Ohio State vs Alabama 10 thoughts, live updates, reactions: 1st Quarter
First Quarter Reaction, 7-7
It’s what we wanted. The Alabama offense is marching way too easily, Najee Harris has been fantastic, Justin Fields looks like he’s settling in, and this is all building up to be the shootout we all wanted. Harris has been THE GUY – he’s running like his hair is on fire, and the Ohio State D isn’t coming up with enough key stops. With two fourth and short conversions, Bama believes its offensive line can dominate this game – and it’s right. The Buckeyes need a whole lot more from its defensive front.
Ohio State isn’t generating enough pressure, 2:01
No. 6 is running free and clear way too often – you can’t lose a Heisman-winner in the secondary. No. 10 is getting way too long to throw – you can’t let the guy who came up with the most efficient passing season in college football history have so much time. Mac Jones had better start getting hit in a hurry or this will be one long game.
Uhhhhh, Ohio State, No. 6 is pretty good 4:26
How do you leave DeVonta Heisman Smith roam free? He’s running around the Ohio State secondary without any issues or concerns. Ohio State has somehow lost him for two big plays in a row to take the momentum rung back. If Ohio State doesn’t generate any pressure soon … uh oh.
Two plays, and Ohio State is back, 7-7 4:55
Just when it seemed like the Buckeyes didn’t have the same energy or fire or bounce like they did against Clemson … boom. One, one-handed catch by Jeremy Ruckert, and one Master Teague run around the edge, and GAME ON. It’s still SO early, but it was lost in the narrative all week was how talented the Buckeyes are. It’s not like this is any old team.
Najee Harris scored, 7-0 Alabama 8:07
It was the easiest and best prop on the board. That’s the sixth time this season Alabama scored first on a Najee Harris touchdown, making a statement on 4th and goal from the one and getting up fast. Mac Jones and DeVonta Smith get all the love, but Harris really is the glue to this attack. For being the best running back in college football, he’s the unsung guy who makes it all go.
Ohio State isn’t generating any pressure 8:44
Alabama are driving deep, Mac Jones is getting all day to throw, and it’s showing on third downs. He found Jaylen Waddle who was shot out of a cannon for a big play, and then on third and goal, Jones had a sandwich with all of the time he had and threw it to Slade Bolden down to the 1.
Ohio State finally started tackling 9:13
The Crimson Tide were spread out and making big things work on their opening drive with DeVonta Smith and Najee Harris each breaking free, but the Buckeyes started wrapping up late on the first Bama drive. They’re forcing third downs.
Trey Sermon is out
The Ohio State running back got one carry and seemingly hurt his shoulder/collarbone. He’s going back into the locker room and didn’t look good. Master Teague is a terrific back who handle the work, but Sermon is special. The last thing the Buckeyes need is for Justin Fields to start running more.
Ohio State running back Trey Sermon heading into the locker room. Uh oh. pic.twitter.com/A2nSE8JVBD
— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) January 12, 2021
Ohio State opening drive
Three and out. The Buckeyes didn’t look or play with anywhere near the bounce on those first three plays like they did against Clemson. Justin Fields was a bit tentative, he obviously didn’t want to make a big mistake right away, and there wasn’t any rhythm. It’s a LONG game – they look like they’re easing their way into it. Now watch for Alabama to take some big shots right away.
People freaking out over 13 Ohio State players out and Jaylen Waddle going for the Tide – the line just moved to Bama -9.5. Remember, the Buckeyes are used to playing without a full deck. Two kickers being out matters, and not having interior pass rusher Tommy Togiai is a big deal, but Justin Fields is going, the offensive line appears to be fine, and all of the main skill guys are okay. If Ohio State loses, this isn’t much of an excuse.