The 2021 Rose Bowl features the 11-0 Alabama Crimson Tide against the 10-1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Here is the 2021 Rose Bowl Preview.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (11-0)
Alabama was able to win every game on their schedule on their way to making the College Football Playoff. They defeated five teams that finished the season .500 or above.
The Crimson Tide offense scores 49.7 points per game, which ranks second in the country. They pass for 354.1 yards (ranked 5th) and rush for 189.8 yards per game (ranked 44th).
Mac Jones has had a great year at quarterback for the Crimson Tide. He has passed for 3,739 yards, 32 touchdowns and four interceptions on 76.5 percent completion. He has seven receivers who have over 200 receiving yards on the season. The best of them is Devonta Smith who has 98 receptions for 1,511 yards and 17 touchdowns. Jaylen Waddle is out for this game, but John Metchie, Najee Harris, Slade Bolden, Miller Forristall and Jahleel Billingsly will all suit up and give Jones some good questions.
Their lead running back, Harris, has also played well this season. He has rushed for 1,262 yards and 24 touchdowns on the year. Brian Robinson is the backup who has been solid with 404 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Jase McClellan has chipped in with 345 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Alabama has had a good defense that allows just 19.5 points per game. They allow 243.5 passing yards (ranked 78th) and 107.6 rushing yards per game (ranked 12th). Linebackers Christian Harris and Dylan Moses lead the team with 68 total tackles. Defensive back Malachi Moore leads the team with three interceptions and six passes defended, while corner Patrick Surtain has been a shutdown corner that has one interception. Will Anderson Jr. leads the team with seven sacks.
4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-1)
Notre Dame had an undefeated season going before losing to Clemson in the ACC Championship Game, but they still made the CFP. They defeated five teams with a .500 record or above, which includes wins over Clemson and North Carolina.
The offense has been solid with 35.2 points per game (ranked 24th). They pass for 237.5 yards (ranked 56th) and rush for 217.6 yards per game (ranked 20th).
Ian Book has had a good senior season for the Fighting Irish. He has passed for 2,601 yards, 15 touchdowns and two interceptions on 64 percent completion. Six receivers have over 200 receiving yards on the season. Javon McKinley is the leading receiver with 40 receptions for 697 yards and three touchdowns. Ben Skowronek, Michael Mayer, Avery Davis, Kyren Williams and Tommy Tremble are the other pass-catchers with over 200 receiving yards.
Williams leads the team in rushing as well. He has 1,061 rushing yards and 12 scores on the ground this season. Chris Tyree and Book have over 400 rushing yards, while C’Bo Flemister has 299 rushing yards and five touchdowns.
The Fighting Irish allow 18.6 points per game and they have had a solid season. They give up 110.5 rushing yards (ranked 15th) and 224.5 passing yards per game (ranked 57th). Safety Kyle Hamilton leads the team with 56 tackles and also has six passes defended. Linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has been a game-changer with 55 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Pass rusher Adetokunbo Ogundeji leads the team with 6.5 sacks. Corner Nick McCloud and Clarence Lewis lead the team with eight and seven passes defended respectively.
Things did not look good for Notre Dame in the ACC Championship. Their offensive line is championship caliber, but the rest of their roster will have a tough time matching up with Alabama. The Crimson Tide being able to beat teams on the ground and through the air will be the difference in this game, as the Fighting Irish likely won’t be able to stop both.
Alabama Crimson Tide 43 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 26
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