Notre Done: Fighting Irish flop in latest CFP appearance as Alabama rolls to title game
Well, for those arguing Notre Dame did not deserve the No. 4 seed for the College Football Playoff, the Fighting Irish provided even more ammunition in Friday’s Rose Bowl against Alabama.
After getting blown out in the ACC Championship Game by Clemson, Notre Dame still landed the final CFP spot and a showdown with the top-ranked Crimson Tide in the New Year’s Day semifinal. It didn’t take long for Alabama to take control, building a two-score lead just 10 minutes into the game.
Notre Dame did have a chance to hit a field goal heading into halftime that would have made it 21-10, Alabama, but that kick never had a chance. After the break, the Fighting Irish never got any closer with Alabama cruising for much of the second half.
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Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Jones threw for four touchdowns, including three to superstar wide receiver Devonta Smith. Smith finished the game with seven grabs for 130 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Najee Harris provided the balance for Alabama as he rushed for 125 yards on just 15 carries in the big win.
Though Notre Dame punched in a late touchdown, Alabama was never really pushed in the 31-14 win. The Crimson Tide defense suffocated Notre Dame’s rushing attack and was able to limit the effectiveness of quarterback Ian Book all evening long.
Now, Alabama will advance to another CFP National Championship Game under head coach Nick Saban and await the winner of Clemson-Ohio State. Will it be another edition of the rivalry with Dabo Swinney, or will Ryan Day and the Buckeyes get a crack at taking on Alabama?