Alabama Crimson Tide Wide Receiver DeVonta Smith produced a performance for the ages in Monday’s College Football Playoff Championship Game. Smith produced a stunning individual display as ‘Bama earned a dominant 52-24 victory over Ohio State.
The Heisman Trophy winner set a slew of records when he finished the game with 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns.
Incredibly, Smith achieved those marks in just the first half of the game, after he was forced to withdraw in the third quarter with a hand injury.
Smith’s Record-Breaking Evening
Across that first half, in which Alabama scored 35 points, Smith broke a total of eight records:
- Number of receptions in a CFP Championship Game – This had stood at 10 by Clemson’s Hunter Renfrow which he achieved in 2017, against Alabama. Smith landed 12 receptions by half time.
- Receiving TD’s in a CFP Championship Game – Four different players had caught two passes in a CFP Championship game ahead of Monday night. Smith eclipsed those with three grabs for touchdowns in the first half.
- Receiving Yards in a Half of a CFP Championship Game – Back 2016, another Alabama receiver, O.J.Howard had 183 yards receiving in the second half of the game with Clemson. Smith eclipsed that by 32 yards putting up 215 yards during the first half. He would have smashed Ja’Marr Chase’s record of 221 receiving yards set in last year’s CFP Championship Game against Clemson had he not had to sit out the game from the third quarter.
- CFP Playoffs Two Game Receiving Yards – Across both the semi-finals and final of the College Playoffs, Smith picked up 345 yards receiving. This broke the record set by LSU’s Justin Jefferson of 333 yards set last season.
- CFP Playoffs Two Game Touchdowns Scored (Tied) – Ezekiel Elliott scored six touchdowns for Ohio State in 2014 in their two playoff games and Smith had matched that total by half time on Monday Night.
- Single Season Receiving Yards in the SEC – Last season Ja’Marr Chase set a new record with 1780 receiving yards in the SEC across the season. Smith eclipsed that last night with 1,856 yards in total.
- Single Season Touchdowns in the SEC – Similarly, Ja’Marr Chase scored 20 touchdowns for LSU last year to set a new record for touchdowns in the SEC. Smith broke that record with 23 in the win over Ohio State.
- FBS Career Receiving Touchdowns – Across his college career, Smith totalled 46 career touchdowns, the most in FBS history, beating Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles previous mark of 45 touchdowns set from 2008 to 2011.
NFL Scouts & Players Impressed
There is no doubt that the millions watching including NFL Scouts, head coaches and players will have been hugely impressed, not just with Smith, but with many Crimson Tide players that played in the game last night. Several NFL Stars tweeted their impressions of Smith.
In addition, Alabama QB Mac Jones had a fine night, hitting 36 of 45 passes for a CFP Championship record of 464 yards with five touchdowns. He’ll be the first to pay tribute to his offensive line who afforded him great protection all night.
The O-Line were also key in running back Najeh Harris also bagging three touchdowns and racking up 158 yards on 29 carries. He also set a new SEC mark for running backs scoring 30 touchdowns across the season.
Players tipped to go in the first round of the forthcoming NFL Draft from last night’s game include DeVonta Smith and cornerback Patrick Surtain II of Alabama and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, all of whom are projected to be a top ten selection.
Others expected to go in the first round include Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, Ohio State Guard Wyatt Davis, Alabama QB Mac Jones and Alabama Defensive End Christian Barmore.
Stunning win for Saban
It was also a record-breaking night for Alabama’s 69-year-old head coach Nick Saban who landed his seventh Championship, breaking the tie of six he had held with Paul “Bear” Bryant for most titles won by a college coach.
It was the sixth time in the last 12 years that the Crimson Tide had clinched the championship.
Many feel this year’s Alabama side are potentially the best ever, certainly in the Saban era. However with a large number of this team expected to move on to the NFL, with others graduating, the hard work now will begin to get Alabama ready for the 2021 football season.
While DeVonta Smith is hoping to go on to break more records as a receiver in the NFL.
*Featured Image – Public Domain