By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer

In the year of COVID changes in sports have occurred with regularity, that includes this year’s Rose Bowl Game. The game is heading to Arlington stadium to “Jerry’s World” (AT&T Stadium) home of the Dallas Cowboys who have been averaging just over 27,000 fans per contest this year.  

Texas has less COVID restrictions than California and will allow more fans including parents of players from both teams to attend the game.  It will mark the first time since 1944 the game will be played out of California. 

This year’s game is one semi-final of the college play-off featuring #1 ranked Alabama and 4th ranked Notre Dame. The winner will face the victor of #2 Clemson and #3 Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl Janurary 11th.

The Crimson Tide is led QB Mac Jones and WR Davonte smith both are Heisman candidates helping the offense average 49 point a game. 

A year ago Jones replaced Tua Tagovailoa after a hip injury sidelined him for several games.  

In his first full season he has led the Tide (11-0) while completing throwing for 37 touchdowns and 3,790 yards.   

Smith had 98 receptions for 1,511 yards and 17 touchdowns. 

Jones and Smith were both named first team AP All-Americans with teammate RB Najee Harris (Antioch High) who has rushed 1,262 and scored 27 touchdowns.  

Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkasian has won the Frank Broyals award as the best assistant coach in the country.  

Notre Dame (10-1) is led by QB Ian Book (Oakridge High) Eldorado Hills who has thrown for 15 touchdowns and 2,600 yards is the winningest QB in school history (30-3). He will be trying to get the Irish in the title game. 

“We have to establish the rush and be physical,” say RB Kyren Williams. “They a have good defense so we have to be aggressive.” 

This will be the 118th edition but it won’t take place in Pasadena.