Coming into the championship game, nobody had been able to stop No. 1 Alabama, and No. 3 Ohio State was no different, as the Crimson Tide dominated en route to a 52-24 blowout victory.
It was the Crimson Tide’s sixth national championship in 12 years under head coach Nick Saban and arguably one of the most complete teams in NCAA history. And with in-conference only games due to COVID-19, Alabama was the first team to beat 11 SEC teams in a given year for a perfect 11-0 all-league record.
“I think we’re the best team to ever play,” said Alabama quarterback Mac Jones.
Monday’s contest was DeVonta Smith and Mac Jones show as the duo combined for three touchdowns in the first half en route to a 35-17 halftime lead. Smith, showed everyone why he won the Heisman Trophy as the wide receiver hauled in 12 catches for 215 yards and three scores. The 6-foot-1 senior even missed most of the second half after suffering an injury to one of his fingers early in the third quarter.
“Heaven knows what he would have done if he played the whole game,” Saban said.
Smith, who finished his freshman season by catching the 2017 national championship-winning touchdown pass from Tua Tagovailoa, ended his Alabama career as the leading career receiver in Southeastern Conference history and the most outstanding offensive player of his third title game.
Jones, a 6-foot-3 junior, had a record-breaking performance as well as he completed 36 of 45 passes for 464 yards and five touchdowns. Running back Najee Harris added 79 yards rushing and two touchdowns to lead the Crimson Tide on the ground.
With the victory, it was career title No. 7 overall for Saban, breaking a tie with Alabama great Paul “Bear” Bryant for the most by a major college coach.
“To me this is the ultimate team,” Saban said. “There is more togetherness on this team than on almost any team we’ve ever had. They’ve had to overcome and to persevere so much through this season, and they have done it magnificently.”
Ohio State (7-1) just couldn’t keep up. Justin Fields, playing what might be his last game before heading to the NFL, passed for 194 yards and a touchdown. Whether Fields was 100% after taking a brutal hit to the side during his brilliant semifinal performance against Clemson was hard to know for sure.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, just 15,000 fans were allowed in at Hard Rock Stadium, which usually seats 65,326.