ATLANTA- Alabama’s offense was struggling. Penalties and three-and-outs plagued the team as it held on to a 17-7 lead over Washington.
Then, it happened. Bo Scarbrough took a carry to the left side, broke two ankle tackles and rushed down the sideline. The sophomore running back cut the ball back and sprinted to the end zone, displaying speed, power and agility along the way.
While crossing the end zone, Scarbrough looked behind him and delivered a photo-worthy smile.
“When I looked back, I saw my whole team running down the field,” Scarbrough said. “I caught the chills because I seen that they had my back and they believed in me that I could get the job done.”
Scarbrough turned in a career performance in No.1 Alabama’s 24-7 win over No. 4 Washington in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. He carried the ball 19 times for 180 yards (an Alabama bowl record), posting more rushing yards than Washington’s entire team and earning Offensive MVP honors.
“He’s a freak. There’s no other way to put it,” said running back Damien Harris. “He’s an absolute monster. We got all the faith and trust in the world in him and he made a big play. I don’t really know what more to say. He’s just an animal.”
Scarbrough’s touchdown in the fourth quarter was not the only jaw-dropping play from him during the win. In the first quarter, he put the Crimson Tide on the board by running through two defenders on the goal line to cap off an 18-yard touchdown run.
He has had the hot hand late in games many times this season, but tonight, Scarbrough showed why so many people hyped him up heading into the 2016.
“He’s like 250 pounds, moves like that and can cut back like a smaller [running] back,” said tight end OJ Howard. “It’s impressive, but I really kind of always knew Bo [Scarbrough] had the ability to do that. The way he runs, you know, he’s just a freak of nature. I’m not surprised at all but I’m happy for him.”
Scarbrough’s two big runs left many wondering if there is any way to stop him. His 6-2, 228-pound frame make him look more like a linebacker than a running back. Yet, he still outruns fast players in the secondary.
Linebacker Tim Williams’ solution to stopping Scarbrough may be easier said than done.
“Oh [hit him] in his chest,” Williams said. “Don’t be scared of him. You can’t be scared of that big boy, you got to hit him.”
Alabama’s backfield has been a three-headed monster for most of the season. Harris, Scarbrough and Joshua Jacobs have each turned in big performances for the Crimson Tide.
For Scarbrough, he believes it doesn’t really matter who Alabama has carrying the ball.
“We’re a brotherhood,” he said. “We do play the same position and got different running styles. Whoever is in the game, I’m 100 percent sure they’re gonna get the job done the way the coaches want the job done.”
Scarbrough came up big for the Crimson Tide when the team needed him most. Outside of him, the team only had 146 yards- 326 yards including him- and could not seem to put together a strong drive. The passing offense posted 57 yards in a game where Jalen Hurts and the wide-receiving core struggled to find open holes in Washington’s secondary.
“They did a good job of disguising coverages,” Howard said. “Ultimately, that was really impressive. They disguised coverages and did a great job of tackling.”
Washington entered the game with one of the top defensive units in the country. The team shut down Alabama’s offense early. Slow starts have been one of the storylines of Alabama’s offense this year.
“It’s hard to get things going,” Howard said. “Washington was in a great position on a lot of our plays. He [Hurts] didn’t force anything. He didn’t want to make any mistakes, and that’s the way it should be.”
Howard was one of the players that Hurts relied on during the game, finishing with 44 of Alabama’s 57 receiving yards. If Hurts connected on a pass, it usually was Howard on the receiving end. Despite his struggles, Howard said Hurts acted the same way he has all season.
“He was still the same Jalen [Hurts],” Howard said. ‘He never got rattled or anything like that. He was just calm. I expected that. I knew he wouldn’t get rattled.”
With the win, Scarbrough and Alabama will head to Tampa, Fl. to take on either No. 2 Clemson or No. 3 Ohio State. Howard said the team does not care which team they play in its second-straight College Football Playoff National Championship.
“It doesnt matter,” he said. “It’s about us.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports