Blue and Gold Illustrated

January 2021

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 21 of 47

22 JANUARY 2021 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY LOU SOMOGYI A new calendar year saw old familiar themes in No. 1 Ala- bama's (12-0) 31-14 victory over No. 4 Notre Dame (10-2) in the College Football Playoff semi- final held at the Rose Bowl in Arling- ton, Texas. The Crimson Tide scored touch- downs on their first three posses- sions to build a 21-7 halftime lead, and extended their advantage to 31-7 early in the fourth quarter to coast to the victory and their fifth appearance in the title game the past six years. Meanwhile, it was Notre Dame's ninth straight loss in a major bowl dating back to 1995. Among Alabama's three top-five Heisman finalists, redshirt junior quarterback Mac Jones completed 25 of 30 passes for 297 yards with four touchdowns, Rose Bowl MVP and senior wide receiver DeVonta Smith snared seven passes for 130 yards and three scores, and senior running back Najee Harris rushed for 125 yards on 15 carries. The largest underdog in the seven- year history of the College Football Playoff at 19.5 points, Notre Dame covered the spread on a one-yard touchdown run by fifth-year senior quarterback Ian Book with 56 sec- onds remaining in the contest. "I'm probably more disappointed about the fact that I don't get a chance to see these guys, many of them, as NEW YEAR , SAME SCRIPT No. 1 Alabama runs away from Notre Dame en route to a 31-14 win in the College Football Playoff

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