Arlington, TX—The Rose Bowl had a different feeling being that it wasn’t in Pasadena, California due to Covid-19 spiking in that state. But no matter where the Rose Bowl is played it is still the Grand Daddy of all the bowls.
No. 1 ranked Alabama beat fourth-ranked Notre Dame 31-14 in the Rose Bowl Game in the Rose Bowl at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. The Tide led by as many as 24 points in the fourth before the Irish scored with less than minute to play.
Notre Dame drop to 0-7 in BCS bowl games since 1998 and have been outscored by 161 points, with all seven losses by at least 14 points.
“This wasn’t a matter of getting knocked off the ball or not having enough players to compete against Alabama,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. “This was about making plays. They made plays on the perimeter. They have the Associated Press college football player of the year DeVonta Smith, who made some dynamic plays. We battled. We were right there.”
Bama quarterback Mac Jones was on his game completing 25 of 30 passes for 297 yards and four touchdowns, while Smith displayed why he is the front runner to win the Heisman in a few days. The Heisman hopeful had 130 yards and three touchdowns on seven catches. Smith, named the Offensive MVP of the Rose Bowl consistently won one-on-one match-ups against the Irish defenders.
The Tide are loaded with talent with running back Najee Harris, tackle Alex Leatherwood, and injured center Landon Dickerson earning first-team AP All-America honors. The trio lived up to all the talk even against one of the best defenses in the country, totaling 437 yards at 7.9 yards per play.
Smith caught a little a screen pass and took it 26 yards to paydirt for a score, but the play everyone is talking about– Najee Harris’ hurdle on a 53-yard run in the first. Harris finished the contest with 125 yards on 15 rushes.
Down by 14-0 points, Notre Dame put together a 15-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that took up more than eight minutes on the clock and ended with a touchdown on fourth-and-goal. But the Tide got the ball and drove 84 yards for a touchdown on a drive that lasted less than three minutes. Alabama first three drives all ended in touchdowns and was moving down the field against the Irish with ease. Notre Dame’s sole touchdown drive came at the end of the fourth quarter.
The Crimson Tide is vying to win its third national title in six seasons and sixth since 2009 under coach Nick Saban. Bama will be playing in their eighth title game in 14 seasons under coach Saban.
Irish quarterback Ian Book completed 27 of 39 passes for 229 yards and an interception. He also rushed for a 1-yard touchdown. Running back Kyren Williams rushed 16 times for 64 yards and a touchdown.
The Crimson Tide only led Notre Dame 437-375 in total yardage, Alabama were in total control throughout the contest and never was in danger of losing.
For the fifth time in seven years, Alabama is heading to the College Football Playoff national championship game in Florida.
“We’re gonna keep getting back here, and I’m sorry if you don’t like it, or if the national media doesn’t like it, but we’re gonna go back to work. We’re gonna keep recruiting, and we’re gonna put ourselves back in this position again. We had the opportunity. You watched the game. I watched the game. And I’m not taking it personal, because these questions keep coming up like we have to reinvent ourselves. We were physical today.” Coach Kelly said after the game.