The Tide fell behind 7-0 in the first quarter as Washington went up on a beautiful touchdown pass from Jake Browning to Dante Pettis. It was the fourth straight game that Alabama fell behind in the first quarter, and like the previous three, the Tide stormed back behind a dominant defensive performance and a massive game from running back Bo Scarborough.
The Alabama defense, with that one touchdown drive aside, was as dominant as ever, pressuring Browning and shutting down the Huskies’ rushing attack. Washington had 51 rushing yards on the game as Alabama’s fearsome front seven completely shut down Myles Gaskin and company on the ground. Browning threw for 150 yards and that one touchdown but was sacked five times and was under pressure for the majority of the final three quarters of the game.
That pressure also forced Browning into the biggest mistake of the game near the end of the first half as he lobbed up a screen pass under pressure that Ryan Anderson picked off and took back for a 26-yard touchdown. That was Alabama’s 11th defensive touchdown of the season — its sixth pick-six — and gave the Tide a 17-7 lead going into the half.
The defense shut out Washington in the final three quarters, and the exclamation point on the performance was an interception on the Huskies’ final pass attempt by Minkah Fitzpatrick.
On offense, the Tide followed the lead of Scarborough, who rushed for 180 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. The rest of Alabama’s offense struggled against a very good Washington defense, but the Huskies had no answer for big No. 9 coming out of the backfield.
The Huskies defense showed up to play and limited the non-Scarborough Alabama offense to 150 total yards and forced JK Scott onto the field for eight punts. However, as has been the case so often this season, even the best efforts of an opponent’s defense in slowing down the Tide offense cannot match the ability of the Alabama defense to not only get stops but also get scores on their own.
The Peach Bowl was business as usual for the Tide. It wasn’t pretty and at times it was extremely frustrating to watch the Alabama offense, but in the end, Alabama not only end up with a win but a convincing, relatively stress-free victory. Next stop for the Tide is Tampa to face either Ohio State or a rematch with Clemson as Alabama looks to claim a second straight national championship.