No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Ohio State are facing off in the final game of the 2020 college football season.
The top-ranked Tide (12-0) will be looking for Nick Saban’s seventh career national championship, and his sixth at Alabama; that latter mark would tie him for the most by an Alabama coach, while the former would give him the all-time lead. Ohio State (7-0), meanwhile, will look for its second championship of the College Football Playoff era, having won the inaugural title in 2014.
Who will persevere in this, only the fifth all-time meeting between these teams (and first with a championship on the line)? Alabama, Saban and the terrific trio of quarterback Mac Jones, receiver DeVonta Smith and running back Najee Harris? Or Justin Fields and Trey Sermon leading Ryan Day’s Buckeyes?
Sporting News is tracking live scoring updates and highlights from Alabama vs. Ohio State in college football’s national championship game. Follow below for complete results from the College Football Playoff final.
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Alabama vs. Ohio State score
Alabama vs. Ohio State live updates, highlights
(All times Eastern)
Fourth quarter: Alabama 52, Ohio State 24
11:26 p.m.: Fields converts on third down, and Ohio State is going to get some free yardage after Barmore get a little extra on the signal-caller.
11:25 p.m.: Officials take the touchdown off the board. Buckeyes still down four touchdowns. It’s third-and-4 Ohio State.
11:22 p.m.: Fields connects with Jaxon Smith-Njigba for what, at first glance, looks like a 21-yard touchdown. Closer look shows him bobbling it, and the play’s up for review.
11:21 p.m.: Meanwhile, Fields again avoids Barmore and this time scrambles for the third-down conversion. Buckeyes driving at the Tide 26.
11:20 p.m.: Ohio State is going with a methodical approach on this drive. Says a lot about.
11:19 p.m.: Fields steps up to avoid the Barmore rush and makes another third down-converting throw to the Bama 39.
11:18 p.m.: Nicholas Petit-Frere is called for a false start on Ohio State. Makes it third-and-10 Buckeyes from their 45.
11:17 p.m.: Fields to Olave for another 10-yard gain to the 46.
11:16 p.m.: Fields eats a big shot on an Alabama blitz, but finds Olave for a first down on third-and-11.
11:15 p.m.: Ohio State from the 25. Jones, meanwhile, is on the sideline and looks to be in discomfort.
11:11 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, ALABAMA. There’s Harris’ third touchdown tonight, this one from 2 yards out. That makes it 52-24 Alabama with 13:15 left to play. Of note: Alabama managed to eat 1:45 of game clock that quarter. Not insignificant.
11:10 p.m.: No such luck. Jones targets Metchie on the slant and gets the Tide a first-and-goal look at the 4.
11:09 p.m.: Harris gets 2 on the carry. Wonder if Alabama lets the play clock wind down before each play?
End of third quarter: Alabama 45, Ohio State 24
11:05 p.m.: Alabama isn’t taking the foot off the pedal. They throw a fake route wide to Harris then find Metchie in the zone for a 27-yard gain. Tide are at Ohio State’s 16 as the quarter comes to a close.
11:04 p.m.: Turnover on downs, Ohio State. Christian Barmore bursts through the line to tackle Teague for a loss of 2. That’s a huge play.
11:03 p.m.: Linebacker Dylan Moses tackles Teague a yard short. Buckeyes going for it in their own territory on fourth-and-1
11:02 p.m.: Buckeyes have it third-and-4 from their 42.
11:01 p.m.: Fields to Olave on the comeback route to the 36.
11 p.m.: Buckeyes back at it at the 25. Tide defense were left reeling in the Buckeyes’ last drive; how will they react?
10:56 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, ALABAMA. Jones connects with Bolden on a 5-yard swing route for the receiver’s first career touchdown. A pivotal score after the Buckeyes built up some momentum with the quick score. It’s 45-24 Alabama with 2:52 left in the quarter.
10:55 p.m.: And there’s backup running back Brian Branch with rushes of 4 and 21 yards to the Ohio State 10. Very tough running from him.
10:53 p.m.: Now Jones is limping after a 10-yard scramble. Ohio State’s Pete Werner kind of rolled up on his leg there.
