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 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 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 ever 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 lead Ryan Day’s Buckeyes to one more victory?
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.
Alabama vs. Ohio State score
Alabama vs. Ohio State live updates, highlights
(All times ET)
Second quarter: Alabama 35, Ohio State 17
10 p.m.: Chris Owens called for a false start. Lots of finger-pointing between teams. Tide have it at their 46 with 20.
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 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 Ohio State 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 their own 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 quick.
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 there.
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 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 at 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)