College Football Picks, Predictions, and Previews: The Way It Oughtta Be

Ohio State vs. Alabama 1/11/2021 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Ohio State visits Alabama on 1/11/2021 at 8:00PM.

Ohio State and Alabama face off in the National Championship. Yes, it is the truncated postseason of College Football leading up to the College Football Playoff National Championship. Ohio State has a record of 6-0 this season. Alabama is 11-0 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Ohio State Team Defense Preview

Ohio State has had 83 total defensive drives this season and they yield 4.6 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Ohio State is not a team that allows many plays per drive. This defense either gives up big plays quickly or induces a lot of three-and-outs, we shall find out more. Ohio State has a generally average defense. Nothing too special about it, but they are capable of rising up when needed. Ohio State opponents pass the football 61.78% of the time.They are a team that faces a lot of Air Raid Offenses.

Ohio State opponents have struggled with running the ball and this defense has crushed the spirits of their opponents with zero or negative yard plays. 4th and Short is not a cake walk against this defense, maybe passing on 4th and Short or having some sort of RPO is the way to go here because if an Offensive Coordinator thinks that they can just line and run a Quarterback Sneak or hand it off to a tailback, they are mistaken. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 2.13 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. When it comes to getting to that second level, running backs are getting stopped. This defense does not allow themselves to be gashed. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to give up big rushing plays.

Ohio State has made the turnover belt, chain, pads, lunch pail or whatever gimmick they use change hands a lot. This is a Defense that causes pure aggravation. Getting more specific, this front seven is a cause of a lot of headaches for offenses. They may be good enough to cause trouble in pass rush with just four rushers!Ohio State is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Ohio State Team Offense Preview

Ohio State has had 79 total drives this season and they generate 5.9 plays per drive. When you are among the best at plays per drive, you are certainly a team that aims to wear down the opposition with a high play count or with long, physical grinding drives that eat up a lot of clock. We need to find out more here when it comes to Ohio State. Any defense is in for a challenge with Ohio State, given their ability to accrue more than 5 yards on 1st Downs and their ability to convert on 3rd and 4th Downs. They put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses.Ohio State passes the football 43.13% of the time.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Move the pile forward, falling forward, making progress, ensuring north-south running, smart Quarterback reads, well-adjusted alignments to ensure leverage, and an offensive line that is getting a great push forward are cornerstones of this offense. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 3.56 yards per carry. This is an elite offensive line when it comes to generating a push for the running game. They know how to create creases for running backs to break loose. Playing 7 in a box may not be enough for opposing defenses, this is a great O-Line. The offensive line and running back corps deserve a lot of credit for gashing defenses with their running game like the way they have this season. They have an explosive running game and they are capable of breaking big yardage runs on First and Second Down. This puts a lot of pressure on Linebackers and Safeties.

Defenses have had average success disrupting the flow of the Ohio State Offense. Front sevens are causing an average amount of trouble for the Offense. Ohio State is a better passing team than running team this season.

Alabama Team Defense Preview

Alabama has had 117 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 5.22 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive opponents run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Opponents face third and long situations a lot against this defense. This is a defense that forces opponents to commit penalties, have compromised offensive line play, and fail to convert on crunch possessions. Alabama opponents pass the football 53.19% of the time.Alabama tends to face teams that prefer to air it out or opponents want to air it out against them.

Defenses want to stop offenses from getting into a 3rd Down where the options are plentiful. Unfortunately, this defense is too porous to limit those choices. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 2.65 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. This is also a team that is allowing running backs and quarterbacks to get to the second-level in an average fashion. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to give up big rushing plays.

Alabama has made the turnover belt, chain, pads, lunch pail or whatever gimmick they use change hands a lot. This is a Defense that causes pure aggravation. Getting more specific, this front seven is a cause of a lot of headaches for offenses. They may be good enough to cause trouble in pass rush with just four rushers!Alabama is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Alabama Team Offense Preview

Alabama has had 114 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 5.57 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive they run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Any defense is in for a challenge with Alabama, given their ability to accrue more than 5 yards on 1st Downs and their ability to convert on 3rd and 4th Downs. They put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses.Alabama passes the football 52.28% of the time.Relatively speaking, this is a team that favors run/pass balance.

