A 51-yard field goal attempt by Notre Dame player Jonathan Doerer came just before half-time, and Alabama knelt to go into the locker room with a 21-7 lead.
When losing teams are looking for things to build on, the Fighting Irish might find some satisfaction when they are finally able to force a punt before the final run of the first half. Prior to that punt, Alabama’s first three possessions had three touchdowns on drives with only 1 total
8 games led.
At this point, the Crimson Tide was averaging a ridiculous 14.4 meters per game, but it was slowing a bit on its fourth trip. Even so, Alabama released some video game-like numbers in the first two quarters, including: Quarterback Mac Jones, who completed 14 of 16 passes for 182 yards and three points; wide receiver DeVonta Smith intercepts five passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns; and Najee Harris runs back and wins 93 yards with seven runs, 15 more with two catches.
Quarterback Ian Book also made a high number of passes for Notre Dame, 10 out of 13, but as is his custom, few went very far into the field. He only accumulated 84 yards and no touchdowns on those 13 attempts, and only one reception was sent from a wide receiver.
The Fighting Irish had the advantage in terms of possession time in the first half, leading at 17: 45-12: 15, but everything else went towards the Crimson Tide, including a 279-189 lead in total yards. Alabama, favored by nearly 20 points, appears to be well on its way to hitting that number whether or not it wins this college football playoff semifinal. However, a two touchdown deficit is by no means insurmountable in 30 minutes of play and the Irish can hope to make a turn or two to change the situation.