Cincinnati’s dream season ends in Alabama in CFP semifinals | News, Sports, Jobs
ARLINGTON, TX (AP) – Brian Robinson Jr. grew up near the Alabama campus watching the Crimson Tide Championships win and wanting to play a big part in it.
With the senior fifth year and first year featured for a career-high 204 yards and Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young throwing three touchdown passes, the Crimson Tide had the chance to play for another national title with a win. from 27-6. vs. Cincinnati on Friday in the college football playoff semi-final at the Cotton Bowl.
It was a bitter end for Desmond Ridder and for the Bearcats, the first non-Power Five team to have tasted CFP. They were physically overwhelmed on the big stage.
“B-Rob has been huge for us all night long” said Young. âTo miss this first guy, to fall forward while fighting for those extra meters. He was a constant.
âAs a young child, I always wanted to be a part of this program. I always wanted to play for a national championship â, Robinson said.
“Just being able to go out there and lead this team in this big game on this big stageâ¦ it’s like a dream come true.”
Alabama (13-1) have only missed the four-team playoffs once and will look to win their second straight national title and fourth in the CFP format’s eight seasons. The Crimson Tide will play in the national title game on January 10 in Indianapolis.
Alabama was clearly doing what they could to minimize the impact of Cincinnati standing cornerbacks Ahmad Gardner and Coby Bryant, and pretty much succeeded with Robinson rushing 26 times and Young throwing plenty of short, sure passes – although he found Ja’Core Brooks. for a 44-yard touchdown with catch and run on a play away from notable defenders for a 17-3 lead just before halftime.
âI’m really, really proud of our team, of our players. I think they showed great competitiveness there â, said Alabama coach Nick Saban, who, in his 15th season in Alabama, won six national titles in total. “The guys have been very resilient all year so they can have the opportunity to make it to this game.”
The Tide opened the game with 10 straight points, the first four and six overall for 37 yards by Robinson, before placing three receivers across from Gardner, who hasn’t given up a touchdown in coverage during his career. university. Young found Slade Bolden open in the left flat for an 8-yard touchdown pass that kept Alabama in the lead.
Along with Ridde, the Bearcats (13-1) were the only undefeated national team until they faced the playoff flagship.
âObviously it’s heartbreaking and really, really difficult for everyone, but especially for the 30 or so seniors who have brought this program and this team so far. “ Bearcats coach Luke Fickell said.
Ridder has been sacked six times and outside of a 9-yard rush in the opening game of the second half, he never injured Bama with his feet. He had 17 passes on 32 or 144 yards.
“It’s one thing to sit there and watch a movie, and sit there and draw the twists and stunts that they do on the board and work them out as you practice.” Ridder said. “It’s another thing to come here and play it on a big stage.”
Young, a 20-year-old sophomore, has a chance to become Alabama’s fifth quarterback in 13 seasons to win a national title as a freshman. He completed 17 of 28 passes for 181 yards in the playoff game, four weeks after setting an SEC Championship game record with 421 passing yards in a win over Georgia and three weeks after being the first Crimson Tide QB to win a Heisman Trophy.
His only interception came late in the third quarter when he knocked down All-America wide receiver Jameson Williams in a crowd of defensemen and the pass was caught by Bryan Cook on the logo in midfield. Williams caught the other seven passes thrown for 62 yards, the longest being 20 yards.
After Cook’s interception, the Bearcats scored three goals for the fifth time in the game, with Ridder sacked for a 10-yard loss on the third down.
Cincinnati’s breakthrough in the four-team playoffs was bolstered by a victory on the first Saturday in October at Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish, who lost 31-14 to Alabama in a CFP Rose Bowl semi-final played at AT&T Stadium last year, haven’t lost another game this season and have finished fifth in the final CFP standings behind the historic Bearcats.
The American Athletic Conference champions Bearcats totaled 218 yards on the season low and held without touchdown for the first time since a 42-0 loss to Ohio State in Game 2 of the season 2019, the last time they played a top five. team.
“We knew the battle in the trenches was going to be a big deal, and that sort of was where the game was won” said Fickell. âIn no phase of this have we given ourselves an opportunity. “
Take it away
Cincinnati: It was only the second loss in two seasons for the Bearcats, with both setbacks occurring in their last games. They lost 24-21 to Georgia in a last-second field goal at the Peach Bowl on Last Year’s Day. â¦ Cincinnati scored for Cole Smith’s baskets (37 and 31 yards) in the first practice of each half, but struggled to move the ball outside of those two practices.
Alabama: After the Tide was never on track with their running game for most of the season, fifth-year senior Robinson and the rushers led them to the semifinals with 301 yards. Trey Sanders had 14 carries for 67 yards. Entering the Cotton Bowl, the Crimson Tide averaged 147.6 yards per game, their lowest total in 15 seasons under Saban.
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