10:53 p.m.: Timeout, Ohio State (5:20)
10:51 p.m.: Jones connects with Billingsley and he gets it out to the Ohio State 45. The ball came out after he hit the ground, but Ohio State is taking a timeout to make sure it gets a look.
10:49 p.m.: Smith’s out of the tent, with a towel over his hand. Heading to the locker room.
10:48 p.m.: Alabama back at it from the 25. Smith, by the way, is still in the medical tent. Tide would love another long drive here.
10:44 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, OHIO STATE. On the next play, Fields connects with Wilson for the touchdown with Brian Branch in defense. It’s 38-24 Alabama with 6:45 left in the third quarter. Just what the Buckeyes needed.
10:44 p.m.: Fields runs the zone-read to perfection and takes it 33 yards to the Bama 20.
10:43 p.m.: Fields hits Wilson on the wheel route for a 17-yard gain to th 42. An offsides by Allen nets 5 yards, and Buckeyes are already at near midfield with just one play.
10:41 p.m.: Smith still in the medical tent; replay shows Smith’s finger get mangled pretty badly there.
10:39 p.m.: Ohio State will take over at its 25, and the Buckeyes need quick scoring drives.
10:36 p.m.: FIELD GOAL, ALABAMA. Will Reichard knocks it through from 20 yards to make it 38-17 Alabama with 7:47 left in the third quarter. Alabama will take seven-minute scoring drives from here on out, no questions asked.
10:35 p.m.: Harris absorbs a blow by Josh Proctor on a tunnel screen but only nets a couple on the third-down try. No fourth-down conversion coming up here.
10:33 p.m.: Ohio State can’t get off the field on third-and-6. Harris shakes off a couple defenders and gets Alabama a fresh set of downs at the 5.
10:32 p.m.: Jones finds Xavier Williams and Jahleel Billingsley on consecutive plays for their first receptions of the game, respectively.
10:30 p.m.: A couple nice connections to Waddle and Harris get Alabama down to the 27.
10:30 p.m.: Meanwhile, Jones hits Metchie on the slant for a first down. Tide driving at their 49.
10:28 p.m.: Uh-oh. Smith is heading to the medical tent with personnel looking at his finger.
10:27 p.m.: Tide waste no time; Harris gets a 13-yard first-down carry to the 41.
10:26 p.m.: Tide’s back at it at the 24 after a short Smith return.
Halftime: Alabama 35, Ohio State 17
10:20 p.m.: Halftime stats:
Total yards: Alabama 389; Ohio State 190
First downs: Alabama 19, Ohio State 9
Third downs: Alabama 3 for 5 (2 for 2 on fourth); Ohio State 2 for 7
Passing: Alabama 25 for 30, 342 yards; Ohio State 6 for 15, 90 yards
Rushing: Alabama 13 rushes, 47 yards; Ohio State 19 rushes, 100 yards
Penalties: Alabama 4 for 33; Ohio State 3 for 24
Turnovers: Alabama 1; Ohio State 0
Time of possession: Alabama 17:16; Ohio State 12:44
10:03 p.m.: Ohio State takes a knee, and Alabama takes a 35-17 lead into halftime.
10:02 p.m.: Ohio State’s Chris Booker is called for running into the punter on the punt, so Alabama doesn’t get a first down out of it. Alabama declines the penalty, and now the Buckeyes have just four seconds left to do something.
10:01 p.m.: Jones targets Smith on two plays but gets nothing. Alabama will have to punt for the first time all night with 10 seconds remaining in the half.
10 p.m.: Chris Owens called for a false start. Lots of finger-pointing between teams. Tide have it at their 46 with 20 to go.
9:58 p.m.: Timeout, Alabama (0:20)
9:58 p.m.: Jones to Bolden for 7 yards to the Ohio State 49.
9:58 p.m.: Jones to Harris for 10 yards to the Tide 44.
9:56 p.m.: Timeout, Alabama (0:33)
9:56 p.m.: A quick screen to Metchie goes 6 yards.
9:56 p.m.: Smith calls for the fair catch. Alabama will have the ball at its 28 with 42 seconds to score.
