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Tide Rolls On

Photos Courtesy of Rose Bowl Media

OPENING DRIVE TOUCHDOWNS: Wide receiver DeVonta Smith scored a 26-yard touchdown on Alabama’s opening drive of today’s matchup with No. 4 Notre Dame. The Crimson Tide has won 39 straight games when scoring a touchdown on the first offensive possession of the game. The Tide’s last loss after finding the end zone on its first drive was to the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2014 Allstate Sugar Bowl.

FIRST QUARTER SCORING: With a 14-0 advantage after the opening 15:00, Alabama has now outscored its opponents 146-37 (+109) in the first quarter this season.

LEAP GOES LONG: On his third carry of the game, running back Najee Harris ran and leaped over a defender for a career best 53-yard long rush. His previous high was 42 yards against Kentucky earlier this season.

SMITTY OVER 100 AGAIN: DeVonta Smith finished the first half of the CFP Semifinal matchup with Notre Dame by totaling 101 receiving yards to go over the 100-yard marker for the eighth time this season. Those eight 100-plus yard performances give him 13 for his career as he entered his senior campaign with five in hand. Smith totaled two in 2018 and followed that up with three as a junior a season ago. His 13 100-plus yard performances ties DJ Hall (2004-07) for the second-most in Alabama history.

MAC MAKING HIS MARK: Signal caller Mac Jones threw for three touchdown passes in the first half against Notre Dame to total 35 touchdowns through the air this season. Jones’ 35 touchdowns rank as the second-most in a single season in program history. Only Tua Tagovailoa has thrown more touchdowns for Alabama in a single season with 43 in 2018.

JONES FIRST HALF PASSING: In the first half alone, Jones started today’s game 14-of-16 with 182 yards and a trio of touchdowns.

148-8 UNDER SABAN WHEN LEADING AT THE HALF: Under head coach Nick Saban, Alabama is 148-8 (.949) when leading at the half. The Crimson Tide has held the lead in 65 of its last 83 games dating back to the start of the 2015 season. UA is also 132-4 (.971) when leading by seven or more points at the break during the Saban era.

3.6K for DEVONTA PUTS HIM NINE YARDS OFF SEC MARK: Senior DeVonta Smith has totaled 3,750 receiving yards in his Crimson Tide career. That total not only ranks atop the Alabama records but ranks second overall in SEC history. Smith’s 130 yards against Notre Dame puts him within nine yards of tying Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews (2010-13) who had 3,759 yards for the all-time conference record.

DEFENSIVE NOTES

TURNOVERS, TURNOVERS, TURNOVERS: Alabama’s defense forced a turnover in the Crimson Tide’s win over No. 4 Notre Dame in the 2020 Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1 after Christian Harris grabbed a third-quarter interception. With the turnover in Dallas, the Crimson Tide has forced at least one turnover in 78 of the last 84 contests dating back to the start of the 2015 season, including 11 of 12 matchups during the 2020 campaign. During the current run, Alabama has forced 142 turnovers (91 interceptions, 51 fumbles) and returned 29 of those miscues for touchdowns.

CAREER FIRST FOR CHRISTIAN: Linebacker Christian Harris caught his first career interception during the third quarter.

SPECIAL TEAMS

FOURTEEN IN A ROW FOR REICHARD: Dating back to last season, placekicker Will Reichard has made 14 straight field goals, including all 13 attempts in 2020. The streak of 14 straight is tied with Jake Oldroyd of BYU for the longest active consecutive made field goals streak in Division I.

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