The Ohio State Buckeyes found themselves in uncharted water vs. an opponent with more talent in key areas starting on the defensive side of the football where Ohio States' secondary surrendered 215 yds to one man in the first half. We knew going into the game the difference may hinge on Ohio State's ability to defend Alabama's WR's and vice versa; how would an Alabama secondary handle the talented Ohio State WR's.
Coming into the game, we knew that Alabama had a hard time defending the pass. They gave up 387 pass yds to Ole Miss, 379 to Texas A&M, and 408 to Florida, and none of that mattered last night vs. Ohio State, as each of those games where the Bama defense was exposed, the Bama offense said: "anything you can do, we can do better."
Anything You Can Do, We Can Do Better
In each of the contests where the Bama defense struggled, their offense was even more dynamic. Against Ole Miss, the Rebels amassed 600+ yds on offense; the Alabama offense said, "watch this," and countered with 700+ yds. Against Texas A&M, the Aggies put up 450 total yds; Alabama countered with 544. The Florida Gators exposed the Alabama defense with 462 yards and 46 points; Alabama responded by scoring 52 points and 605 yards of total offense. Earlier in the year, Nick Saban conceded that it's no longer about defenses being better than offenses "It used to be that good defense beats a good offense. Good defense doesn't beat good offense anymore." The 2020 Crimson Tide embodied Saban's statement.
"It used to be that good defense beats a good offense. Good defense doesn't beat good offense anymore." -Nick Saban
DeVonta Smith Put on A Show
It was apparent last night that Ohio State played determined to keep everything in front of them on defense, and for a good reason. Alabama WR DeVonta Smith was targeted 13 times catching 12 for 215 yds and 3 TD's in one half. The Ohio State offense compiled 190 yards of offense by halftime. Smith outgained and outscored the Ohio State offense on his own. Sith would succumb to an early second-half hand injury that would sideline him the rest of the game. But his performance is one for ages proving why he deserved to be the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner.
It Did Not Matter Who Covered Smith
Smith vs. Wade
Ohio State tried to cover Smith with Wade, and Wade would struggle against five targets, giving up three catches, 70 yards, three first downs, and 23 yards per catch.
Smith vs. Banks
Smith caught all five targets for 72 yds, 14 yds per catch, and a TD.
Smith vs. Tuf Borland? (A LB) SMH
It is not a good idea to match a LB against one of the most dynamic players to ever play college football. Ohio State tried, Mac Jones recognized the matchup, and DeVonta Smith would be gifted arguably the easiest six points of his career.
DeVonta Smith Not The Only Star (Mac Jones)
Drive of The Game
With or without DeVonta Smith on the field, Mac Jones proved that he is a worthy candidate to be drafted in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft. He completed 36 of his 45 throws for 464 yards and 5 TD's. At the midway point of the third QTR, Ohio State cut the Alabama lead to two scores. Ohio State had some momentum, but Alabama answered with an eight-play, 75-yard drive for a TD on the ensuing drive. Jones completed 3 for 34 yds and a TD on the drive and used his legs to convert a first down on one of the few plays Ohio State would deploy man coverage. The drive would relinquish any momentum Ohio State gained on their last drive and further solidifies the statement we made earlier regarding anything you can do; we can do better.
Justin Fields under Pressure
Christian Barmore added value to his draft stock last night. He has one sack and two TFLs and was a problem throughout against a banged-up Ohio State offensive line. Fileds completed 45% of his passes while under pressure against 55% when not pressured. During the regular season, Fields completed 80% of his throws when not pressured.
Alabama's Secondary Played Well
Alabama did a great job in coverage last night. Patrick Surtain held Chris Olave in Check on four targets, only allowing 24 yds. Josh Jobe only surrendered 20 yds on two Chris Olave Catches.
The Alabama Dynasty
Outside of winning, Alabama puts players in the NFL, and so do the Ohio State Buckeyes. We examined the total number of first-rounders since 2016 for both schools, and we found that Alabama is number one with 16, while The Ohio State Buckeyes are second with 15. In 2021, Alabama could put as many as seven into round one, while Ohio State can have four taken in round one of the NFL Draft. The measure of a great college football program goes through the NFL draft. Saban has produced 32 first rounders since 2010 and has compiled 7 National Titles since 2009. He has passed Bear Bryant for the most all-time.
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