Move the pile forward, falling forward, making progress, ensuring north-south running, smart Quarterback reads, well-adjusted alignments to ensure leverage, and an offensive line that is getting a great push forward are cornerstones of this offense. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 3.24 yards per carry. This is an elite offensive line when it comes to generating a push for the running game. They know how to create creases for running backs to break loose. Playing 7 in a box may not be enough for opposing defenses, this is a great O-Line. This is a team that is rather above-average when it comes to gashing defenses. The threat of the run should force opposing to play more honest and assignment defensive football is a must. They feature a relatively average explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play, but it is not something to count on from them.

Alabama has bullied and controlled defenses this season, defenses have not been able to dictate what this offense is able to do to them. Opponents should consider a containment strategy. Alabama is among the best in the country at keeping defensive front sevens at bay. Opposing defenses need their secondary players to step up and cause trouble in order for this Offense to be disrupted. Alabama is a better passing team than running team this season.

The Ohio State Roster

The Players to Watch for Ohio State

Justin Fields QB 6-3 228

This season, Justin Fields has put up 1906 yards and 21 touchdowns. He has thrown 6 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 186.7thus far this season. Justin Fields has thrown 6 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Justin Fields has 316.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 90.8 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 75.0 times this season, which puts him in the 87.54 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 5.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Trey Sermon RB 6-1 215

This season, Trey Sermon has 868 rushing yards on 115 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 4 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Trey Sermon picked up 95 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 12 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Garrett Wilson WR 6-0 193

This season, Garrett Wilson picked up 673 yards. He caught the ball 40 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 5 receiving touchdowns this season.

Tommy Togiai DT 6-2 300

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Ohio State, Tommy Togiai has 23 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 4 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 86.21 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 3 times this season, which put him in the 95.04 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 1 fumbles this season.

Jonathon Cooper DE 6-4 257.0

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Ohio State, Jonathon Cooper has 22 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 4 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 79.95 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 4 times this season, which put him in the 92.57 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 1 fumbles this season.

Marcus Hooker S 5-11 200.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Ohio State, Marcus Hooker had 15 tackles which puts him in the 51.6 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 30.88 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Marcus Hooker as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes this season, which puts him in the 81.41 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Shaun Wade CB 6-1 195

Considered the leading tackler among Cornerbacks for Ohio State, Shaun Wade had 29 tackles which puts him in the 84.84 percentile among Corners. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 33.2 percentile among Corners. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Shaun Wade as a ball hawker was able to pick off 2 passes this season, which puts him in the 91.94 percentile among Corners this season.

The Alabama Roster

The Players to Watch for Alabama

Mac Jones QB 6-3 214

This season, Mac Jones has put up 4036 yards and 36 touchdowns. He has thrown 4 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 203.0thus far this season. Mac Jones has thrown 4 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Mac Jones has 3.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 29.67 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 31.0 times this season, which puts him in the 65.88 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 1.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Najee Harris RB 6-2 230

This season, Najee Harris has 1387 rushing yards on 229 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 24 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Najee Harris picked up 346 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 36 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 3 receiving touchdowns this season.

Devonta Smith WR 6-1 175

This season, Devonta Smith picked up 1641 yards. He caught the ball 105 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 20 receiving touchdowns this season.

Christian Barmore DL 6-5 310.0

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Alabama, Christian Barmore has 32 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 8 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 94.41 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 7 times this season, which put him in the 98.56 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 3 fumbles this season.

Jordan Battle DB 6-1 210.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Alabama, Jordan Battle had 63 tackles which puts him in the 96.48 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 3 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 92.87 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Jordan Battle as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes this season, which puts him in the 81.41 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Ohio State vs. Alabama Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Ohio State 30 Alabama 31

Spread Pick: Ohio State +8.5 -108 Pinnacle Sports
Moneyline Pick: Alabama -284 matchbook
Total Pick: Under 75.5 -105 5Dimes