Alabama Football News

Derrick Henry sees huge numbers from Alabama’s Heisman finalists versus Notre Dame

Derrick Henry stiff arms a Jaguars for a touchdown in 2019 season
Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame comes into the Rose Bowl with one loss and a ton of confidence, but it faces its biggest challenge to date in Nick Saban and Alabama football.

With the venue being AT&T Stadium on Friday at 3 p.m. CT, there is one Crimson Tide alumnus that remembers the show he turned in at Arlington, Texas. During the Goodyear Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Eve in 2015, Derrick Henry added another chapter to his incredible Heisman season. He recorded two rushing touchdowns versus Michigan State in a 38-0 win for Alabama.

Derrick Henry celebrates a rushing TD versus Michigan State in 2015 Cotton Bowl

RB Derrick Henry celebrates rushing TD in 2015 Cotton Bowl between Alabama and Michigan State: Photo comes from Cedric Mason – Touchdown Alabama Magazine

RELATED: How Alabama fans reacted to Notre Dame running back saying Tide defense will have to kill it to stop them

For the player who swept the College Football Awards show that year, it is no surprise that Henry is taking his Alma mater to capture a College Football Playoff National Championship.

When it comes to the semifinal, he told Will Backus of the Tennessean (part of USA TODAY) that the Heisman finalists for the Tide will have gaudy numbers. This comes on the heels of Kyle Hamilton, sophomore safety for Notre Dame, stating during media availability on how his defense ‘will stop’ Najee Harris and Alabama.

“(Alabama running back) Najee (Harris) goes for five touchdowns and 200 yards,” Henry said. “(Quarterback) Mac Jones throws for 500 yards and four touchdowns, and (wide receiver) DeVonta Smith goes about 170 yards and three touchdowns.”

In the SEC Championship Game versus Florida, Jones totaled 418 passing yards with five scores, Harris had 245 total yards (178 rushing, 67 receiving) with five touchdowns, and Smith recorded 15 catches for 184 yards and two scores in a 52-46 victory for Alabama.

Henry also wants Smith to win the Heisman Trophy. The senior could become the second receiver since Desmond Howard (Michigan) in 1991 to hoist the honor. He is a consensus All-American and Associated Press Player of the Year.

RELATED: Alabama fans react to Notre Dame safety stating it will stop Najee Harris

Smith is the first player ever to win AP Player of the Year.

DeVonta Smith moving through Florida's defense with the ball in SEC Championship

12/19/20 MFB Alabama vs Florida
Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6)
Photo by CrimsonTidePhotos

“He definitely deserves it,” Henry said. “The resume speaks for itself. … It would be cool to see him take that trophy home, be the third player from Alabama to win the Heisman. I’m excited for him.”

Through 11 games, Smith has 98 receptions for 1,511 yards and 19 total scores.

Henry became the Tide’s second Heisman winner, following a season where he collected 2,219 yards rushing and 28 touchdowns on 395 carries in 2015. Prior to Najee Harris surpassing him, Henry carried Alabama’s all-time record for career yards (3,591) and shared the touchdown record (42) with Mark Ingram. He was selected in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans and has become arguably the best running back in the National Football League.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith

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