The college football season comes to an end tonight, in what promises to be a matchup featuring two dynamic teams with plenty of future NFL talent. Both rosters feature highly regarded quarterbacks, sure-fire high picks along the offensive line, and a smattering of impact defenders. If you are at all interested in the draft process, this game is must-see TV. As always, let’s talk about the game, leave questions on prospects and enjoy the final game of another fantastic season of college football.
No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 1 Alabama
College Football Championship Game
8:00 p.m. EST, ESPN
Both teams came into the season with reputations for strong defense, but it’s been the two offenses that have really carried both teams to their undefeated records.
Essentially, the entire Crimson Tide offense will be made up of NFL Draft prospects. That certainly includes Heisman-winning wide receiver DeVonta Smith but also big, agile running back Najee Harris, who is fresh off leaping over Notre Dame defender Nick McCloud. Then there’s quarterback Mac Jones, who’s a very intelligent pocket passer who throws dimes, despite not being the most physically talented product. Defensively, Alabama sports several underclassmen, but Dylan Moses remains a reliable linebacker in the middle of the field and cornerback Patrick Surtain II almost never gives up big plays.
The Tide defense is about to be challenged though, because the Buckeyes’ offense is just as stacked as Alabama’s. It starts with quarterback Justin Fields, who is capable of sitting in the pocket and operating the offense, but can also scramble and make off-script plays. He’s supported by two of the best lineman in the country in guard Wyatt Davis and center Josh Myers, as well as his favorite target in the passing game Chris Olave. The junior wideout is a bit more under the radar than DeVonta Smith, but he’s just as effective and dynamic. Meanwhile, the Ohio State defense has a trio of linebackers—Tuf Borland, Baron Browning and Pete Werner—who dominate when kept clean, as well as top cornerback Shaun Wade, who has had a somewhat disappointing season but is still one of the best at his position.