Why Alabama Will Win The College Football Playoff National Championship
– Mac Jones will have 350 passing yards by the time you’re done reading this. Ohio State has a top-15 NFL Draft pick corner in Shaun Wade, pro talent throughout the rest of the secondary, and a pass rush that beat up Trevor Lawrence throughout the Rose Bowl … and the Buckeyes will get lit up like your neighbor’s house that still has its Christmas lights up.
Yeah, Lawrence was pressured and battered in the College Football Playoff semifinal – and he threw for 400 yards.
Indiana’s Michael Penix hit the Buckeyes for 491 yards and five scores, and Nebraska and Michigan State were the only two teams that didn’t get to at least 220 yards against the Big Ten’s statistically-worst passing game.
And now there’s a shot Bama gets back its best receiver …
– No, it’s not pretentious to suggest that the Heisman winner might be the team’s second-best wideout. Okay, so DeVonta Smith might really be the team’s top receiver, but if he’s 1, Jaylen Waddle is 1A.
Waddle is even more explosive and more dangerous than DeVonta Smith – 120 yards or more in each of his first four games, including a 142-yard day against Texas A&M and 161 against Georgia – but he suffered an ankle injury on the opening kickoff of the Tennessee game. He’s a game time decision, but if he’s able to go at all … uh oh.
The Bama passing game has been just fine without him, mainly because Smith raised his game to a whole other level once Waddle went down. Mac Jones had the most efficient passing season in college football history, RB Najee Harris takes the pressure off with the ground game and as a short-range receiver, and the offense as a whole should keep on rolling.
Again, for all of the amazing things Ohio State did against Clemson, the D got hit hard.
– Lost in all the big things done by the Alabama offense is a defense that’s been tremendous or most of the year. It was the best in the SEC at taking the ball away, it led the league in tackles for loss, and it wasn’t bad against the run.
Granted, most teams were too busy throwing it to work on the running side of things, but Ohio State is going to give the ground game a shot. The Buckeye passing attack is fantastic, but it’s the run that makes things to with over 200 yards in every game and over 300 in the last three Big Ten games before rolling for 254 against Clemson.
No one gets physical against this Bama defensive front. It’s not a vintage Tide run D like some of the previous brick walls under Nick Saban, but it’s more than good enough to force enough third-and-longs to make the Buckeye offense press.
College Football Playoff National Championship
What’s Going to Happen, Prediction, History