The last time Alabama and Ohio State met was the first year of the College Football Playoff. The Crimson Tide was the top-seeded team, but no one knew what to expect in the Sugar Bowl.
The Buckeyes leaned on a stellar night from running back Ezekiel Elliott, who ripped through Alabama’s defense for 230 rushing yards and two scores on 20 carries during a 42-35 victory.
Ohio State was also led by, third-string quarterback Cardale Jones, who was forced into action after injuries to J.T. Barrett and Braxton Miller.
Ohio State fell behind, 21-6, midway through the second quarter before going on a 28-0 run to take a 34-21 lead late in the third quarter.
The Buckeyes went on to face Oregon in the national title game, winning 42-20 to earn the program’s first national championship since 2002.
Nick Saban later called it a learning experience, that Alabama hadn’t prepared appropriately for the playoff and would adjust accordingly. The Crimson Tide won the 2015 and 2017 national titles.
Alabama vs. Ohio State
What: College Football Playoff National Championship Game
When: Monday, 11 January, 2021, 7:15 p.m. CT
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla.
TV: ESPN (Chris Fowler play-by-play, Kirk Herbstreit analyst, and Maria Taylor reporter)
Radio: Crimson Tide Sports Network (Play-By-Play: Eli Gold, Analyst: John Parker Wilson, Sideline: Rashad Johnson, Host: Chris Stewart).
Alabama’s last game: The top-ranked Crimson Tide defeated Notre Dame 31-14 in the Rose Bowl, which was relocated to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, due to coronavirus regulations in California. Mac Jones went 25-for-30 and threw for 297 yards with four touchdowns. DeVonta Smith, the Offensive Player of the Game, caught seven passes for 130 yards, tying the Rose Bowl record and setting the Alabama bowl mark with three receiving touchdowns. Najee Harris ran for 125 yards on just 15 attempts, while adding 30 receiving yards on four catches. Patrick Surtain II was named the Defensive Player of the Game. Alabama totaled 437 yards of offense, including 297 receiving and 140 rushing, while the defense held the Irish to just two rushing touchdowns.https://9a11413ba705e7e461cb1e33cab67cfc.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
Ohio State’s last game: The No. 3 Buckeyes won a 49-28 shootout over No. 2 Clemson in the Sugar Bowl. Quarterback Justin Fields tied the school record for touchdown passes with six scores for 385 yards, while running back Trey Sermon also had another monster game, registering 252 total yards, including 191 on the ground. Chris Olave returned to action in elite fashion with six catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns. Fields is a transfer from Georgia, while Sermon previously played for Oklahoma.
Series: Alabama had a 3-1 lead.