Nick Saban stands alone as the most successful head coach in college football history after claiming a record seventh title following Alabama’s 52-24 rout of Ohio State.
Top-ranked Alabama (13-0) were too strong for number three Ohio State (7-1) in Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship at Hard Rock Stadium.
Saban – who celebrated his first crown in 2003 – surpassed Paul Bryant for the most national championships, with six of those titles coming during his 14 seasons at the helm of Alabama.
“I’m just happy we won tonight,” the 68-year-old said amid the celebrations post-game. “And I really haven’t thought about that ’cause you’re always looking forward.
“And I just love this team so much and what they’ve been able to do. I can’t put it into words.”
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) January 12, 2021
Saban added: “To me this is the ultimate team. There is more togetherness on this team than on almost any team we’ve ever had. They’ve had to overcome and to persevere so much through this season, and they have done it magnificently.”
Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith flexed his muscles in a stellar display in Miami Gardens, Florida before suffering a hand injury in the third quarter.
Smith – in his final college appearance as he prepares for the NFL – had 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half as Alabama claimed a 35-17 lead at the interval.
Th 22-year-old recorded 200-plus receiving yards and three-plus touchdown catches for the third time this season, tying Davante Adams (2013) for the most such games by any FBS player in any of the last 25 seasons, according to Stats Perform.
Smith also broke the South Eastern Conference’s single-season receiving yards record as he was named Offensive Most Valuable Player.
DeVonta Smith of @AlabamaFTBL has 200+ receiving yards and 3+ TD catches for the third time this season.
That ties Davante Adams (2013 Fresno State) for the most such games by any FBS player in any of the last 25 seasons.#RollTide
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) January 12, 2021
Alabama quarterback Mac Jones also dazzled, becoming the first QB to complete 80.0-plus per cent of his passes for 450-plus yards and five-plus touchdowns in a bowl game since NC State’s Philip Rivers in 2003.
Jones finished 36-of-45 passing for 464 yards, five TDs and no interceptions, while Ohio State counterpart Justin Field was 17 of 33 for 194 yards and a TD.