The Alabama Crimson Tide are off to the CFP National Championship Game after destroying the Washington Huskies 24-7 in Saturday’s Peach Bowl.
It’s hard not to be thoroughly impressed with the way Nick Saban’s team played in this contest. Sure, Washington jumped out to an early 7-0 lead, but Alabama completely dominated the game from that point forward. The Crimson Tide responded to the Huskies’ TD by marching 78 yards on nine plays to tie the game. The defense forced a fumble on Washington’s next possession, giving Alabama the ball at the Husky 44-yard line. The Tide took the lead for good a few plays later on a 41-yard field goal from Adam Griffith.
The Alabama defense would break the game open shortly before halftime. Trying to avoid a mistake, Washington opted to run what it thought was a safe screen pass. However, Ryan Anderson snuffed it out, beat the running back to the ball, and lumbered 26 yards for a touchdown. This pick six gave the Crimson Tide an insurmountable 10-point lead, and ended any hopes of a potential Husky comeback.
The Alabama D would continue to dominate in the second half, holding Washington to just 44 yards during that span, with almost half of those yards (21) coming on the final series of the game.
With the victory, the Crimson Tide reminded us that they’re still the team to beat in college football. Remember, Washington entered this contest as the only team ranked in the top 10 in yards per play on both offense and defense. While Alabama’s offense didn’t exactly set the world on fire, it did run for 264 yards and 5.4 yards per carry against a Husky front seven that gave up very few big plays this season. The Tide defense was even better, holding the Husky offense to a season-low 194 yards and a paltry 2.8 yards per play.
In other words: Alabama put together a strong performance against a Washington team that had a top 10 offense and a top 10 defense. With such a dominant showing against the Huskies – one of the most complete squads in the country – there’s no reason to think that the Crimson Tide won’t win their fifth national championship in the last eight years. They’re simply playing better than everyone else right now.