The Alabama Crimson Tide are favored in the National Championship Game against Ohio State but what must they do to beat the Buckeyes?
For anyone who tuned into the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2020 college football season, it was apparent that the final destination was always Hard Rock Stadium for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. The only thing in question was who they would be facing. Now that answer has been presented with Monday’s matchup with the Ohio State Buckeyes is set.
Nick Saban’s team, despite the transition from Tua Tagovailoa to Mac Jones at quarterback, was always pegged as one of the favorites to win the Natty this season. But things have gone even better than imagined. Whether it’s been wide receiver DeVonta Smith winning the Heisman Trophy, Jones finishing third, riding a perfect season to this point or a litany of other things, the Tide have been, in no better terms, rolling.
However, the job is not done. And for Alabama to put an exclamation mark on this season, they must take down the Buckeyes in Miami. That will not be an easy task but here’s what the Crimson Tide must do to ensure a victory in the National Championship Game.
Alabama key to victory No. 5: Attack Ohio State defense deep
One of the glaring aspects of the Buckeyes win over Clemson was the Tigers’ inability to exploit a secondary that, frankly, had been taken advantage of by a number of Big Ten teams this season. A big part of that was due to the pressure that the Ohio State front-seven was able to quickly generate consistently. But that doesn’t erase the area in which the Buckeyes can be beaten.
Whether or not Jaylen Waddle takes the field for the Crimson Tide, Smith, John Metchie III and the wide receiver group for Alabama have proven that they can have their way in virtually any matchup. There is no defensive back on the Ohio State roster who can contain them, Smith especially, in a one-on-one situation.
In what will be Steve Sarkisian‘s final game with the program before he leaves to take over the Longhorns, he must create ways for his ultra-talented pass-catchers to exploit this weakness.
Jones has one of the best deep balls in the country — if not the absolute best. If his wide receivers are consistently able to get loose behind the likes of Shaun Wade and the other susceptible defensive backs for the Buckeyes, Jones can hit them. And those types of big plays will put the Alabama defense in a position to make just enough plays to slow down Ohio State while the offense continues to break off chunk plays.