Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

No. 4 Irish Falter Against Top-Ranked Crimson Tide, 31-14

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Playing in the Rose Bowl for just the second time in program history, the fourth-ranked Notre Dame football team couldn’t handle the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide and fell 31-14 in the College Football Playoff Semifinal Saturday afternoon at AT&T Stadium.

Kyren Williams carried the load for the Irish offensively on the day, finishing with 16 carries for 64 yards and one touchdown. Williams also set a career high with eight receptions out of the backfield. Ian Book added 55 yards on the ground and one rushing touchdown to go with 27-for-39 in the air for 229 yards. Michael Mayer also set a career high in receptions after he finished with seven in the game.

Defensively, Shaun Crawford tied a career high with a team-high nine tackles. Drew White totaled his season best mark with nine tackles and Kyle Hamilton was all over the field with seven tackles (six solo), one tackle-for-loss and one pass breakup.

Alabama struck first after forcing the Irish to punt on their first drive of the game. The Crimson Tide covered 79 yards in seven plays with DeVonta Smith’s 26-yard catch and run ending in the end zone. The next Crimson Tide drive found the end zone after a 12-yard pass from Mac Jones to Jahleel Billingsley for the score. After the first quarter, Alabama held a 14-0 lead.

The Irish offense got clicking in the second quarter thanks to a long 15-play drive that spanned over eight minutes. On fourth and goal from the one-yard line, Williams punched it in for his 13th rushing touchdown on the season. It is the most rushing touchdowns by an Irish running back since Autry Denson had 15 back in 1998.

Alabama quickly answered with another touchdown reception from Smith to regain its 14-point lead. Smith hauled in a 34-yard touchdown pass to cap off a six-play, 85-yard drive for the Crimson Tide and they led 21-7 halfway through the second quarter.

In the second half, Smith continued his strong game with the third receiving touchdown of the afternoon. He snagged a seven-yard pass from Jones to put Alabama up 28-7 with 4:58 remaining in the third quarter. In the fourth, the Irish were unable to get the offense going to mount a comeback.


Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website



Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website
Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website


Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website



No. 1 Alabama meets No. 4 Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff semifinal, with kickoff scheduled for 4 p.m. on ESPN.