The Crimson Tide earned its sixth-consecutive CFP Semifinal win behind an Alabama bowl record 204 rushing yards from running back Brian Robinson Jr.


ARLINGTON, Texas – The No. 1/1/1 University of Alabama football team won its 41st bowl game on New Year’s Eve, defeating No. 4/4/4 Cincinnati, 27-6, in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the 2021 Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas Friday.


With the win, Alabama advances to its sixth CFP Championship Game in Indianapolis, Ind., on Jan. 10, when it will face the winner of CFP Semifinal game No. 2 vs. Georgia and Michigan. The Cotton Bowl victory also gives the Tide 41 bowl wins, the most in college football history.


Running back Brian Robinson Jr. was named the game’s offensive MVP, while linebacker Will Anderson Jr. brought home defensive MVP honors. Robinson recorded a career-high and Alabama bowl record 204 rushing yards on 26 carries, while Anderson led a Tide defense that held the Bearcats to just 218 yards of total offense.


Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Bryce Young tallied 181 yards on 17-of-28 passing with three touchdowns through the air, giving him the Alabama single-season passing yards record with 4,503. Ja’Core Brooks led the Tide’s receivers with 66 yards on four catches including a touchdown. Slade Bolden hauled in UA’s first touchdown of the game, while Cameron Latu added another in the fourth quarter.


Safety Brian Branch led the Tide with eight tackles, including six solo stops a sack and two pass breakups. Anderson added six tackles, including two sacks and tackles for loss.


Will Reichard connected on a 26-and 43-yard field goal and added three extra points in the game.


Postgame Notes

  • Alabama has played in a total of nine Cotton Bowl contests in school history, boosting its record to 5-4 all-time in those games with its win over Cincinnati.
  • Bryce Young set the school record for the most passing touchdowns in a season at 44, after connecting with Slade Bolden on an eight-yard touchdown pass on the Crimson Tide’s opening drive.
    • Young reset that record throughout the remainder of the game, concluding the contest at 46 touchdown passes
  • Young also broke the single-season passing yards record, surpassing Mac Jones who set the record in 2020 (4,500).
    • Young came into the CFP Semifinal/Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic with 4,322 passing yards, and currently holds the record with 4,503 heading into the national championship game.
  • Alabama logged 172 yards rushing in the first half, the most first-half rushing yards by the Crimson Tide this season.
    • The 172 yards rushing is also more than the Crimson Tide has recorded in a complete game in eight of 13 games this season.
  • Brian Robinson Jr. had 134 yards rushing in the first half, marking just the second time this season he has recorded 100-or-more yards rushing in a half.
    • His 134 yards in the first half against Cincinnati is more than he has recorded in a complete game in 10 of his 12 games this season.
  • Brian Robinson Jr. recorded a career-high 204 yards rushing in the game, setting an Alabama bowl record in the process
    • Robinson Jr. surpassed Bo Scarbrough, who recorded 180 yards against Washington on Dec. 21, 2016.
  • Alabama’s defense had six pass breakups against Cincinnati, tying a season high at LSU on Nov. 6.
  • The game captains against Cincinnati were Alabama’s permanent captains in linebacker Will Anderson Jr., defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis, offensive lineman Evan Neal, quarterback Bryce Young.


How It Happened


  • 9:51 – UA | Alabama marched down the field on its first possession, before Bryce Young connected with Slade Bolden on an eight-yard touchdown pass to cap an 11-play, 75-yard drive.
  • 4:52 – CIN | Cole Smith kicked a 33-yard field goal after a 13-play, 60-yard series.



  • 14:56 – UA | Will Reichard kicked a 26-yard field goal, concluding a 13-play, 67-yard drive.
  • 1:36 – UA | Ja’Corey Brooks caught a 44-yard touchdown pass from Young, to cap an eight-play, 94-yard drive.



  • 9:57 – CIN | Smith found success on a 37-yard field goal through the uprights to record the Bearcats’ second score of the game.



  • 13:52 – UA | Cameron Latu hauled in a nine-yard pass from Young  for Alabama’s third passing touchdown of the game, finishing off a nine-play, 70-yard drive.
  • 06:20 – UA | Reichard closed out the scoring with a 43-yard field goal.