Alabama wins 18th national Championship in rout over Ohio State
Number one-ranked Alabama received its 18th College Football National Championship in dominant fashion over No. 3 Ohio state, 52-24 Monday, Jan. 11.
The undefeated Crimson Tide still dominated college football even during a pandemic year. A year that was full of uncertainty whether the season would happen or not.
The 13-0 Crimson Tide prevailed through a season that featured many different routes to the College Football Playoff, dominating the SEC winning 11 games in their conference.
“To me, this team accomplished more than almost any team,” head coach Nick Saban said. “No disrespect to other teams we had but this team won 11 SEC games. No other team has done that. They won the SEC and went undefeated in the SEC and then they beat two great teams in the playoffs with no break. I think there’s going to be quite a bit to write about the legacy of this team.”
The Crimson Tide won the game with their aggressive run schemes and misdirectional passing plays.
Quarterback Mac Jones led Alabama's offense to pure perfection, throwing for 464 passing yards and five touchdowns.
Running back Najee Harris was a dual threat for the Crimson Tide, recording 22 carries for 79 yards and two touchdowns while also tallying seven receptions for 79 yards and one touchdown.
Hesiman trophy winner and Offensive Player of the National Championship game, wide Receiver DeVonta Smith was unstoppable and a man on a mission.
Smith recorded 12 receptions for 215 receiving yards and three touchdowns in the first half.
Smith is potentially the best receiver to come out of Alabama behind alumni, Julio Jones, current wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons.
“Heaven knows what he would have done if he played the whole game,” Saban said,
Smith did not play in the second half due to an hand injury.
Fellow wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, attempted to play on an ankle he injured in October. Waddle played with a few screws in his ankle after having surgery earlier in the season.
The end of his rehab due date was Monday, the same day as the National Championship game.
Most of the reaction on Twitter opted for Waddle to sit out the game in hopes of continuing his career at the next level.
The injury could have gotten worse and could have potentially been detrimental to his draft value and the possibility of a professional playing career.
The Crimson Tide’s speed and physicality was too much for the Buckeyes, as Ohio State was unable to stop Alabama despite forcing the only turnover of the game.
Ohio State showed signs of early life, competing with the Crimson Tide shortly after their starting running back, Trey Sermon, was injured on the first drive.
He was transported to the nearest hospital to be treated for and examined.
Sermon’s speed and elusiveness in the Buckeyes offense was very much needed and missed as they had a hard time moving the ball on the Tide’s aggressive and hard-hitting defense.
“I think there’s a feeling of, if you don’t score you’re going to get behind and then the pressure mounts,” Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day said.
Quarterback Justin Fields, was going into the National Championship game 95 percent healthy after taking a shot to the ribs against Clemson.
The rib injury could have played a factor in their outcome but Fields seemed determined throughout the game to put his team into a position to win.
Fields threw for 194 yards and a touchdown but that was not enough against the kings of the SEC.
The turning point in the game was at the 6:13 minute marker in the second quarter.
Alabama's safety, Jordan Battle, was ejected for targeting, giving the Buckeyes a first and goal, resulting in a field goal and not a touchdown.
Fields showed his mobility throughout the game but not when he needed it most. He could have become more of a mobile quarterback instead he turned himself into a pocket passer against Alabama.
Again, the rib injury may have played a bigger part than Fields leads on.
The Buckeyes will be preparing for another season where they want revenge as they never forget their losses.
This National Title game could have been Field’s last college football game of his career, however, the way he spoke today hints that he may come back for his senior year.
“We did not get the result that we wanted,” Fields said. “That is just going to make us work harder, you know this team deals with adversity very well, we have been through a lot of adversities this past year. I think we are going to just use it as fuel, to get back in the offseason and just work.”
The Crimson Tide will be losing a lot of seniors including Waddle, Smith and Harris along with 10 more seniors preparing themselves for the NFL Draft.
The program will now start their recruiting process as they look forward to having the number one draft class again for another year.
Saban will be looking for a new offensive coordinator for next season's team as this year's offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian will be moving on and joining the Texas Longhorns as their next head coach.
With a huge senior class preparing for the draft you can guarantee Saban will be ready for another National Title run after this year's team left their hearts on the field game in and game out.
“We all had a mission trying to end things the right way,” Smith said. “We all went to work and it ended the way we wanted.”
Saban is no stranger to National Championships as he has now recorded his seventh championship, tying him for the most in history for a head coach, passing Alabama great Paul “Bear” Bryant in the process.
Saban has six with Alabama in the last 12 years and one with LSU.
He was asked how he was able to process what it meant to him to win seven National Championships.
“I’m just happy that we won tonight,” Saban said. “I really had not thought about that cause you always look forward but I just love this team so much and what they have been able to do, I can’t even put it into words.”