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Alabama and Notre Dame took to the field at Cowboys Stadium on New Year's Day in the iconic Rose Bowl Game.
It was all Alabama in the first half.
Mac Jones' intelligence showed, always finding the right receiver and Notre Dame’s defense had no solution for the high-powered Crimson Tide offense.
Alabama star running back Najee Harris hit the ground running with 93 yards in the first half, even hurdling Nick McCloud in a play that will surely be on SportsCenter Top 10.
The star of the half was none other than AP Player of the Year, DeVonta Smith.
The thin-built Smith explodes off the ground like Usain Bolt and his route-running is top-tier. Notre Dame couldn’t contain the Heisman candidate and it cost them big time, letting up 101 yards and two touchdowns and the hands of Smith.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame tried to control the clock and keep Alabama’s high-powered offense off the field for as long as possible. Led by QB, Ian Book, and RB, Kyren Williams, Notre Dame put together some good dries, but only managed to put up 7 points.
To end the half, Jonathan Doer of Notre Dame missed a field goal from 55 yards out that would’ve seen Notre Dame cut their deficit to 11.
Alabama got the ball to start the second half but was outplayed in their first drive by the Notre Dame defense.
Notre Dame started to gain momentum on offense, connecting their passes and running the ball well until Ian Book threw an interception, getting picked off by Crimson Tide sophomore, Christian Harris.
Harris’ interception was capped off by DeVonta Smith’s third touchdown of the day. Smith showed his worth while cementing his case for the Heisman.
Later in the third quarter, Ian Book got injured off a sack from Christian Barmore. Barmore put all 310 lbs onto Book and the star Notre Dame QB did not return until the 4th quarter. In between then, Drew Pyne took the snaps for the Irish.
Book returned, and the Irish got into a rhythm. Book connected with Micahel Mayer for a touchdown, but it was taken away due to an illegal shift by Notre Dame.
Notre Dame failed to capitalize after the penalty, and the game ended 31-10 in favor of Alabama.
Ian Book’s last game in a gold helmet saw him throw 229 yards while rushing for 75. Kyren Williams ran for 68 and 1 TD.
Alabama’s Mac Jones threw for 297 yards and 4 TD, while Harris ran for 125 and Smith caught for 3 TD and 130 yards on only 7 catches. Alabama receiver Jahleel Billingsley also caught a TD pass from Jones.
Alabama is now set to face the winner of the Clemson-Ohio State game. Both Clemson and Ohio State have future 1st round picks in Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields and Alabama will have to do extensive scouting on both QB’s.
Notre Dame ends their season 10-2, reaching as high as 2nd in the rankings and beating #1 Clemson during the season. Although the season may’ve not ended the way Irish fans were hoping it would, Notre Dame had a great season and is now getting prepared for life without Ian Book.
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All Editorials written by Chris Dailey