The College Football Playoff National Championship is set for January 11 as No. 1 Alabama will face No. 3 Ohio State. They are two of the three winningest teams over the last 100 years. OSU has won 929 games and Alabama 928. Alabama has opened at (-7), and the over/under total is 76 points.
The Tide have 15 national championships, and Ohio State has eight. They have only met four times in history before heading into the title game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Ohio State won the last meeting in the 2015 CFP semifinal at the Sugar Bowl, while Alabama won meetings in 1978, 1986, and 1995, twice in January Bowl games.
Alabama Beats Notre Dame
Alabama earned their spot in the CFB National Championship by beating No. 4 Notre Dame 31-14 Friday in the Rose Bowl, played in Texas. Alabama racked up 437 yards of offense, their second-lowest tally of the season, but the Tide were never in trouble.
They scored two touchdowns early and led 21-7 at halftime. The score was 31-7 when the Irish scored a final touchdown and got an onside kick in the last minute. That late score allowed Notre Dame to cover the +19.5 point spread, and the game was easily under the 68 point total.
Heisman Trophy candidates Mac Jones and Devonta Smith combined for three touchdowns, and Smith hauled in seven passes for 130 yards. Jones threw for 297 yards and four scores while completing 25-of-30 passes.
Running back Najee Harris didn’t score, but he ripped off an impressive 53-yard run that included hurdling an Irish defender. He finished with 125 yards on 15 carries. The Alabama defense had an interception and recorded two sacks.
Ohio State Upsets Clemson
Ohio State upset No. 2 Clemson 49-28 in the Sugar Bowl as Justin Fields outplayed Trevor Lawrence. Fields suffered a big hit from James Skalski, who was ejected for targeting. After missing one play, Fields returned to finish with 385 passing yards and six touchdowns. Running back Trey Sermon ran for 193 yards and a touchdown.
Clemson was favored by 7.5 points but never led by more than seven, as they scored the first touchdown of the game. It was all Buckeyes after that, and the game easily surpassed the 68 point total.
Ohio State held Clemson running back Travis Etienne to 32 yards on 10 carries, and they limited Lawrence to -8 rushing yards on 10 carries. Last year in the semifinals, Lawrence ran for more than 100 yards in Clemson’s win over Ohio State.
Fields threw two of his touchdown passes to Chris Olave, who missed the Big Ten Championship Game after a positive COVID-19 test. Against Clemson, Olave caught six balls for 132 yards. Fields ran for 42 yards and completed 22-of-28 passes while throwing three of his touchdown passes to tight ends.
In what may be his final college game, Lawrence was 33-for-48 for 400 yards. He had two touchdown passes to Cornell Powell and also threw an interception while rushing for a score.
If this was his final college game, Lawrence suffered just two losses as a Clemson Tigers quarterback: the Friday night loss to the Buckeyes and last year’s National Championship game against LSU.