What a depressing way to end such a successful season. All I will say is that 2020 Alabama compares extremely similarly to 2019 LSU. Both teams have historic offenses, a plethora of weapons with high-quality quarterbacks, and strong enough defenses to limit what opposing offenses can do.
Ohio State had their hands full, and it did not help that injuries piled up during the game, which followed the announcement that several starters would be out due to a positive COVID-19 test from kicker Blake Haubeil.
This section will be short, sweet, and to the point: Ohio State’s defense is not what it used to be the last few seasons. They failed to contain DeVonta Smith, Mac Jones, and Najee Harris from start to finish. The coaching staff did not make any adjustments, and got zero pressure on Mac Jones for most of the game.
They couldn’t get off of the field on crucial 3rd and 4th downs, especially early in the game, and Alabama continuously drove right down the field on them. 52 points is flat-out unacceptable, no matter how good the opposing team is.
When the Ohio State offense settled for a field goal midway through the 2nd quarter, I knew that was game, set, match for Alabama. The offense had to go score for score with Alabama because of the defensive struggles, but couldn’t do it.
This meant a blowout, and a dominant Alabama win. Trey Sermon left the game and went to the hospital after just 1 series, and the run game wasn’t nearly as dominant as the previous month of the season. Justin Fields missed some throws, and Fields was harassed several times by Alabama pressure.
Overall, it was a disappointing and depressing outcome to a really tough team. Unfortunately, we will never know the outcome if Ohio State was fully healthy for the game, but Ohio State still had enough talent to get the job done, and they failed to.
Next year, quarterbacks CJ Shroud, Jack Miller, and Kyle McCord will appear to be in a competition to determine the starter, and presumably moving forward. All of them are capable, highly-touted prospects (at least 4-star recruits) from high school who are still underclassmen. Miller and Shroud backed up Fields this season and will be sophomores next season, while McCord will be an incoming freshman. The defense essentially will be nearly 100% new, led by 5-star recruit and top prospect Jack Sawyer.
Photo: Mark J. Rebilas- USA Today