Alabama vs. Cincinnati score, Cotton Bowl takeaways: Tide roll into sixth College Football Playoff title game

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ARLINGTON, Texas — No. 1 Alabama rolled through No. 4 Cincinnati 27-6 behind a monster day from running back Brian Robinson Jr. The redshirt senior rushed for an Alabama bowl record 204 yards on 26 carries to deliver the Crimson Tide a 2021 Cotton Bowl semifinal win and their sixth appearance in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Bryce Young threw for just 181 yards against Cincinnati’s elite pass defense, but he tossed three touchdown passes to as many different receivers. Young broke program records for both single-season yards passing and passing touchdowns in his first game since winning the Heisman. 

The Tide put together an 11-play scoring drive — featuring 10 rushes — on their first possession to set the tone for the game. The Bearcats managed to get into the red zone three times, but they settled for field goals twice and turned the ball over on downs once against the most vaunted dynasty in college football history. 

Cincinnati managed to compile just 72 yards in the first half, the fewest in any half in College Football Playoff history. Cincy played better in the second half to end the game with 218 total yards, but it still averaged just 3.8 yards per play. Quarterback Desmond Ridder struggled mightily, completing just 17-of-32 passes for 144 yards. Running back Jerome Ford had 77 yards but only got 15 attempts in the game. 

Alabama has now won all six matchups against Cincinnati in their combined history, though the teams had not played since 1990. The Tide await either No. 2 Michigan or No. 3 Georgia in the CFP National Championship on Jan. 10, 2022.

Keep it locked here for takeaways from the Cotton Bowl.

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