Alabama Wins College Football National Championship
This has been a college football season unlike any other. Games in constant peril of cancellation as outbreaks of Covid-19 rolled in waves through different teams throughout the year, games played in empty stadiums, fans relegated to their couches, no tailgates, no jubilant marching bands, no campus victory celebrations after a big win.
Even as we entered into tonight's muted national championship game, the coaches for both teams vying for the trophy have both been forced to miss games due to battling the virus themselves earlier in the season. This was no ordinary game day.
But, as sports has done throughout this very strange year, athletes and coaches showed up and answered our call for an ounce of normalcy. Be it an NBA game from the bubble, a NASCAR race without cheers from the grandstands, or even a crowd-less Masters in Augusta, we have turned to sports for a bright light and a happy distraction. And what a distraction tonight's game has been.
Coach Nick Saban and his Crimson Tide are no strangers to the pressure of a championship game, and they entered Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens acting like it, scoring the first touchdown within minutes of kick off. But the Ohio State Buckeyes answered quickly. The pace was set, and fans stuck at home knew they were in for a good battle. While the scoring was pretty even for the first quarter, Saban's Tide took off in the second creating a significant lead. Devonta Smith proved just why he earned this year's Heisman Trophy with 12 catches, 215 yards, and 3 touchdowns in the first half before an injured hand took him out of play. Slade Bolden of Louisiana scored his first career touchdown late in the third quarter, helping the Tide stretch the lead further.
Despite their best efforts, the Buckeyes were just no match for that SEC swagger, Alabama taking the title held by LSU for the last year. Nick Saban eclipses another legendary Alabama coach, Bear Bryant, by winning his 7th national championship, but when he spoke to ESPN after the game, it was all about his guys. "I think perseverance is probably the one word that describes this team the best in terms of what they've had to overcome all season long to go undefeated and win a championship. I really am so proud of these guys…they played together. They supported each other. This is a great time." Smiling and clearly feeling the emotions of the night, Coach continued, "I wanted to win this game for these players because this game was all about what they did all year long and I'm just so happy for our players."
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Final score, Alabama 52, Ohio State 24.
Congrats and Roll Tide!