After hauling in a Bryce Young pass for a huge gain, Williams tried to get past a Bulldogs defender. He lost his footing and crumbled to the ground, immediately grabbing at his left knee.
Williams went into the locker room for the remainder of the first half. Alabama ruled him out for the remainder of the game at halftime, leaving Nick Saban with a monstrous task in front of him.
Replacing Williams is no easy ask and the Alabama head coach was quick to recognize that when asked about how he planned to function without his top pass-catcher. Saban explained that he would have to rely on his younger, more inexperienced players to step up and seize the opportunity.
“I think we get other players who have an opportunity,” Saban said to Holly Rowe at halftime. “There are a lot of young guys out there, they’ve got talent, so they’ve got to play with competitive character. They have a chance to make some plays. They’re capable. They don’t have the experience, but they’re going to get it tonight.”
Two Alabama pass-catchers did their best to fill the void left by Williams in the first half. Junior wide receiver Slade Bolden hauled in six receptions for 37 yards and tight end Cameron Latu made the play of the game thus far for the Crimson Tide with a 61-yard catch-and-run. Time will tell if Alabama's other skill players are up to the task and if Saban can overcome losing Williams so early in the title game. [
Nick Saban to ESPN about replacing Jameson Williams: "We've got other players who have opportunity. They're young but have talent. They're capable. Don't have the experience but they're going to get it tonight."
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) January 11, 2022