3 takeaways following Alabama victory over Ohio State in 2021 National Championship
The Alabama Crimson Tide breezed to their sixith national title under Nick Saban, as DeVonta Smith, Mac Jones and Najee Harris secured a dominant 52-24 victory.
The win caps a perfect season for the Crimson Tide. Alabama jumped out to a 35-17 halftime lead. That meant that the Georgia Bulldogs were the only team to hold a halftime lead over Crimson Tide all season.
Below are 3 takeaways following from the game.
DeVonta Smith unguardable
Georgia fans and Ohio State fans can now swap stories about how Smith tormented them in the championship game.
We don’t need to rehash that Smith was on the receiving end of 2nd-and-26. Instead, we can focus on how Smith diced up the Ohio State secondary for 215 yards and three touchdowns. In the first half. Of the national championship game.
OH MY DEVONTA SMITH 🤯
That makes THREE TOUCHDOWNS for the Heisman winner 🔥 pic.twitter.com/u9qpKEKnTC
— ESPN (@espn) January 12, 2021
Smith won the Heisman Trophy this year and showed once again why he was the best player in the sport.
Smith’s night was ended early in the second half with a hand injury, but it didn’t matter. His performance still earned him MVP honors.
The dominant showing caps an incredible career for Smith. Simply put, he’s one of the greatest wide receivers in the history of college football and he saved his finest performance for last.
Justin Fields plays well, but not well enough
A number of Georgia fans had their eyes on Fields and how he would play in a national title game. A win over Alabama would have plenty feeling some type of way, given Fields started his career at Georgia and the Bulldogs have not won a national title since 1980.
But that scenario never came to be, as Fields and the Ohio State offense couldn’t keep up. It didn’t help that Fields lost running back Trey Sermon following his first carry. Then right before halftime, the Buckeyes lost their top offensive lineman in Wyatt Davis.
Fields finished with 194 yards passing and a team-best 67 yards rushing. He had just one touchdown and the Buckeyes put up the same number of points on the Alabama defense as Stetson Bennett and Georgia did earlier this season in a 41-24. But Ohio State was just so overmatched, it wouldn’t have mattered how well Fields played.
If that was the final game of Fields’ college career — he’s projected to be a top pick in the upcoming NFL draft — it caps a stellar two-year run with the Buckeyes. He led them to back-to-back playoff appearances and was a Heisman finalist in 2019. There was also a six-touchdown performance against Clemson in the semifinals this season.
As for Georgia, many will wonder what-if and what could’ve been with Fields. He had a stellar college career and it’s fair to wonder what it might have looked like if he had a Georgia logo on his helmet for the career.
Alabama was just so dominant
Of course, even if Fields was on the 2020 Georgia team, it would not have mattered. Alabama was beating anybody and everybody this season.
Against an 11-game SEC slate, Notre Dame and Alabama, the Crimson Tide won every game by at least two touchdowns. Only against Georgia did they trail in the second half. Alabama ended that game by shutting out the Bulldogs in the second half and going touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, game-ending six-minute drive on the offensive side of the ball.
The offensive line was the best in the country, winning the Joe Moore Award. Najee Harris was the best running back. Jones was in the conversation for best quarterback in the nation, as he threw 41 touchdowns in 13 games. We’ve already covered Smith’s dominance.
Chrisitan Baramore was a monster for Alabama in the win over Ohio State, likely make himself a lot of NFL money in the process. Cornerback Patrick Surtain limited Chris Olave to 69 yards, his second-lowest of the season.
Even in a shortened season, this Alabama team is one of the best in recent memory. It is only the second time that a Saban team has finished the season with an unbeaten record.
Alabama was far and away the best team in college football. Even a Georgia team with Fields would’ve come up short against this collection of talent.
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