In the 7th CFP Championship, Alabama and Ohio State will face off after beating Notre Dame and Clemson in their Semi-Final games. This is Alabama's 6th appearance in the CFP Playoff, and their 5th appearance in the CFP Championship. For Ohio State this is their 3rd appearance in the CFP, and 2nd time in the CFP Championship. Alabama is 3-1 all time against Ohio State, but lost the most recent matchup in the 2015 CFP.
This Season Alabama has been near unstoppable, averaging 48.2 PPG, 2nd in all of division 1. That offense has been led by Heisman Winner Devonta Smith, Mac Jones, and Najee Harris. With those 3, as well as Jaylen Waddle for 7 games the offense was amazing. Alabama defensively only give up 19.5 PPG, but have given up 40+ twice against Ole Miss and in the SEC Championship against Florida. Facing off against a very good Ohio State offense, the defense could be in trouble.
Alabama will be without C Landon Dickerson and RB Trey Sanders for the game, but we could possibly see WR Jaylen Waddle back in uniform as he will be a game time decision. Dickerson won the Rimington Trophy, which is awarded to the nations top C. Sanders had been 1 of the backup RB to Najee Harris before getting in a car accident that ended his season. Waddle fractured his ankle earlier this season against Tennessee. Waddle before his injury was one of the most explosive players in CFB, with his crazy speed and playmaking ability.
Ohio State only played in 7 games this season due to COVID, but have some big wins over Indiana, Northwestern, and Clemson in the CFP Semi Final game. However Ohio State has been nothing short of dominant in their 7 games. Led by Justin Fields, Trey Sermon, and Chris Olave. Up until the Clemson game, Fields had struggled against good competition in Indiana and Northwestern. Fields then threw for 6 TDS and 385 yards against Clemson. Trey Sermon in the BIG 10 Championship game broke the BIG 10 single game rushing record as he ran for 331 yards and 2 TDS as he carried Ohio State past Northwestern. The defense for Ohio State gave up 21 PPG, but did play exceptionally well against Clemson and Trevor Lawrence. Facing off against another top offense, Ohio State will have its hands full.
There are several players marked as questionable for the game tonight, headlined by QB Justin Fields and RB Master Teague. Fields will probably play after sustaining a big hit from Clemson LB James Skalski which led to his ejection. Teague's injury is listed as undisclosed, but he was the teams lead back before the BIG 10 Championship game where Trey Sermon took over.
With Waddle, I don't see a way that Alabama loses this game, but without him I think that it'll be a much closer game, but I think Alabama will prevail. For Ohio State to win this game they'll need to play a perfect game defensively to try to slow down Alabama and hold them to 3 more often than giving up 7. Fields will need to have a similar performance that he had against Clemson. Ohio State will need to mix up the tempo to try and get Alabama's defense scrambled and off balance, in turn keeping their offense off the field. Alabama is favored in this game with a 63% chance to win. I can't disagree, I have Alabama winning this game 45-31.
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