9:55 p.m.: Timeout, Alabama (0:49)
9:52 p.m.: Timeout is called as Wyatt Davis is down for Ohio State. He would be a huge loss for this Buckeyes offense.
9:50 p.m.: Fields tries to scramble on second down; he gets some yardage, but it’s negated by a holding call on Matthew Jones. It’s second-and-17 inside the Buckeyes’ 20 with a minute remaining.
9:49 p.m.: Ohio State from the 25. Buckeyes entering desperation mode?
9:47 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, ALABAMA. There’s the hat trick by Smith. Jones hits him effortlessly on the seam route for a 43-yard touchdown. Ohio State had a linebacker on him. Absurd. It’s 35-17, Alabama, with 1:48 left before halftime.
9:46 p.m.: Ohio State dials up the rush and Alabama counters perfectly with a slip screen to Harris. He takes it 14 yards to the Ohio State 46.
9:45 p.m.: No fair catch by Smith there; he returns it to Alabama’s 40-yard line, giving the Tide 2:29 to work with before halftime.
9:44 p.m.: Quick three-and-out by Ohio State. Not what the Buckeyes needed. Good play there, considering the defense was completely out of sorts.
9:42 p.m.: Buckeyes from the 25. They have some time for a drive here, with two timeouts as well.
9:40 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, ALABAMA. Smith gets the 5-yard reception on the swing pass. Absolutely too easy there. It’s 28-17, Alabama, with 3:19 left in the half. Ohio State has time for a scoring drive, however.
9:39 p.m.: Ohio State’s Sevyn Banks is called for pass interference on Metchie. Tide have it first-and-goal from the 5.
9:38 p.m.: Jones with a huge gain to Smith. The Heisman winner ate Shaun Wade’s lunch there. The Tide are now in the red zone after the 44-yard gain and may want to slow it down so as not to score too quickly.
9:37 p.m.: Jones gets it all back and more with a 16-yard gain to Metchie to the 36.
9:36 p.m.: Tide face second-and-15 early after Alex Leatherwood is called for an ineligible man down field. The Film Room telecast has noticed that happening a few times before.
9:35 p.m.: Tide at it from the 25. They’ll want a score here, as they get the ball out of the half.
9:33 p.m.: FIELD GOAL, OHIO STATE. Jake Seibert sinks it from 23 yards to make it Alabama 21, Ohio State 17 with 5:21 in the half.
9:33 p.m.: Fields’ pass is nearly intercepted in the end zone by Patrick Surtain II. Could have been a huge play for the Tide. As it stands, the field goal unit is coming up.
9:30 p.m.: The call is confirmed, and Battle’s out. That gives Ohio State first-and-goal from the 8.
9:29 p.m.: Jordan Battle is called for targeting after knocking the ball loose from Ruckert on the third-down play. It’s under review.
9:25 p.m.: Timeout, Ohio State (6:17)
9:24 p.m.: Nothing going for Ohio State there. Christian Allen tackles Teague for a 4-yard loss to bring up third-and-11 from the 16.
9:23 p.m.: Buckeyes work the tempo and get Teague a big gain up the left sideline. Buckeyes driving at the Tide 15 after the 29 yard-gain.
9:23 p.m.: Fields scrambles for the first time, getting 28 yards to the Tide 44.
9:21 p.m.: Ohio State from the 25.
9:17 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, ALABAMA. That’s a 26-yard touchdown reception by Harris there. Browning blitzed again, but Jones saw Harris on the wheel route just quickly enough to make the connection. Harris makes a couple defenders miss, then hurdles his way into the end zone. It’s 21-14, Alabama, with 9:00 left in the first quarter.
9:16 p.m.: There’s Harris’ first carry of the drive; he weaves in and out of Ohio State defenders to the 33.
9:15 p.m.: Jones to Smith again on the slant. Tide driving at Ohio State’s 46 after the 13-yard gain.
9:14 p.m.: And Jones throws a beautiful 15-yard back-shoulder throw to Smith for a 15-yard gain to the 41.
9:13 p.m.: Alabama takes over at its 25. Big drive coming up after the bad play.
