No. 1 Alabama to play in College Football National Championship


By Hannah Saad

Cody Estremera and James Ogletree

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla.No. 1 Alabama’s offense did what it does best: score early and often in the first quarter. It put up 21 points in the first 15 minutes of the game, digging a hole to large for the Heisman Trophy winner and his team to climb out of, leading to a 45-34 win in the Orange Bowl.

Play of the game:

Early in the second quarter Tua Tagovailoa tossed a short pass to Josh Jacobs, who beelined toward the end zone, trucking an Oklahoma defender and knocking him to the ground as Alabama took a 28-0 lead.

Offensive player of the game:

Cody Estremera: Tua Tagovailoa

James Ogletree: Tua Tagovailoa

Defensive player of the game:

Cody Estremera: Xavier McKinney

James Ogletree: Xavier McKinney

Fan player of the game:

Offense: Josh Jacobs

Defense: Deionte Thompson


  • Tua Tagovailoa hit DeVonta Smith on a short crossing route that the sophomore receiver took for a 50-yard gain. The next six plays were all Damien Harris touches, including a 1-yard touchdown run.
  • After the defense forced a quick three-and-out, Alabama’s offense again moved the ball with ease. Henry Ruggs III caught a 10-yard pass in the back of the end zone, his 11th of the season (tied for the third most in Alabama history) and the 17th of his career (tied for the fourth most in Alabama history).
  • Harris scored his second rushing touchdown of the game late in the first quarter, capping a drive that included Jalen Hurts taking two snaps at quarterback.
  • Junior running back Josh Jacobs scored his 15th total touchdown of the year on a 27-yard catch-and-run from Tagovailoa, running over an Oklahoma defender on his way to end zone. For the third time this season, Alabama scored a touchdown on its first four drives.
  • Oklahoma ended the Crimson Tide’s bid for a shutout after pass plays of 39 and 32 yards and a 2-yard run by running back Trey Sermon.
  • Alabama settled for a 38-yard field goal with 25 seconds left in the half to extend the lead to 31-10. The 31 points set a school record for the most points in the first half of a bowl game.
  • Nine different receivers caught passes in the first half, a season high for an entire game.
  • The Sooners drew back within two scores with a 49-yard bomb from quarterback Kyler Murray to receiver Charleston Rambo, who had blown past both of Alabama’s safeties. That made the score 31-20.
  • Alabama rebounded with a nine-play, 87-yard drive that ended with DeVonta Smith’s sixth touchdown of the year.
  • Murray led Oklahoma on its second 14-play drive of the game, culminating in a touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb, who finished with eight catches for 109 yards.
  • Alabama’s 45-34 win sent the Crimson Tide to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game for the fifth consecutive year.