Faculty soccer followers knew Alabama broad receiver DeVonta Smith was going to have a monster sport towards Ohio State for the Faculty Soccer Playoff nationwide championship. And even after an absolutely stellar season, the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner actually impressed within the largest sport of the season.
Truly, it was actually simply the primary half as a result of Smith reportedly dislocated his finger within the third quarter and didn’t return for the remainder of Alabama’s dominant 52-24 victory towards the Buckeyes at Exhausting Rock Stadium.
“I’ll be alright,” the senior broad receiver informed ESPN after the sport. Right here’s a have a look at the play the place he injured his finger:
However even in a single half of the Crimson Tide’s blowout win, Smith — who For The Win ranked No. 2 among the many 2021 NFL Draft prospects within the nationwide championship sport — nonetheless knocked out a pair Faculty Soccer Playoff information.
He completed with 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns — all accrued in an impressive first half. He averaged 17.9 yards per catch Monday evening.
His 12 receptions broke the file for catches within the CFP title sport. Beforehand, Clemson broad receiver Hunter Renfrow held the file with 10 catches, plus 92 yards and two touchdowns, within the Tigers’ 2016-17 championship win over Alabama. (In the event you recall, his most essential play of that sport was a two-yard go-ahead touchdown catch from Deshaun Watson with one second left within the fourth.)
These three journeys to the tip zone additionally set the CFP title sport file, passing by LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase and Thaddeus Moss, Alabama’s O.J. Howard and Renfrow (in two video games), who have been all in a tie for the file with two nationwide championship receiving touchdowns.
And to be truthful, quarterback Mac Jones additionally broke a pair information too, together with most passing yards in a title sport with 464 yards. He accomplished 36-of-45 passes and added 5 touchdowns.
For Smith, it was his seventh time this season racking up greater than 100 yards within the first half-hour and the third time this season he’s had no less than 200 receiving yards in a single sport. And his first landing of the sport broke the SEC single-season record after he was previously tied with LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase with 20 single-season touchdowns.
He simply makes all of it look really easy, particularly blowing by Buckeyes linebacker Tuf Borland within the video under, and was an enormous motive why the Crimson Tide had a 35-17 halftime lead over Ohio State.
After the sport, Smith described the season as “unbelievable” and mentioned, “We simply completed writing our story.” Within the interview with ESPN’s Maria Taylor, he additionally mentioned:
“It simply got here all the way down to the younger guys simply placing within the work each day of the week figuring out that if any person went down, they was gonna have to come back in and do one thing massive. And I simply believed in them from the soar, and that’s what we’re doing. That’s why you come to Bama. …
“Simply with COVID and all the pieces occurring, it simply made issues harder. It simply made us extra collectively as a staff with us being round one another extra, waking up within the morning and getting examined and simply being there for one another and holding our bubble small. The self-discipline of this staff is rather like no different.”
After Monday’s title sport, Smith now has the SEC information and Alabama program information for single-season receiving yards, single-season receiving touchdowns, profession receiving yards and profession touchdowns.
Sport after sport, the senior broad receiver persistently produced jaw-dropping highlights, and though he was unable to complete the nationwide championship sport, his efficiency might be remembered as among the best of all time.