January 11, 2021 was a date that Alabama will most surely remember, while OSU will struggle to forget. This year’s CFB National Championship Game did not go as most Ohio State football fans had hoped, even with their team being the underdogs. Going into the game, Ohio State had 14 players out due to the COVID-19 protocol—this left them at a disadvantage. To start the game, Ohio State received the ball. Their first drive was a quick three and out. The Buckeye’s star running back, Trey Sermon, was hurt on the first play and never returned to the game. Alabama received the ball at their own 22 yard line and drove down the field to score using their All-American running back, Najee Harris.
Ohio State was able to respond quickly by scoring a rushing touchdown themselves. However, the tide changed back shortly after. Alabama was able to drive all the way down to Ohio State’s five-yard line to end the first quarter. The tide opened up the second quarter, by throwing a touchdown pass to Heisman winning receiver, DeVonta Smith. This was only the start for Alabama who went on a scoring run. They finished the first half with an 18 point lead over the Buckeyes.
Although the tide had a dominant lead over the Buckeyes heading into the second half, there was still hope. This reporter and other Ohio state fans assumed they would mount a comeback against the infamous “Crimson Tide”. I interviewed several students at Hubbard High School about this championship game, asking the question: “Did you think there was any ounce of hope for Ohio State after the first half of football during the CFB championship game?” According to Junior Aidan Ealy, “Ohio State can be a second-half team, so yes, I believed in us until the end. However, Alabama was just the better team; we were outplayed.” According to Chase Powell, a senior at Hubbard High, “Yes, I thought the Buckeyes had a chance if Justin Fields could continue to produce in the second half like he had been all season. I also believed if our secondary could control the passing game, then we had a good chance of pulling away with a win.” These are just two examples of fans who maintained their hope, but were disappointed in the end.
Throughout the remainder of the game, Alabama continued to play great football. Ohio State showed very few glimpses of hope of a comeback, their “defensive players were out of position, missing tackles even without Smith or Harris on the field, and just playing terrible football overall,” states Vox Sports Journalists. Alabama went on to win the game with a final score of 52-24k, and their star receiver DeVonta Smith went on to win the MVP of the game despite not playing in the second half. Even though the Buckeyes lost, they still carry strong fan support, and many people at Hubbard, along with this reporter, were rooting and will continue to root, for them.