Alabama report card: Straight A's for Rose Bowl win over Notre Dame
ARLINGTON, Texas — A late touchdown made a somewhat comfortable win look less so, ultimately a 31-14 victory for Alabama over Notre Dame to advance to the College Football Playoff national championship game.
Here’s how we graded Alabama’s performance in the College Football Playoff semifinal.
The epitome of Alabama’s new offensive era: It just comfortably won a College Football Playoff game without a rushing touchdown. Mac Jones completing better than 83% of his passes and going for nearly 10 yards per attempt has that power.
The third-down defense might not have been inspiring (8-for-16), but the pass rush was, and so was the downfield coverage.
Special teams: A
Both of Charlie Scott’s punts were downed inside the 20; Will Reichard made a 41-yard field goal; and DeVonta Smith returned a punt for 20 yards. There isn’t much more that can reasonably be asked of the unit.
Steve Sarkisian continues to stay a step ahead of opposing defenses; Alabama’s defense keeping Notre Dame out of the red zone for four possessions in the second and third quarters was more than enough.
It says something about the season Alabama has had that it can win a College Football Playoff game by multiple possessions and do so in a somewhat underwhelming way.