National Championship: Alabama vs. Ohio State Preview

 

 

 

The National Championship game is here and the final two teams are #1 Alabama and #3 Ohio State. These are two complete squads that don’t show any weakness versus normal competition. However, I expect both of these defenses to struggle against these high-octane offenses. 

Preview

Alabama’s defense has been questionable at times this season, especially against Ole Miss, as well as Florida in the SEC Championship. Ohio State, led by Justin Fields and Trey Sermon, will be a much tougher task than either of the opponents that gave ‘Bama trouble. Alabama has had a difficult time against dual-threat Quarterbacks in the past, and there is no better dual-threat than Fields. Ohio State can open up the pass with an elite ground attack by the duo of Sermon and Fields. 

Alabama defensive coordinator Pete Golding called a great game against Notre Dame in the semifinal. Regardless, Golding could find himself over his head against Ohio State. This Alabama offense will have to be close to perfection on the other side of the ball. Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith and Quarterback Mac Jones will have to stretch the Ohio State defense and open up the run. Najee Harris has proven he is a game-changer, but there is no room for errors in this contest. Alabama is hoping for an X-Factor game out of wide-receiver Jaylen Waddle. If he is to return, Alabama needs him to be more than just a decoy for Smith. 

Ohio State has more weapons than just Fields and Sermon, which on their own makes the OSU offense scary enough. Chris Olave is Fields’s favorite target and he is coming off a big game versus Clemson. Expect him to be looking for a repeat performance. With the information available, both teams have their big three, and Alabama – on paper – seems like it would get the edge. However, in this matchup, Ohio State’s big three matches up better against Bama’s defense. Ohio State will look to run all over the Crimson Tide come game-time. 

This game is likely going to come down to a few defensive stops. The Buckeyes have the better run defense, and if they can make Alabama one-dimensional they will be able to get key stops. Ohio State did just that to Clemson, holding the Tigers to just 44 yards on the ground in the semifinal. This Ohio State is not your Chase Young pass-rushing powerhouse. This is Haskell Garrett’s Ohio State defense, and he will look to limit Najee Harris every chance he gets. 

Prediction

If you are betting on this one, I wouldn’t worry about the spread, as it ultimately will not matter. In my opinion, Ohio State’s offense is going to be too much for ‘Bama. The Buckeye’s defense will not be great but they will be good enough to scrape past the Tide. The over-under is currently sitting at 75.5 and this one definitely goes over. My heart says Roll Tide, but my brain says O-H-I-O.

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