Mac Jones threw five touchdown passes, three of them to DeVonta Smith, Najee Harris ran for another two touchdowns and Alabama crushed Ohio State 52-24 to win the College Football Playoff national championship, sixth for the Crimson Tide in 12 years and seventh for coach Nick Saban.
Jones finished the game with 34 of 45 and 464 yards, in his senior year in Alabama. His 77.4% ERA is the highest in college football history.
Smith, winner of the Heisman Trophy, caught 12 passes for 215 and three touchdowns in the first half alone, before injuring a finger on his right hand and missing the rest of the game. His 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns on the season and 3,965 career yards are new SEC Conference records.
Harris’s 30 touchdowns also set a new SEC record., and his 57 career touchdowns equaled a conference record.
All three could be recruited into the first round of the 2021 Draft of the NFL.
Alabama averaged 48.5 points per game on the season, another SEC record.
After quickly stopping Ohio State’s first attack, the Crimson Tide mounted a 12-play, 78-yard offensive drive that Najee Harris finished with a one-yard run on fourth down to put Alabama up 7-0 midway through the first period.
In that first Ohio State offensive series, Trey Sermon was injured, his best running back, who left the game with a left shoulder ailment. Sermon was transferred to a hospital and Master Teague III took his place in the Buckeyes’ backfield.
An impressive one-handed reception from tight end Jeremy Ruckert was good for a 36-yard gain and the next play Teague III escaped eight yards into the end zone for left tackle for Ohio State to tie the game quickly.
Alabama returned fourth down in goal zone and then Mac Jones and DeVonta Smith combined on a five-yard play for 14-7 in favor of the Crimson Tide, at the beginning of the second quarter.
A Mac Jones fumble, forced and recovered by Baron Browning at Alabama’s 19-yard line, was immediately taken advantage of by the Buckeyes, who they tied the game 14-14 again with Teague III, now on a four-yard play.
Immediately Jones got his spine out with a 26-yard screen pass to Najee Harris, who escaped to the diagonals to continue the shooting at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
Jones landed his third and fourth touchdown passes of the night with DeVonta Smith, on plays of five and 42 yards, and the Crimson Tide split 35-17 with 1:48 left in the first half.
THE HEISMAN, INJURED
Smith injured his right index finger at the start of the third quarter. When he returned to the field, a few minutes before the end of the game, he was no longer wearing his uniform and his hand was bandaged.
Justin Fields finally found the diagonals with a float pass to the corner of the 20-yard touchdown by Garrett Wilson, for 38-24.
Without Smith in the field Jones turned to Slade Bolden, who got his first touchdown of the season, five yards.
Harris put the game in the freezer with a one-yard run for 52-24 at the beginning of the fourth quarter.