for a false start.

Explosive play for 3

Smart said at halftime Georgia would take an aggressive approach and Beck followed through on that promise on its second possession when he hit Arian Smith for a 51-yard gain.

Smith used a head fake to mimic and in-route before racing past Tide cornerback Jaylen Key, turning to catch the slightly under thrown ball at the Alabama 19 leading to a 34-yard field goal that cut the deficit to 17-10 a the 8:51 mark of the third quarter.

Turnover surrenders 3

Georgia trailed 17-10 when it turned it over on their own 11-yard line, Beck and Bell botching an end around exchange. The ball bounding loose in the backfield and Alabama’s Trezman Marshall, a former UGA linebacker who transferred after last season, fell on the ball for the recovery.

The Tide converted the turnover into 3 points with a 28-yard field goal for a 20-10 lead, but it would have been more if Javon Bullard hadn’t knocked the ball out of Burton’s hands in the end zone.