Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick expressed his gratitude towards Iowa’s Josey Jewell this week.
Iowa’s 31-point win over Ohio State is a big reason why Alabama made the College Football Playoff as the No. 4 seed over the Big Ten champion Buckeyes, who had an extra loss. As the two players were in Charlotte on Monday as finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Fitzpatrick thanked Jewell for his team’s efforts.
“I thanked Josey Jewell this Monday when we were in Charlotte,” Fitzpatrick said, smiling. “I just said thank you for beating up on Ohio State.”
“He said he was just doing his job,” Fitzpatrick said
Fitzpatrick also said Wednesday that he was nervous leading up to the College Football Playoff announcement on Sunday.
“The anticipation was definitely killing me because I didn’t like our fate being in someone else’s hands. It was in the hands of the committee and all that,” he said via Rivals. “I didn’t really enjoy that. I’m used to being — well being at Alabama, I’m used to being No. 1 and No. 2.”
The committee determined that Alabama, at 11-1, was “unequivocally” better than 11-2 Ohio State. The Buckeyes lost at home to Oklahoma and on the road to the Hawkeyes while Alabama’s only loss came at Auburn in the final week of the regular season. That loss prevented Alabama from playing on championship weekend.
But the Tide still made the playoff and is the only team to participate in all four iterations of the postseason format. Alabama will face off vs. No. 1 Clemson on Jan. 1 in the Sugar Bowl. It’s the third-straight year the two teams have met in the playoff and the first time they’ve met in a game other than the national championship.
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