“Miami Nights”

College Football PlayoffNational Championship

(3) Ohio State Buckeyes at (1) Alabama Crimson Tide

Ohio State: “They shouldn’t be here”. “They didn’t play a full season” or my personal favorite, Dabo Swinney came out loud and said he ranked them 11th in his coaches poll. In the Sugar Bowl, I saw a team who played with an enormous chip on their shoulders. Talk about playing with an edge because we all remember how their game went against Clemson back in 2019 which ended in heartbreak. On New Years’ Day, the Ohio State Buckeyes handled their business convincingly against Clemson. Give Justin Fields a ton of credit because he took his fair share of hits. However, he was still able to pick apart the Tigers secondary. Six touchdown passes to be exact. How were they able to limit the Clemson offense as a defense? First, they pressured Trevor Lawrence which forced him to hesitate. Also, the secondary was great. It’s championship night in Miami!

Alabama: The bounce back season continues. Just last year around this time, they were spectators like the rest of us. I can admit that I was concerned about them after their regular-season showdown against the Ole Miss Rebels. Normally, when their style of football comes to mind, a few things stick out. First, they always have a consistent running game along with a strong offensive line. Then, they always have a stout defense. In that game I mentioned a few sentences ago, they gave up 48 points. I can admit since then, they’ve buckled down and locked in for the most part as a defense. The Alabama Crimson Tide have been one of the three best offenses in the country anchored by Mac Jones, Najee Harris, and DeVonta Smith. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian has done a great job of using these weapons. Tonight, they are back on the biggest stage.

Ohio State X-Factor: Garrett Wilson– He paid Chris Olave a nice compliment about him being the best receiver in the country and he opens things up for the other receivers down the field. I like how he plays the position because he goes up to get the football. He plays much bigger. Usually, receivers six feet tall or under are usually threats in the short passing game. Garrett plays as if he were a possession receiver.

Alabama X-Factor: Dylan Moses– This is their most important defensive player. He missed all last season with a torn ACL. More than a year later, he’s back. This is the reason why he came back was for another run at a title! He patrols the middle of the field. Dylan also has the luxury of playing behind a strong defensive line which allows him to roam around. He’s the heart and soul of this entire team.

Final Thoughts: Two teams remain! This matchup screams intrigue with big names on both sides. As I always say about Alabama having a “big three”, Ohio State has one themselves in Justin Fields, Trey Sermon, and Chris Olave. The biggest key for the Buckeyes is limiting the ground attack of Alabama and trying to slow down DeVonta Smith which is easier said than done. I’m also expecting Ohio State to blitz often in order to make Mac Jones move. Alabama must be all in on containing Fields. Getting that push up front will be vital for the Tide. Expect fireworks in this game.

Prediction: Alabama 45 Ohio State 40

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