For the fifth time in seven years, Alabama heads to the college football playoff national championship game.
The Crimson Tide downed fourth-ranked Notre Dame 31-14 in the Rose Bowl, a final score that doesn’t show how much Alabama dominated the game. if not for a garbage-time touchdown late in the fourth quarter, alabama would have secured a win that would also have covered an incredible 20-point spread.
Alabama’s Big Three, Mac Jones, Najee Harris and Devonta Smith, did it again on Friday, with Jones completing 25 of 30 passes for 297 yards and four touchdowns. three of them went to smith, who had seven receptions for 130 yards in addition to his scores. Harris, despite not rushing for a touchdown, had 15 carries for 125 yards that included a high-flying rush and run that set a tidal score.
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notre dame played admirably but couldn’t keep up with alabama, which had a clear advantage in both size and talent at at&t stadium in arlington, texas. quarterback ian book completed 27 of 39 passes for 229 yards and an interception. he also ran for a 1-yard touchdown. running back kyren williams rushed 16 times for 64 yards and a touchdown.
Sporting News tracked score updates and highlights from Alabama vs. Notre Dame in the college football playoff semifinal. see the complete results of the rose bowl 2021:
score of alabama vs. notre dame
alabama vs. notre dame live updates, highlights
(all eastern times)
end: alabama 31, notre dame 14
7:34 PM m.: alabama tattoo book once again when your pass is left incomplete. that will make it final: 31-14, alabama. the crimson tide heads to its fifth national title game in seven years.
19:33: time out, notre dame (0:01)
7:32 PM m.: the book avoids the fast pass again and rumbles for a first down on the 15th.
7:31 PM m.: false start and a quick catch make him third and 12 from 30 with 11 seconds remaining.
7:30 p.m. m.: jobe is now called for pass interference, giving notre dame a first down at the 28-yard line with approximately 20 seconds remaining.
7:29 PM m.: The book narrowly avoids capture and battles for a first place finish at Alabama 42 with about 30 seconds remaining.
7:27 PM m.: onside kick, notre dame. smith throws the ball on the onside kick and owusu-koramoah is there to bring it to the notre dame 47.
7:25 PM m.: touchdown, notre dame. two plays later, the book fakes the handoff to go in for the touchdown. that makes it 31-14, alabama, with 56 seconds remaining, and that’s going to make some bettors very unhappy.
19:24: notre dame has it first and goal from 1.
7:21 p.m.: and now nick saban is called for unsportsmanlike conduct. That gives Notre Dame the ball at 25. It looks like he was letting someone have it when the umpire behind him casually tossed a flag.
7:21 PM m.: patrick surtain ii has the pick but falls just out of bounds.
7:21 PM m.: the book tattoos again, but hands the fourth downconversion pass to avery williams. the irish are driving on the alabama 40.
7:20 PM m.: It looks like Notre Dame will do it on 4th and 8 instead of waving the white flag.
19:18: time out, notre dame (3:35)
7:17 PM m.: clearance time, notre dame. this is probably alabama’s last chance to get 35 points, if you care about such things.
7:16 PM m.: demarcco hellams comes in for a corner blitz and chases the book down the field for a 2-yard loss. that brings third and 8.
7:15 PM m.: The book is absolutely tattooed by Chris Allen, but you have to give the quarterback credit for throwing a ball upfield for the first down near Notre Dame 45.
19:11: notre dame will take over at its 20th anniversary after the fair.
7:10 PM m.: jones is intentionally grounded out on third down (not that it matters). alabama will punt on fourth and 17. will the tidal streak of 35-point games end here in the semifinal?
7:06 PM m.: jones has smith open, but it’s a rare drop from him. Fortunately for Alabama, Notre Dame defensive lineman Justin Ademilola is called for roughing up the quarterback. the tide has him first in his own 41.
7:05 PM m.: metchie takes the fast catch and works for 10 yards and a first down. the tide driving at its 24.
7:01 PM m.: downs rotation, notre dame. the book pass does not reach its recipient. It’s unclear if Alabama got a hand at the line of scrimmage, but either way, the tide took over with 8:43 remaining in the game.
7p. m.: skowronek’s book attempt fails with jobe on defense. fourth and 10 approaches and the Irish offense stays on the field.
6:59 PM m.: Two notre dame players receive an illegal change and nullify an irish touchdown. the irish have it second and 15 from alabama’s 18.
6:58 PM m.: and there is another one, until the 13th. good opportunity for notre dame to score here, although it may be a bit late to come back.
6:57 PM m.: there’s another first down for notre dame, this one at alabama’s 31.
6:55 PM m.: notre dame throws a high ball down the sideline, but javon mckinley brings it up 18 yards after moving it. he is the first down, notre dame, since his 43rd.
6:54 PM m.: caught at notre dame fair, 25 yard line. routine.
6:52 PM m.: good news, it seems that the book will be able to come out again after the injury.
6:50 PM m.: field goal, alabama. will reichard is still perfect for the season. He kicks a 41-yard shot through the posts to make it 31-7, Alabama, with 12:45 remaining in the game. he is now 13-for-13 on field goal attempts.
