Alabama enters tonight’s national championship game as the favorite, but Ohio State has what it takes to stem the Tide, says Gary Danielson.
Danielson, who is the game analyst for CBS’ SEC, spoke with AL.com’s John Talty about the keys for the Buckeyes Monday night. For him, it all starts up front.
“The biggest storyline of the game is can the defensive line for Ohio State make a game of it?” Danielson said. “If Alabama is able to run the ball with Najee (Harris) and control the line of scrimmage, then their play-action pass game will become devastating for them.”
Someone should tell Gary that the research says you don’t need to run the ball effectively to make good use of play action. Still, he’s right that the Ohio State defensive line must slow down Harris as best they can while occasionally getting pressure on Alabama quarterback Mac Jones.
Offensively, Danielson thinks Ohio State has the right blend of players to hang with and eventually beat Alabama.
“They’ve got the formula,” he said. “They’ve got a running back, they’ve got two speed receivers, they’ve got big tight ends. Alabama’s defense does not handle the middle of the field well this year. The two inside linebackers are not great cover players.
“(Ohio State) has to continue to run the ball a little bit and take the deep shots. Their receivers are going to put pressure on this Alabama defense. We’ve seen it all year — people who have quarterbacks who can throw the ball, there’s openings to throw the ball over the middle of the field against Alabama.”
Ohio State will likely try to mix tempo offensively against the Tide. They won’t be as slow as Notre Dame tried to play against ‘Bama in the Rose Bowl in order to shorten the game, but they also might not play with as much pace as they did against Clemson.
There’s a load of talent on both sides of this matchup, and the chess match between both coaching staffs should be equally as entertaining.
Kickoff for Ohio State-Alabama is set for shortly after 8 p.m. ET tonight on ESPN.
The post Gary Danielson Names The ‘Key’ To Alabama vs. Ohio State appeared first on The Spun.