ARLINGTON, Texas — The University of Cincinnati Bearcats football team made history with its appearance in the College Football Playoff semi-final Saturday, as the first non-power conference team to make the college football playoff.
Alabama beat them, ending the Bearcats undefeated season.
Alabama will face Georgia for the National Championship.
For the sixth time in the eight seasons of the College Football Playoff era, Alabama has advanced to the College Football Playoff National Championship after the top-seeded Crimson Tide downed No. 4 Cincinnati – the first-ever non-Autonomy 5, non-Notre Dame team to qualify for the playoff – 27-6 in the Cotton Bowl.
Alabama scored a touchdown on the game’s opening possession after running the ball on its first 10 plays and while Cincinnati scored on its first possession to cut the deficit to 7-3, the Bearcats managed just 76 yards of offense in the first half, 60 of which came on their first possession. Alabama had 302 yards of offense in the first half, by comparison, and the Crimson Tide shut out the Bearcats in the second half, thanks to forcing Cincinnati into two punts and two turnovers on downs in the second half.
Alabama’s fourth-quarter touchdown from Bryce Young to Cameron Latu gave the Crimson Tide some extra breathing room, 24-6, and while Young threw for just 181 yards in the game, he did have three touchdown passes. Cincinnati intercepted the Heisman Trophy winner once, which was just his fifth pick of the season.
Alabama running back Brian Robinson Jr. had a monster performance with 26 carries for 204 yards, while former Alabama transfer Jerome Ford, who’s now Cincinnati’s lead back, managed just 77 yards on 15 carries.