6:49 PM m.: There’s the first carry by backup brian robinson. he goes for 1 yard to get to third and 9. alabama seems more determined to run out time than to move up the score.
6:48 PM m.: third chance? give it to harris He gets 13 yards to the Alabama 29 for a first down.
end of third term: alabama 28, notre dame 7
6:44 PM m.: a 2-yard gain by harris leaves third and 8 for alabama to convert on notre dame’s 42. they will try it with the first play of the last quarter .
6:43 PM m.: jones finds a couple of targets at forristall and bolden to give alabama a first down at notre dame 44.
6:41 PM m.: Smith almost breaks up another punt return for a touchdown, but will settle for a 20-yard return to drive Alabama to the 30-yard line.
6:40 PM m.: draw pyne’s reinforcement arrived to finish the search for the book. lasts two moves when bama forces a punt on fourth and 16.
6:36 PM m.: dead time in the field. Book dropped after firing – took the worst part of Barmore’s 310-pound body.
6:35 PM m.: And there’s the first sack of the game! alabama’s christian barmore pushes the guard and center to catch the book and lose 14 yards to the 30-yard line.
6:34 PM m.: sophomore byron young got a little extra push in the book in a throwaway play. That’s a 15-yard penalty, which gives Notre Dame the ball in her own 44 yards from her.
6:33 PM m.: notre dame asks for the free reception and receives the ball in the 25 of it.
6:30 p.m. m.: touchdown, alabama. one play later, jones swings right and hits smith for a touchdown with his toes. he also put both feet in. that makes it 28-7, alabama, with 4:58 remaining in the third quarter.
there are three for devonta smith 😤 pic.twitter.com/ugnf9d6xe5
6:28 PM m.: jones runs on third and 4 and gets more than enough for a first down. tide now has first and goal at notre dame 7.
6:26 PM m.: harris recovers the penalty on the next play; notre dame is forcing jones to reduce it to her controls.
18:25: owens is sanctioned for holding on first and 10, the first penalty from either team. tide have it first-and-20 from notre dame’s 32.
6:24 PM m.: jones hits metchie on the slant, taking him 40 yards to 10 p.m. notre dame. he fell behind smith, who served as his primary blocker for most of the time. running down the sideline.
6:20 p.m.: interception, al. harris is in coverage against mayer, getting under the shot and giving the ball to alabama at their 39-yard line. first fumble of the day for either team.
bama’s defense in 🔒 pic.twitter.com/mu4mzdyh7q
6:19 PM m.: another first try for the irishman after the book finds michael mayer on the floor. notre dame is driving on 34 hers.
6:17 PM m.: first down notre dame in the 21st after book carried the ball to williams from the backfield.
6:15 PM m.: charlie scott’s punt goes 36 yards and will be knocked down at the fair at notre dame 10.
6:12 PM m.: jones’ third-down pass deflects at the line of scrimmage back into his hands. jones takes the loss, forcing a punt. Important: Butkus Award-winning linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah got the deflection by pushing center Chris Owens upfield, Landon Dickerson’s replacement.
6:11 PM m.: the throw left to harris on third and 1 goes for 6 yards and is good for a first down. Alabama now drives on Notre Dame 37.
6:09 PM m.: jones throws a ball to smith, and smith goes up to pick it up for a 22-yard gain to the 49th.
6:07 PM m.: second half shot goes for a touchback, giving alabama the ball on their 25.
halftime: alabama 21, notre dame 7
17:48: halftime stats:
total yards: alabama 278; notre dame 189passing: alabama 14 for 16, 182 yards, three touchdowns; notre dame 10 for 15, 84 yardsruns: alabama 12 runs for 97 yards; notre dame 24 runs for 105 yardsfirst downs: alabama 15; notre dame 9third down: alabama 3 for 4; notre dame 5 for 10 (1 for 1 fourth down)penalties: n/aturnovers: n/apossession time: alabama 12:15; notre dame 17:45
5:46 PM m.: bama kneels to finish half.
5:45 PM m.: missed field goal, notre dame. the author pushed it low on the long attempt, and an alabama defender could have made it.
5:44 PM m.: It’s Notre Dame’s fourth attempt at Alabama 33, setting up a 50-yard field goal attempt by Jonathan Doerer.
17:43: time out, notre dame (0:11)
5:42 PM m.: and now the book finds ben skowronek for a 20-yard gain at al 40. notre dame has 18 seconds left after the auction.
5:41 PM m.: and now there’s a quarterback draft designed for 19 yards. That drives Notre Dame to his 40-yard line with 34 seconds remaining.
5:40 PM m.: good coverage forces a book fight. is second and 1 in 21 and 37 seconds.
5:40 PM m.: notre dame will take over at 11 with 44 seconds remaining.
5:38 PM m.: alabama stopped for the first time after jones’ backhander to john metchie iii goes incomplete. bama wants a sanction for mccloud, but he does not receive it. great stop for notre dame considering the crimson tide takes the ball out of the middle.
5:35 PM m.: timeout, alabama (0:56)
5:34 PM m.: alabama gets a little cute with the play, trying to get smith to do some sort of backhand. Notre Dame tackles him for a loss of 6, giving the Tide third and 12 with about a minute remaining in the half.
