Back Hot Read: Alabama Rolls to Another Title

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Hot Read: Alabama Rolls to Another Title

By Dave Holcomb
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Dave Holcomb recaps Alabama's national championship victory over Ohio State.

vThere was plenty of drama over whether or not there would be a season in college football during 2020. But one half into the national championship, there was no doubt what the result would be.

Alabama won its sixth national championship in the last 12 years, stomping the previously undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes, 52-24, on Monday. With the victory, Alabama finished the unorthodox 2020 season 13-0 and gave coach Nick Saban his seventh national title, moving him past Bear Bryant for the most of all time.

Here are five things we observed from the Crimson Tide rout:

DeVonta Smith turns in an MVP performance in just one half

There was no Heisman jinx for Smith. The first wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy since 1991, Smith absolutely dominated the first half, posting 12 receptions for 215 yards and three touchdowns. He had more yards in the half than Ohio State’s entire offense.

On his third score, Ohio State tried to cover him with a linebacker. Needless to say, that was a bad idea, as Smith tallied a 42-yard touchdown on the play.

Unfortunately, Smith exited with a finger injury and didn’t play much in the second half. Imagine what his stat line would have been if he had.

Smith will leave Alabama ranked first in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns for a single season in SEC history as well as the conference’s all-time leader in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

Mac Jones matches Joe Burrow’s five touchdown mark

LSU’s offense last year was one for the ages, but in many ways, the Crimson Tide matched the Tigers in offensive explosiveness and efficiency. On Monday night, quarterback Mac Jones tied Joe Burrow’s mark from last year with five touchdown passes in the championship game.

Jones-to-Smith worked all night, but the offense kept humming even after Smith left the game. Jones finished 36 of 45 with 464 yards and the five touchdowns.

Alabama ended the season averaging 48.5 points per game, which set a new SEC record, and it came against a schedule without any non-conference cupcake matchups.

Najee Harris steamrolls Buckeyes for 158 yards from scrimmage

Alabama averaged 10.3 yards per pass, but Harris and the ground game weren’t too shabby either. The Crimson Tide averaged 4.1 yards per carry while Harris led the way with 79 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Harris also contributed seven catches for 79 yards and another score through the air. Harris matched Smith with three touchdowns while leading Alabama with 29 touches.

Defense will give Alabama a chance to repeat

The Crimson Tide will lose the aforementioned three offensive stars this offseason to the NFL along with wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, who returned from a serious injury Monday to haul in three receptions for 34 yards. But the Alabama defense is expected to return mostly, if not entirely, intact, which will likely make the Crimson Tide the favorite to win the SEC and national championship yet again.

Saban going for an eighth title is unprecedented, as is back-to-back championships in the playoff era. The FBS hasn’t seen a repeat national champion since the Crimson Tide did it in 2011-12.

Nick Saban makes history

Seven national championships (six with the Crimson Tide) is impressive, and yet it doesn’t begin to describe the imprint Saban has left on the sport, particularly at Alabama.

Since Saban became head coach for the Crimson Tide in 2007, no player who has stayed at Alabama for three years has left without winning a national championship. Over the last 12 years, the Crimson Tide have had a two-year absence from the national title game just once.

It’s supposedly gotten harder to win it all in the FBS, yet Alabama has played in five of the seven championship games and won three of them during the playoff era. The Crimson Tide are 8-3 in playoff games.

There’s only one word that truly summarizes Alabama’s dominance under Saban -- dynasty.