Alabama Rewind- 2015 Sugar Bowl
In their four-game history, Alabama has dominated the Ohio State Buckeyes. In 1978, 1986, and 1995, the Crimson Tide defeated Ohio State, but that changed during the inaugural College Football Playoff in 2014.
Entering the Sugar Bowl semifinal, the Crimson Tide was looking dominant. Besides a surprise loss in Oxford to Ole Miss, Alabama was the team to beat all season. With five wins over top 25 teams, Alabama was the first ever one-seed in an unprecedented season of football.
Ohio State lost early in the year to Virginia Tech in Columbus, but since then, the Buckeyes had corrected their path with 11 straight wins- nine of which were double-digit wins.
The Buckeyes were having a tough season dealing with injuries after losing starting quarterback Braxton Miller early in the season and second-string quarterback J.T. Barrett in the Michigan game. Due to these two playmakers being ruled out, third-string quarterback Cardale Jones started in the Big Ten Championship Game victory against Wisconsin.
To open the Sugar Bowl, Jones led the Buckeyes down the field for a 10-play drive that ended in an Ohio State field goal which brought the score to 3-0.
The Crimson Tide quickly responded with a Derrick Henry 25-yard touchdown to push Alabama to a 7-3 lead.
To close the first quarter, Alabama scored a touchdown on a Blake Sims-Amari Cooper connection and the Buckeyes kicked another field goal to make the score 14-6 in favor of the Tide.
Alabama struck first in the second quarter with a short T.J. Yeldon touchdown rush to put ‘Bama up 21-6.
Ohio State, on the other hand, came to life with an Ezekiel Elliott rushing score and a Michael Thomas touchdown reception to allow the Buckeyes to make it a one-point game going into halftime.
When the semifinal resumed in the third quarter, the Ohio State freight train kept rolling. The Buckeyes scored two more touchdowns to take the lead with a score of 34-21.
While the second of the two scores came from a pick-six, the Crimson Tide wouldn’t go down without a fight. To close the third stanza, Alabama quarterback Blake Sims took it to the house from five yards out to shorten the lead to only six points.
The fourth quarter of the Sugar Bowl was quiet until there were just over three minutes to go in the playoff. Ohio State extended their lead with a 85-yard Elliot touchdown rush to put the Buckeyes up 14 points.
Despite a Crimson Tide score to close the game, Alabama fell short to Ohio State in the first ever College Football Playoff Semifinal game 45-32.
Ohio State went on to win the national championship over the Oregon Ducks.
Since 2014, the Crimson Tide have appeared in five of the last six College Football Playoffs, winning two of them.
The Crimson Tide and the Buckeyes will finally have a rematch for the first time since the 2015 Sugar Bowl semifinal on Monday, January 11 when the two teams battle for the national championship.
The game will kick off at 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN. For game-day coverage, tune in to TIDE 100.9 for a full slate of content.