Alabama report card: Straight A's for Rose Bowl win over Notre Dame

Brett Hudson
Tide Sports

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.

Offense: A

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.

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Defense: A-

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.

More:Alabama 31, Notre Dame 14: How the Crimson Tide advanced to the College Football Playoff final

Coaching: A-

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.

Overall: A-

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.