Reactions: Alabama strikes first, scores on opening Cotton Bowl drive against UC Bearcats

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  • Bryce Young
    American football quarterback
  • Laura Rutledge
    Sports Reporter
Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Darrian Beavers (0) is congratulated by Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Joel Dublanko (41) after a tackle of Alabama Crimson Tide running back Brian Robinson Jr. (4) for a loss in the first quarter during the College Football Playoff semifinal game at the 86th Cotton Bowl Classic, Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Darrian Beavers (0) is congratulated by Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Joel Dublanko (41) after a tackle of Alabama Crimson Tide running back Brian Robinson Jr. (4) for a loss in the first quarter during the College Football Playoff semifinal game at the 86th Cotton Bowl Classic, Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The Cincinnati Bearcats fell into an early deficit against Alabama early in the first quarter of Friday's Cotton Bowl - the College Football Playoff semifinal between the two teams at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas - as the Crimson Tide scored on their opening drive of Friday's game on Slade Bolden's 8-yard touchdown reception from Bryce Young to complete an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive.

"This first quarter's really, really big for us," Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell told ESPN's Laura Rutledge just before kickoff.

UC responded with a field goal after it had a 1st-and-goal at the Bama 9.

Social media reactions:

Alabama led 17-3 at the half.

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This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Reactions: Alabama strikes first, scores on opening Cotton Bowl drive

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