Sports

Matt Stafford becomes second starting QB to win Super Bowl the same season his alma mater won national title


Matt Stafford led the Los Angeles Rams to the franchise’s second Lombardi Trophy on Sunday night in a 23-20 triumph over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. In coming from behind at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, Stafford also helped his alma mater achieve a rare feat.

Stafford, who starred at Georgia from 2006-08, is just the second starting quarterback to win the Super Bowl in the same season his alma mater won the college football national championship. He’s the first to do so since the start of the BCS era when the sport’s national title has been determined in a championship game.

The only other QB to accomplish that feat was Joe Montana, who led the San Francisco 49ers to football’s biggest prize at Super Bowl XXIII in 1988, the same season Notre Dame won the AP and UPI national championships. 

Stafford was 26 of 40 for 283 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in the win on Sunday night. His touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp with 1:25 left put the Rams ahead late with the L.A. defense ultimately sealing the deal.

The Super Bowl ring is a long time coming for Stafford, who spent 12 years with the Detroit Lions without winning a playoff game (0-3). The former No. 1 overall draft pick in 2009 won four straight for the Rams in these playoffs en route to the title.

As for Georgia, it topped SEC rival Alabama 33-18 on Jan. 10 to win the College Football Playoff National Championship and claim its first title since 1980.

Montana was 23 of 36 for 357 yards and two touchdowns in a 20-16 win over (coincidentally) Bengals. It was the first of back-to-back Super Bowl wins for Montana and the 49ers. That year, Notre Dame locked up its national title with consecutive wins over No. 2 USC and No. 3 West Virginia (in the Fiesta Bowl) to earn the championship in the minds of AP voters.

There has only been one other quarterback in the Super Bowl era to start the big game in the same season his alma mater won an FBS national championship. Jim Kelly’s Buffalo Bills lost to now-Washington Commannders 37-24 in Super Bowl XXVI following the 1991 season. It was the same year that Miami went 12-0 and split the national title with Washington.





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