9:09 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, OHIO STATE. One play later, Teague takes it in from 4 yards out for his second score. That evens it up again at 14-all with 11:43 left before halftime.
9:08 p.m.: Williams beat Josh Jobe, but dropped the touchdown in the end zone. Good luck for Ohio State, Jobe is called for pass interference, giving the Buckeyes first-and-goal at the 4.
9:07 p.m.: Turnover, Alabama. Baron Browning surprises Jones on the corner blitz and forces a fumble. He also had the wherewithal to jump on it. It’s Ohio State’s ball at the Alabama 19. That’s a huge swing play for Ohio State.
9:06 p.m.: Jones’ swing pass to Smith goes 12 yards to the 24. Already some breathing room for Alabama.
9:03 p.m.: Smith takes a fair catch at his own 12. Tide looking for their third score in as many drives.
9:02 p.m.: Alabama follows up with a delayed blitz; he overthrows Teague out of the backfield and is sandwiched by Christian Harris and Will Anderson. He was down on the field a moment, and definitely felt that. Punt upcoming.
9:02 p.m.: Fields barely gets the ball away on a significant pass-rush by Bama. Third-and-9 upcoming.
9:01 p.m.: Fields avoids the pass-rush and throws a fluttering pass on third down; he finds Wilson for 13 yards, with two guys in coverage, to the Bama 45.
9 p.m.: Fields finds Williams for a 13-yard gain to the Buckeyes 38.
8:58 p.m.: Ohio State takes over at the 25. Can Alabama slow down Fields and Co.?
8:58 p.m.: ESPN confirms Sermon is going to the hospital. Not great for Ohio State.
8:56 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, ALABAMA. No problem for Alabama there. Jones fakes the handoff to Harris then hits Smith on the swing pass for an easy touchdown. He has six catches for 83 yards and a score, giving Alabama a 14-7 lead with 14:53 left in the second.
End of first quarter: Alabama 7, Ohio State 7
8:52 p.m.: Alabama tries to get another play right before the first quarter ends, but Harris is tackled for a 3-yard loss at the Buckeyes 5. The Tide will have third-and-goal from there at the start of the second.
8:51 p.m.: It’s Harris again, and again he gets the first down. It’s first-and-goal Alabama at the 7.
8:50 p.m.: Ohio State stops John Metchie III a yard short of the line to gain. It’s fourth-and-1 at the 10. Alabama’s offense still on the field.
8:46 p.m.: There’s a timeout on the field as Ohio State defensive lineman Jerron Cage is down. He’s the backup to starter Tommy Togiai, who’s missing this game due to COVID-19.
8:44 p.m.: Looks like Ohio State’s content giving up underneath yards to make Alabama score from inside the red zone. Tide driving at the 22 after three plays, currently.
8:43 p.m.: Ohio State somehow lost Smith deep in the zone. Jones finds him for a 27-yard gain to Ohio State’s 48.
8:43 p.m.: There’s a flag on the kickoff, which Jahleel Billingsley returned a few yards to Alabama’s 20.
8:38 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, OHIO STATE. One play later, Teague takes it off left tackle for an 8-yard touchdown. We’re knotted 7-7 with 4:55 left in the first quarter. The Buckeyes need only eight plays to go 75 yards in 3:12 of game clock.
Ohio State ties it up! 🙌
Buckeye fans – Join your squad in Miami by using #CFPTwitterCam for an on-field pic from the CFP National Championship! 👀
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) January 12, 2021
8:38 p.m.: And there’s tight end Jeremy Ruckert. He pulls it in one-handed for a 36-yard gain to the Alabama 8-yard line.
8:36 p.m.: Fields finds Chris Olave for a 20-yard gain into Alabama territory. The Buckeyes are driving at the Tide 44.
8:36 p.m.: Fields overthrew receiver Garrett Wilson on the crossing route. Could have been a big gain with a linebacker in coverage.
8:35 p.m.: Teague gets 2 yards on the third-and-1 carry, netting the Buckeyes their first third-down conversion.
8:34 p.m.: Master Teague’s in at running back for Sermon; he gets a 6-yard gain on the first run of the drive.
