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Hot Read: Alabama Rolls Past Notre Dame

By BJ Bennett
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Alabama beats Notre Dame 31-14 in the Rose Bowl in Arlington.

1. Another big game, another big win for Alabama. The Crimson Tide will now play for the national championship for the fifth time in six years. Led by superstars Mac Jones, Najee Harris and DeVonta Smith, Alabama consistently won the evening against Notre Dame, outgaining the Fighting Irish in the moments that mattered in the Rose Bowl in Arlington. Opening the contest with touchdowns on its first three drives, Alabama used a statement start, one which included a highlight-reel leap over a defender from Najee Harris, to set the tone in a matchup where the outcome was never in doubt. The top-ranked Crimson Tide entered the College Football Playoff with the highest of expectations and advanced with a performance to match.

2. DeVonta Smith was absolutely remarkable yet again. He caught seven passes for 130 yards and three touchdowns against Notre Dame, also adding a 20-yard punt return. Smith now has 105 receptions for 1,641 yards and 20 touchdowns on the season. In the biggest game of the season to date, he looked the best player in the country once more. Beyond just that, Smith is one of the game's best receivers ever.

3. Mac Jones continues his historically proficient play, on the verge of setting a new single season passer rating for college football. Jones was 26-of-31 passing for 303 yards and four touchdowns; notably, he had only one more incompletion than scores. Against a good Notre Dame defense, Jones was in complete control, leading another very effective offensive performance for Alabama. In addition to making great throws downfield, he also avoided any and all mistakes.

4. Clearly, Alabama's defense came to play. Don't forget about that group. The Crimson Tide allowed just one play of longer than 20 yards all game, holding Notre Dame to merely 6.1 yards per pass and 3.1 yards per run. Alabama limited Ian Book, who has had a fantastic season, to very limited production until the final drive of the game. Christian Harris recorded a key interception. While the Crimson Tide offense gets all of the attention, and deservedly so, Alabama's defense had a signature showing in Arlington.

5. What a season for Notre Dame: the win over Clemson in South Bend, beating North Carolina, advancing to the ACC Championship Game. That said, the Fighting Irish were not on the same level as Alabama and it showed.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: / Twitter: @BJBennettSports