With the college football championship just around the corner, we take a look at one of the teams that will compete for the National Championship. The Alabama Crimson Tide was able to take care of business against Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl, winning the matchup 31-14 behind their 437 yards of total offense. They hope to generate the same success Monday as they face off against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Let’s examine the first key to the Alabama Crimson Tide victory.
Four Keys to an Alabama Victory
Protect the Quarterback
One of the simplest things to do can end up being the most important. This offensive line is going to have to protect quarterback Mac Jones to keep him upright. If this line is able to hold up against a talented Ohio State front seven, it could be a huge day through the air for Jones & Co. The Buckeyes had two sacks, five tackles for a loss, and a quarterback hurry last week. It’s a big key to them winning and covering the college football odds.
Involve Your Playmakers
It is easy to forget about a few of your star players if the game doesn’t go your way in the first half, but the Crimson Tide can’t afford to let that happen. Devonta Smith and John Metchie are going to have a ton of opportunities to break free downfield for big chunks of yardage and it is up to Jones and the coaching staff to dial up those. They will also need to design plays to get Smith the ball in open space and give him room to work such as screens or handoffs.
Establish A Pass Rush
This team is going to be in bad shape if it is unable to generate any type of pressure on opposing quarterback Justin Fields. Fields was in a zone last week, throwing for six touchdowns and 385 yards against Clemson. Alabama needs to design a few plays to confuse the Ohio State offensive line and allow for clean shots to throw Fields off his game. A dominant pass rush can also affect their rushing attack as well and could make the Buckeyes think twice about attempting to run the football.
Don’t Allow Fields To Scramble
While it is easy to group this into the pass rush category, stopping the quarterback from rushing the football takes a lot of discipline from every member of the defense. Every member of this Alabama defense needs to be prepared to option plays or scrambles in case a play happens to break down. There needs to be eyes on Fields to make sure he is contained in the pocket when he drops back. For the linebackers and cornerbacks, they have to look back at the quarterback every now and then to make sure he isn’t breaking containment, if he is then they are going to have to break back down and take away his scrambling all while stopping the big play downfield.
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