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George Pickens makes highlight reel catch, sticks a smooth landing

Georgia Pickens showed up in force Monday night.

ATLANTA — The College Football Playoff National Championship kicked off with a bang Monday night, and one of Georgia's top wide receivers delivered the game's first highlight moment.

Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver George Pickens is back after being out for most of the season due to an injury, as well as being sidelined by COVID protocols in the postseason. While the star player only made it onto the field for a few plays in the Orange Bowl, Pickens was on full display during Monday night's title game.

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The wide receiver earned a highlight reel moment in the first quarter when Stetson Bennett stuck him with a downfield pass. Securing a 52-yard catch, Pickens earned the Dawgs their first major yardage of the night.

The play itself was impressive enough, but the smooth recovery he made after going to ground caught a lot of attention on social media.

The Dawgs eventually converted the play into a field goal.

Indianapolis hosted kickoff for the championship game at 8 p.m. ET from inside Lucas Oil Stadium. The Georgia Bulldogs entered the game with one loss on their record, a blistering postseason defeat to Alabama at the SEC Championship. Facing the Crimson Tide once again, the Dawgs found themselves facing incredible odds for the national title.

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The Georgia Bulldogs had not defeated Alabama since 2007 and had not won a national title since 1980. College football legend Herschel Walker led the Dawgs to their last national title under the leadership of fellow football legend coach Vince Dooley.