Georgia is trying to do something that Alabama almost did a season ago -- win a national title with a true freshman at quarterback.
Now, Jake Fromm gets his chance for Georgia on Monday night in the College Football Playoff Championship Game, which will be played only a little more than 100 miles away from his home in Warner Robins, Ga., at Atlanta's new $1.6 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The only true freshman to guide his team to a national title was Jamelle Holieway, who did it more than three decades ago for Oklahoma after taking over when Troy Aikman broke his leg in the fourth game of the season.
Fromm isn't the dynamic running threat that Hurts is, but there is no questioning his intriguing storyline.
Fromm, who played in the Little League World Series, was headed to Alabama before Kirby Smart was hired from the Crimson Tide to take over the Bulldogs.
Smart, who was the defensive coordinator with Alabama, inherited a top quarterback recruit at Georgia in Jacob Eason, but the coach took advantage of the bond he had established with Fromm to get him to flip and join his second Bulldogs' class.
"We were excited to have him be a part of our program, but we also understood when Kirby went to Georgia and Kirby was recruiting him that there was a chance of that happening," Alabama coach Nick Saban said.
"No doubt that he had all the ingredients and intangibles that you're looking for (in) a guy to lead your team and be your quarterback, and we were disappointed that we didn't get him."
Eason, up and down as a freshman, maintained the starting job for Georgia going into the season, but he hurt his knee early in the opening victory over Appalachian State. Fromm took over and never gave the job back.
Although the Georgia offense is built around the running of seniors Nick Chubb and Sony Michael, Fromm began to contribute more as the season went on, finishing with 23 touchdown passes to five interceptions and a completion percentage of 63.7.
Two of those TD passes came in the 54-48 double-overtime victory over Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl. Fromm, who finished 20 of 29 for 210 yards, also made a key throw on third down as the Bulldogs drove for the tying touchdown at the end of regulation.
"Jake continues to grow as a player," Smart said. "He puts us in the right play. He makes good decisions with the ball. He protects the ball. He does a lot of good things, and I'm really proud of his growth.
"He played in probably ... one of the most competitive leagues in all of high school football across the country, so he was more prepared for this than your average freshman. But he's done a tremendous job handling it, and he's a good leader."
Alabama's defense, though, figures to be a lot tougher than Oklahoma's.
The Crimson Tide's 24-6 revenge victory over defending national champ Clemson in the Sugar Bowl was all about defense, with the Tigers managing only 188 yards.
Alabama gained just 266 yards, with one of its touchdowns coming on an interception return.
"There were some things that I think we need to do better offensively, and I think that's a team thing, not just a quarterback thing," Saban said.
Hurts, who hasn't put up the stats he did a season ago when he was the SEC's offensive player of the year, was 16 of 24 for 120 yards last week. Hurts gained 40 yards on 11 rushes.
The Texas native has 720 fewer passing yards than in 2016 and 146 fewer yards rushing, while accounting for 25 touchdowns, compared to 36 a season ago. On the positive side, he has just one interception in 246 attempts and seems to have improved his downfield passing, although Alabama doesn't often have rely on that.
"I'm my biggest critic. I've said it plenty of times before," Hurts said.
"Nobody can be more critical on me than I can myself, and the biggest thing is just being able to learn from experiences and being able to fix them in the future. So like every game, we try and learn from the mistakes and get better at them and not make them again."
Hurts' play was especially under the microscope after Alabama's loss at rival Auburn to end the regular season. The appraisal wasn't favorable.
"That's probably the nature of the beast," he said of criticism. "It comes with it, and my job is to win football games here and handle things the appropriate way."