Alabama standout wide receiver DeVonta Smith suffered a hand injury on the Crimson Tide's second play of the second half after a record-breaking first half against Ohio State in the national championship. Smith dislocated a finger, according to head coach Nick Saban, after the game. "It's broken," Smith said. "I'm going to get surgery on it next week."
The injury occurred when Smith was tackled by OSU's Jeff Okudah during an 11-yard gain. After being taken to the ground, Smith grabbed his right hand with his left hand and yelled out in pain. He remained in the game for another seven plays before he was helped off the field.
Ohio State won the game 31-27 but lost the National Championship due to their inability to stop Alabama late in the fourth quarter. The loss also ended their season with a perfect 16-0 record.
Smith, a 5'10", 175-pound freshman from Miami Gardens, Florida, had nine catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns this season. He was considered one of the top receivers in the country before the injury.
With Smith out for the season, Alabama will look to Jalen Hurts or Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback moving forward. Both players have started games this year for the Crimson Tide.
Former Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith dislocated and tore ligaments in his finger during the team's national title game victory over Ohio State.... The injury occurred when Smith attempted to catch a pass with just under 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
He will be sidelined for the rest of the season.
Smith was considered one of the top receivers in college football before the injury. He finished the year with 33 catches for 462 yards and five touchdowns.
The Crimson Tide won their third straight championship with an 18-15 win over Ohio State in overtime. It was their second title in three years after Nick Saban's team defeated Clemson University 24-22 in 2015.
Alabama will play Florida in the College Football Playoff Semifinal on January 13th in Atlanta. The winner will meet Oregon in the Super Bowl.
Smith's injury came less than two weeks after Tide teammate Tua Tagovailoa suffered a hip injury that required surgery. He is expected to make a full recovery this summer.
Coach Saban said after the game that he didn't think the injuries would affect either player's ability to compete in the playoff matchup.
The one thing to remember about Alabama WR DeVonta Smith versus Ohio State after his outstanding first half in the national championship game was his fractured finger. Smith had 215 yards and three touchdowns in the first half before being injured in the third. Smith anticipates a complete recovery from his injuries.
Smith's status for the BCS title game is uncertain. If he cannot play, then it would not be a surprise if another player got the majority of the work with him on the field. Without Smith, opposing defenses would have more freedom to focus on Taulbee Cavanaugh or Calvin Ridley instead of Alabamawho would still be running most of the routes as Smith is expected to return soon.
In the meantime, the rest of the team will need to step up if they hope to continue their perfect season. The winner of this game will almost certainly go down as one of the greatest teams in NCAA history so there should be no doubt who the favorite is. Ohio State is just too strong across the board for Alabama to compete with on any level. Alabama is also facing an injury crisis of their own with defensive end Carl Lawson out for the year and starting quarterback Tua Tagovailuikexpected to miss at least one game due to a hip injury.
It's hard to imagine how Alabama could possibly keep up their dominant performance without their top two receivers and their leading rusher.
DeVonta Smith of Alabama did not return to Monday's College Football Playoff final game after suffering a hand injury in the third quarter. During a collision while attempting to bring in a ball over the middle, the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner seemed to jam his fingers. He stayed in the game for one more snap before being taken off the field.
Smith was ruled out for the Tide's 42-14 win over Oklahoma in the CFP championship game. Without their star running back, Alabama used Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback for most of the game.
In four seasons at Alabama, Smith has 2,071 yards and 22 touchdowns on 515 carries (4.0 average). He is the first player in SEC history with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons (1,097 in 2019; 1,054 in 2018).
The senior was also named the MVP of the Capital One Bowl following the 2019 season. That year, he became the first player in NCAA history to have back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons and still finish with at least 10 receptions per game (10 last year, 11 in 2019).
He entered the CFP final game as one of five players with at least 3,000 career rushing yards, along with Joe Mixon, Leonard Fournette, Derrick Henry, and Doug Martin.