Why Ohio State Will Win The College Football Playoff National Championship
– The Ohio State offensive line is a powerhouse. It was never quite right all year, had just one starter available for the Michigan State game, and still wasn’t 100% its normal self in the Rose Bowl win over Clemson. It hasn’t mattered.
The running game is consistent and thumping, the pass protection has been better than the stats – Justin Fields moves around a whole lot and isn’t afraid to hold on to the ball until late – and if the Buckeye front five performs against Bama like it did against the Tigers, look out.
– Shhhhhhhhhh, it’s the thing no one feels all that comfortable talking about, but …
The top Ohio State skill players might actually be as good as Alabama’s – at least in the backfield.
Alabama has a better overall receiving corps, but the tight ends are even, Chris Olave is a next-level wide receiver – but no, he’s not DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle – and while Najee Harris is a better pro prospect than Trey Sermon, Sermon is on an unstoppable roll over the last few games with 636 yards in the last three games as he grows into more and more of a workhorse.
And then there’s Justin Fields.
He was always great – the guy was a Heisman finalist last year – he just came up with something epic, hitting 79% of his passes for 385 yards and six touchdowns with an interception against Clemson despite taking a blasting to the ribs.
Pro prospect-wise, he’s the best player on the field. He’s the star. He has to be Vince Young in the 2006 Rose Bowl vs. USC, he has to be Deshaun Watson vs. Alabama in 2017, he has to be Joe Burrow vs. Clemson last year.
He’s good enough to be The Guy, because …
– The Alabama defense might be vulnerable. The run defense is amazing, and the secondary is loaded with next-level stars, but the Tide did have their problems.
Yeah, it might seem crazy after the loss to Oklahoma to think that Florida QB Kyle Trask deserved Heisman consideration, but he almost pulled off a win over Alabama in the SEC Championship with 408 yards and three touchdowns. If the Gators had a stronger D, that potentially flips.
Texas A&M might have been rocked in a 28-point loss, but Kellen Mond and the passing game went for 335 yards and three scores. Ole Miss not only ran well on the Bama defense, but Matt Corral was taking target practice, throwing for 379 yards and two scores.
Justin Fields, throw for at least 350 in this, or else.