You could tell by the end of Alabama’s first touchdown-scoring offensive series, Ohio State was in trouble last night.
Alabama is going to lay 50 on these guys, I told my faithful dog Maggie, the WonderBeagle.
Since she had chosen to take Ohio State and the points, she immediately got down from my lap, and as you see in the picture to the right, kneeled down and prayed I was wrong.
Her prayers - and Ohio State’s - were not answered.
Part of it was certainly the tremendous athletes Alabama has, but Ohio State had great athletes too. Yes, the Buckeyes also were missing a key player in injured running back Trey Sermon, but he wasn’t playing defense.
The part that caught my attention, however, was how Ohio State approached playing defense against this powerful offense. It looked pretty predictable, and made Alabama’s drives look relatively easy. ESPN, as it does in national championship games, provides multiple feeds for the game, including a “film room” with coaches, and they did not appear impressed.
Former Auburn coach and UNC defensive coordinator Gene Chizik noted Ohio State was playing so much one-high safety, Alabama’s offense could pretty much pick what they wanted to do. Liberty Coach Hugh Freeze, who knows a thing or two about offense and has actually beaten Alabama as a head coach, echoed that by saying you could see clearly what Ohio State’s defense was going to do when you came to the line of scrimmage.
Alabama’s hard enough to beat when you DO confuse the quarterback; letting him easily see what he’s facing is just inviting a boat race. It creates a situation where I kind of thought Alabama QB Mac Jones was just having a ho-hum night, making throws that were good, but nothing spectacular. Then you realize he threw for 464 yards and 5 touchdowns while completing 80 percent (36 of 45) of his passes.
Ho hum, indeed.