5:32 PM m.: jones finds, who else, smith on third down for the conversion. that’s five targets, five catches and more than 100 yards for the receiver. tide driving at 46.
5:26 PM m.: tide gets booked on third-and-8, and can’t complete the pass to his receiver. another incoming punt. Alabama will take over at 23 with less than six minutes to go
5:24 PM m.: alabama again sends pressure on third down, but Libro handles it well and throws it to his tight end under cover. first going down notre dame in its 41.
5:22 PM m.: notre dame takes over at 25. smith from her, meanwhile, is on the training bike being watched by the trainers.
5:17 PM m.: touchdown, alabama. one play later, jones hits smith down the lane for a 34-yard touchdown. smith was slow to get up, but is walking under his own power on the sidelines of the alabama medical tent. it’s 21-7 alabama with 8:49 left in the middle.
devonta smith has no problem finding the end zone 😳🔥 pic.twitter.com/m0mie5tby0
5:17 PM m.: quickly followed by a 15-yard gain for billingsley, who was covered by a notre dame defender. tide driving on the 34.
5:16 PM m.: another quick horizontal pass to smith goes for 24 yards towards notre dame 49th. excellent downfield blocking by skilled alabama players.
5:12 PM m.: touchdown, notre dame. williams takes from less than a yard to put the irishman on the board. they are 14-7 alabama with 11:16 left in the middle. that drive took 15 plays, ran for 75 yards and ate up 8:03 on the game clock.
notre dame gets on the board with this td 🍀 pic.twitter.com/ndlwfczbmu
5:11 PM m.: call stations; the notre dame offense returns to the field.
5:08 PM m.: another streak of book designed in third and goal from the 3. they call it short in the goal line, but this is going to be reviewed. it was down, but it depends on where the book ball was before it fell.
17:05: time out, notre dame (12:04)
5:03 PM m.: two plays later, first down. notre dame at 9 right now and he desperately needs a touchdown.
5:02 PM m.: The book finds Williams coming out of the backfield for a 4-yard gain. the Irish have second and 6 on the 16.
end of first term: alabama 14, notre dame 0
4:57 PM m.: good decision by williams on that play; It looked like it was a miss, but he made Alabama’s Christian Harris miss in the backfield and gain 9 yards. one move later, notre dame gets another first down at bama 20.
4:56 PM m.: notre dame just got a first down on third-and-3 at the alabama 35-yard line. the Irish are likely to be in four-down territory for the rest of this offense, pending yardage.
16:52: time out, notre dame (2:27)
4:50 PM m.: notre dame takes advantage of alabama’s field pass pressure and throws a late screen to running back chris tyree for a 27-yard gain. the irish are driving in alabama’s 45 after the win.
16:49: The Irish are back in their 25s.
4:45 PM m.: touchdown, alabama. one play later, jones finds a wide-open jahleel billingsley alone in the end zone. Smith demanded a double team and left the tight end alone. it’s 14-0 alabama with 4:19 remaining in the first quarter.
next play: mac jones hits jahleel billingsley for the 12-yard touchdown! wide open #notredame #alabamapic.twitter.com/4hpaj6x9yj
4:45 PM m.: harris jumps over notre dame defensive back nick mccloud and carries him to the notre dame 12 for a 53-yard run.
this obstacle of najee harris 😱 #sctop10 pic.twitter.com/3qiyjq9wpi
4:43 PM m.: there’s another first down for alabama, now at 35 in three plays (the last by catcher slade bolden). many horizontal moves at the beginning.
4:42 PM m.: Harris gives Alabama some room to run, running left 15 yards to the 18th.
4:38 PM m.: jay bramblett’s clearance is almost perfect, rolling 47 yards to be brought down on bama 3. the tide will take over there, but officials must first make sure the ball didn’t touch any players from Alabama.
4:36 PM m.: notre dame makes third-and-2 with a quick 6-yard connection between the book and tight end michael mayer at 33rd.
4:34 pm.: Notre Dame takes over at 25 after the kickoff touchback.
4:30 PM m.: touchdown, alabama. one goal, one catch, one touchdown for smith. he takes a quick pass and runs it 26 yards for the touchdown. it’s 7-0 alabama with 10:14 left in the first quarter.
devonta smith made them miss and found the end zone ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/ybwawbdznt
16:28: notre dame sends pressure, but it doesn’t reach jones. she rolls and hits forristall for 6 yards and a first down; now they are in notre dame 37.
4:26 PM m.: alabama starts with a 15-yard catch-and-run from tight end miller forristall. the crimson tide driving in the 36.
4:25 PM m.: alabama forces a punt and will take control at their 21-yard line after devonta smith’s fair catch.
4:23 PM m.: Good 15-yard run by Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams, who bounces the ball to the left and gives the Irish a first down on the 27th.
4:21 PM m.: alabama wastes no time showing off her physique: josh jobe comes flying down the field and causes a fumble deep in notre dame territory. The Fighting Irish will begin their advance at the 8-yard line.
4:19 PM m.: notre dame wins the toss and chooses to receive the ball first. here we go.