With the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship approaching on Monday Jan. 11th in Miami, Florida. Kickoff begins at 8/7c. There are a few things that should be noted heading into this game. These two programs have only faced each other four times in their existence, with Ohio St. winning the last matchup in the 2015 Sugar Bowl 42- 35. Ohio St. later went on to win the National Championship game versus Oregon 42- 20, being Urban Meyer’s most recent championship.
Alabama opens up as the favorite according to Caesar Palace’s sportsbook, with the line being Alabama -7.5 then moving to -8. With the over/ under being 75.5 points. With Steve Sarkisian, the offensive coordinator for Alabama just recently being named the new head coach of Texas University, he will be expected to have a good final showing as Alabma’s play caller.
Notable names and faces to look out for in this game starting with Alabama is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith. Smith is only the fourth wide receiver to win the award. Smith leads all of college football in receiving yards and touchdown receptions with a stat line of 105 receptions, 1,641 yards and 20 touchdowns. Devonta Smith is also the recipient to a plethora of other awards this season being named:
- SEC Offensive Player of the year
- Associated Press Player of the year
- CBS Sports Player of the year
- Sports News Player of the year
- Walter Camp Player of the year
- Maxwell Player of the year
- Biletnikoff Player of the year
With being the best player in college football this season, look forward to Alabma leaning on him to lead the offense again this time for his final game of the season. The last time a wide receiver won the award was 30 years ago. The previous winners were:
- 1972, Johnny Rodgers, Nebraska
- 1987, Tim Brown, Notre Dame
- 1991, Desmond Howard, Michigan
Other notable players were Heisman candidates Mac Jones and honorable mention Najee Harris. Ohio St. has five potential top tier draft picks also starting with Justin Fields, QB Chris Olave, WR and Shaun Wade, DB just to name a few of this star studded cast. This makes it a total of 10 potential first to second round draft picks to play in this National Championship.
The big question is how healthy will Justin Fields be for the game. Fields suffered an excruciating hit from Clemson linebacker James Skalski. After the game in an interview Fields said, “You’re just playing football, but after each and every throw, my ribs would hurt for sure.” Fields had to go to the team’s medical tent after the hit and receive a shot of Toradol which is a common anti-inflammatory medicine.
Fields is expected to play Monday with no reports of him missing any practice so far this week. With Fields being a dual threat quarterback he relies on his running ability to get the team out of tight situations.He has rushed for 314 yards with 75 attempts and 5 rushing touchdowns this season which puts him at an average of 4.2 yards a carry.