8:34 p.m.: Ohio State’s back at it from its 25.
8:29 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, ALABAMA. Harris breaks the plane with ease, giving Alabama the first points in the game. That makes it 7-0, Crimson Tide, with 8:07 left in the first quarter. The Tide’s drive took 12 plays, traveled 78 yards and took 5:32 off the clock.
8:28 p.m.: Call confirmed. Alabama’s offense still on the field on fourth-and-goal with inches to gain.
8:26 p.m.: Bolden’s feet were in the end zone, but officials will review whether Bolden caught the ball with it in the end zone. It’s right on the line.
8:25 p.m.: Jones finds receiver Slade Bolden at the 1. Will they review this?
8:24 p.m.: Jones had Smith open in the end zone but just overthrew him. Second-and-goal from the 6 upcoming.
8:23 p.m.: There’s Waddle, in his first play of the game. Jones finds him on an underneath route for a 15-yard gain down to the 6-yard line. He’s a little gimpy heading off the field, however. First-and-goal Alabama.
8:22 p.m.: Bama facing its first third down at Ohio State’s 24. Harris tried to bounce it out again and cornerback Shaun Wade caught him for a 2-yard loss.
8:21 p.m.: There’s another run by Harris; he takes it 13 yards off right tackle for a first down to the Ohio State 29.
8:21 p.m.: Meanwhile, Jones checks down to Najee Harris, and he gets another first down at Ohio State’s 44.
8:20 p.m.: Uh-oh. Trey Sermon heading to the locker room. His left arm’s hanging at his side. That’d be a big loss for Ohio State.
8:19 p.m.: Jones hits Smith on the swing route, and he finds the edge for a 21-yard gain to the 44.
8:17 p.m.: Alabama forces a quick three-and-out; Justin Fields nearly scrambled on third-and-8, but Christopher Allen got him from behind. Buckeyes punt on fourth-and-7, and Jameson Williams tackles DeVonta Smith immediately on the punt return. Now it’s Alabama’s turn from the 23.
8:16 p.m.: Ohio State calls fair catch on the opening kickoff and will take over at its 25. Here we go.
8:14 p.m.: Alabama center Landon Dickerson serving as Alabama’s captain at the coin toss, by the way. Linebacker Tuf Borland doing it for Ohio State.
8:13 p.m.: Alabama wins the toss and defers. Ohio State’s offense will receive the ball first.
8 p.m.: Ohio State players out for Monday’s game:
Ohio State’s availability report just hit: Unavailable
CB Cam Brown
DL Jacolbe Cowan
K Dominic DiMaccio
DT Ty Hamilton
WR Jaylen Harris
K Blake Haubeil
OT Dawand Jones
LB Cade Kacherski
LB Mitchell Melton
DE Tyreke Smith
DT Tommy Togiai
SAF Kourt Williams
RB Miyan Williams
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) January 12, 2021
Alabama vs. Ohio State start time
- Date: Monday, Jan. 11
- Time: 8 p.m. ET | 5 p.m. PT
The College Football Playoff national championship between Alabama and Ohio State is scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, Jan. 11.
How to watch college football championship game
- TV channel: ESPN
- Live stream: ESPN app, fuboTV
The College Football Playoff national championship between Alabama and Ohio State will be broadcast nationally on ESPN. Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will serve as play-by-play announcer and analyst, respectively, while Maria Taylor will work the sideline.
Holly Rowe, who was also scheduled to work the game, is no longer able after testing positive for COVID-19.
In addition to the main broadcast on ESPN, viewers have a few alternative options to watch the CFP championship game via ESPN’s “Megacast,” including:
- CFP Live (ESPN2)
- Skycast (ESPNU)
- Film Room (ESPNEWS)
- National radio broadcast (ESPN Radio)
- Spanish language (ESPN Deportes)
- Hometown Radio (SEC Network/ESPN App)
- Command Center (ESPN App)
- Data Center (ESPN App)
- Refcast (ESPN App)
- Skycast (ESPN App)
- All22 (ESPN App)
- High Skycam (ESPN App)