Alabama receiver and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith catches a touchdown pass during Monday’s win over Ohio State. Smith left the game with a hand injury early in the third quarter, but in the first half had 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns. Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — DeVonta Smith was uncoverable, Najee Harris unstoppable and Mac Jones impeccable. With a performance that was both surgical and explosive, No. 1 Alabama won the College Football Playoff national championship game, 52-24, against No. 3 Ohio State on Monday night.

Alabama defensive back Jordan Battle hits Ohio State tight end Jeremy Ruckert during the first half on Monday Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

The final game of a college football season in a pandemic, a season that was uncertain to be played in the summer and filled with disruptions in the fall, ended in the most predictable fashion: Alabama (13-0) as national champion for the sixth time in the last 12 years under Coach Nick Saban.

For Saban, it was career title No. 7 overall, breaking a tie with Alabama great Paul “Bear” Bryant for the most by a major college coach.

“To me this is the ultimate team,” Saban said. “There is more togetherness on this team than on almost any team we’ve ever had. They’ve had to overcome and to persevere so much through this season, and they have done it magnificently.”

Ohio State (7-1) just couldn’t keep up. Justin Fields, playing what might be his last game before heading to the NFL, passed for 194 yards and a touchdown. Whether Fields was 100% after taking a brutal hit to the side during his brilliant semifinal performance against Clemson was hard to know for sure.

On the Buckeyes’ first drive, they lost star running back Trey Sermon to an injury and in a game they needed to be running at top speed, facing one of great offenses in recent history, they sputtered too much. Ohio State has never allowed more points in a bowl game.

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones celebrates after a touchdown by wide receiver DeVonta Smith during the first half of Monday’s College Football Playoff national championship game against Ohio State in Miami Gardens, Fla. Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Fans can debate which team in the Saban dynasty is best, but none will be more memorable than this group. The Tide finished perfect during a season that could not have been further from it as COVID-19 forced teams into quarantines and endless testing and uncertainty every single week with games played in mostly empty stadiums.

Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith leaves the field after their win against Ohio State in the College Football Playoff national championship game on Monday night. Alabama won 52-24 and Smith suffered a hand injury in the third quarter. Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Only about 15,000 fans were at Hard Rock Stadium, capacity 65,326, to see the last magnificent performance of Smith’s college career.

The Heisman Trophy winner had catches for 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half as the Crimson Tide bolted out to a 35-17 lead.

Using an array of motions and misdirections, outgoing offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian had Ohio State heads spinning trying to track down Smith.

Sometimes it was simpler than that. On Smith’s third touchdown, he lined up in the slot, the closest to the line of three receivers on the left side. Smith cut quickly to the middle of the field and suddenly was matched up against a linebacker, whom he left in the dust for a 42-yard score with 41 seconds left in the second quarter.

Smith, who finished his freshman season by catching the 2017 national championship winning touchdown pass from Tua Tagovailoa, ended his Alabama career as the leading career receiver in Southeastern Conference history. He was the offensive player of Monday night’s game.

As for Sarkisian, he is on his way to Texas as the head coach. Longhorns fans had to have liked what they saw from their new playcaller. If only he could bring Smith and his fellow Heisman contenders to Austin.

Jones, who finished third in the Heisman voting, was 36 for 45 for a CFP championship-record 464 yards and five touchdowns, operating behind a line that had him rarely feeling rushed. Harris had 158 yards from scrimmage on 29 touches, scoring three times to give him an SEC record 30 touchdowns this season.

Smith hardly played in the second half, leaving with what an injury. He returned to the sideline in the fourth quarter with his left hand wrapped to the wrist, two fingers taped together, and wearing a Heisman mask.

Alabama hardly missed him and cracked 50 early in the fourth quarter when Harris went in untouched from a yard out.

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