|-7 ALA (-115) @ Pointsbet|
My CFB 10* "Signature" LEGEND Play is on Alabama at 8:00 ET.
It's 7-0 Ohio State vs 12-0 Alabama in the CFP Championship Game Monday night at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. The Buckeyes advanced with a DOMINATING 49-28 win over Clemson on Jan 1 in the semifinals. Ohio St QB Justin Fields threw for 385 yards and six TDs, while RB Trey Sermon ran 31 times for 193 yards, as the Buckeyes avenged last season's 29-23 semi final loss to the Tigers. The Clemson defense had NO answer for Fields and the Ohio St offense, as the Buckeyes reeled off 28 unanswered points to take a 35-14 halftime lead.
Mac Jones threw four TD passes, three to WR DeVonta Smith, plus RB Harris 'hurdled' his way to 125 rushing yards, as top-ranked Alabama rolled to a 31-14 victory over fourth-ranked Notre Dame to reach the CFP title game for the FIFTH time in the system's seven seasons (won in 2015 and 2017). Alabama scored on its first THREE possessions and seemed to get 'bored' after taking a 28-7 lead in the third quarter (won 31-14).
Justin Fields has some VERY sore ribs (broken?) but there's VERY little doubt he will be under center for this game. He's completed 73.4% for 1,906 yards (remember, just seven games) with 21 TDs and six INTs. WRs Wilson (40 catches / 16.8 YPC/ 5 TDs) and Olave (42 catches / 15.7 YPC / 7 TDs) are terrific, while TE Ruckert has just 12 catches but FIVE have resulted in TDs. RB Sermon enters off running for 331 yards in the Big Ten championship game vs Northwestern and following with 193 yards against Clemson.
Mac Jones completes 77.0% of his passes for 4,036 yards with 36 TDs and just four INTs, giving him a nation's best QB rating of 203.0. DeVonta Smith (105 catches / 15.6 YPC / 20 TDs) is considered the best WR in the nation and Nick Saban just announced that WR Jaylen Waddle (25 catches / 22.3 YPC / 4 TDs in four games) has been cleared to return to practice and could play in this game. RB Harris can't match Sermon's heroics of the last two games but ran for 1,387 yards on 6.1 YPC with 24 TDs on the season.
Both offenses seem 'unstoppable,' as Ohio St averages 42.5 PPG (8th), while Alabama averages 49.7 PPG (2nd). Both defenses are strong with Ohio State allowing 21.0 PPG and Alabama 19.5 PPG. However, the Alabama defense has really 'found itself,' after a poor start. The Crimson Tide allowed 28.8 PPG through their first four games but just 14.1 PPG over their last eight. Note, that includes them giving up 46 points to Florida in the SEC title game. Eliminating that game and the Tide allowed just 9.6 PPG over SEVEN of their last eight!
Yes, Ohio St can claim it's won EIGHT of its last nine games as an underdog SU but matching its effort against Clemson here vs Alabama is to me, 'a bridge too far!' According to Ohio St head coach Ryan Day, his team's loss to Clemson last season reverberated for nearly a year among the Buckeyes. "Fresh off of that game, it was right on our minds, and something that when we got back to work and winter workouts, January, February, it was right there for us," Day said Sunday. "Coming off that game, we just didn't get over it in one day. It took time. "There was even a sign with the score posted in the Buckeyes' weight room , an honor usually reserved for rival Michigan. Ohio St threw a 'near-perfect game' at Clemson and my bet says the Buckeyes can't "do it again" vs Alabama, a team which can 'gain separation' VERY quickly against an opponent. Lay the points!