Smith, Crimson Tide roll past Ohio State 52-24 to claim 2020 CFP National Championship
The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide rolled Monday night at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, in the 2020 CFP National Championship game. The Tide faced off against the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes in what seemed could be a close contest, especially after an evenly matched and high-octane first quarter from the dueling teams. In the end, though, Alabama proved it was the best and most consistent team as it pulled away from the Buckeyes for a convincing 52-24 championship victory, the Tide’s sixth championship in the last 12 seasons.
Alabama head football coach Nick Saban earned his seventh career championship ring that broke a tie between him and another Crimson Tide coaching legend, Bear Bryant, for the most titles of all time.
Both blueblood football programs went blow for blow in the early going. Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris opened up the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run with 8:07 left in the first quarter. However, Buckeyes running back Master Teague III, who stepped in for injured starter Trey Sermon, found paydirt from eight yards out to knot the score at 7-all after Ohio State placekicker Jake Seibert split the uprights on the point after attempt with 4:55 remaining in the opening frame.
All the while, Tide wideout and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith continued to cook the Buckeye secondary with his monster first-half performance. Smith caught a 5-yard touchdown from fellow Heisman candidate Mac Jones just seven seconds into the second quarter but, in total, Smith broke the game open with two more touchdown receptions from Jones. Impressively, Smith finished with a total of 215 receiving yards on 12 catches.
The closest Ohio State got to the Tide on the scoreboard was a 21-17 deficit after Seibert drilled a 23-yard field goal with 5:21 left before halftime. However, Smith’s last two touchdown grabs and a 26-yard run from Harris put Alabama ahead comfortably at 35-17 at intermission.
Crimson Tide placekicker Will Reichard tacked on a 20-yard field goal with 7:47 left in the third quarter. Ohio State responded with a solid drive on its ensuing possession, which resulted in a 20-yard aerial connection between Buckeyes star quarterback Justin Fields and wideout Garrett Wilson. After the successful point after attempt, Ohio State trailed Alabama 38-24 with 6:45 left in the third quarter. From that point on, though, the Tide offense continued to roll. Jones tossed another 5-yard pass to Bolden Jones late in the third quarter and Harris scored the game’s final touchdown from one yard out with 13:15 left in the fourth quarter.
Alabama (13-0) won five of its six games against ranked opponents by double digits. The Tide’s only single-digit win came against the No. 7 Florida Gators by a final score of 52-46. This was also the only single-digit contest of Alabama’s entire season. Meanwhile, Ohio State (7-1) had a strong run despite a late start and a shortened season. The Buckeyes’ highlight of the season was their dominant 49-28 National Semifinal victory over the then-No. 2 Clemson Tigers in the Sugar Bowl. For more sports coverage, click here.