SALT LAKE CITY — 2021 starts with football.
Ring in the New Year with four college football bowl games, including the national semifinals in the Rose Bowl in Arlington, Texas and Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
Rose Bowl (CFP semifinal)
No. 1 Alabama 31, No. 4 Notre Dame 14
The relocated Rose Bowl was a slightly more pleasant trip to Texas for the fourth-ranked Irish than their blowout loss to Clemson in the semifinals two years ago, but the outcome matched six previous trips to the playoffs or New Year’s Six bowls since 2000.
Friday’s 31-14 loss to the Crimson Tide at the home of the Dallas Cowboys put Notre Dame’s average margin of defeat at 23 points in those seven losses, two years after a 30-3 loss to Clemson in the Cotton Bowl in the same stadium.
Sugar Bowl (CFP semifinal)
No. 3 Ohio State 49, No. 2 Clemson 28
In a matchup of quarterback prodigies from Georgia, Justin Fields might have given the Jacksonville Jaguars something to think about what do to with that first pick in the NFL draft.
Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence is the presumptive No. 1 pick, but Fields outplayed him on this night, going 22 for 28 for 385 yards in a Buckeyes win. He set a Sugar Bowl record for TD passes and did it playing more than half the game after taking a vicious shot the side that forced him to miss a play and spend time in the medical tent.
No. 11 Georgia 24, No. 6 Cincinnati 21
Jack Podlesny kicked a 53-yard field goal with three seconds remaining, and No. 11 Georgia handed No. 6 Cincinnati its only loss of the season with a dramatic 24-21 victory in the Peach Bowl on Friday.
Georgia trailed 21-10 in the fourth quarter, but its defense clamped down on Desmond Ridder and Cincinnati and JT Daniels helped rally the Bulldogs with his arm. Daniels finished with 392 yards passing.
No. 14 Northwestern 35, Auburn 19
Peyton Ramsey threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score, and No. 14 Northwestern’s defense made it stand up in a 35-19 victory over Auburn in the Citrus Bowl on Friday.
Ramsey, a graduate transfer, totaled 291 yards passing and 50 yards rushing for Northwestern (7-2), which won its fourth straight bowl game. Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Brown, John Raine and Riley Lees had touchdown catches for the Wildcats, who bounced back from an ugly loss to Ohio State on Dec. 19 in the Big Ten championship game.