College Football Playoff National Championship: Ohio State vs Alabama – Live Commentary

Posted: January 12, 2021 in All Things Power Spread

Pre-game interview with Saban. He seems calm and confident. No surprise. Amidst a ton of covid issues for OSU this week, the SEC supposedly “forced” the Big 10 and the Buckeyes to play this game as scheduled creating a big edge for Bama.

1ST QUARTER

BIG START BAMA!

Big play by NB replacement Branch! Bats down pass on a blitz! Nice call by DC Golding. On 3rd dn, Fields almost breaks free for a bi run – barely caught from behind by Allen. Great punt coverage by speedy #6 and WR Williams of OSU!

Bama goes to work on Offense
  • Great WR screen called by Sarkisian-22 yds!
  • 12 yd reception then 13 yd run by multi-talented RB Harris!
  • Tempo by Bama – 9 pass Smith.
  • Big play by Wade – who I called to have a big game – hitting Harris for a 2 yd loss!
  • Big 3rd&3 completion to Waddle – just off an injury hiatus! He limps off.
  • 3rd&Goal at OSU 5, 4 yd pass to Bolden.
  • 4th&Goal from 1 TOUCHDOWN BAMA! They ram it home!

During all of that, OSU’s hot RB, Trey Sermon, limps off to the locker room… wow – so far it looks like OSU really did need this game to be postponed a week!

Bama 7-0
RESPONSE BY THE BUCKEYES!

Tough power running by Master Teague, replacing Sermon. Teague missed the last game. Big pass Fields to Olave for 20.

HUGE pass – down the middle – to the great TE Ruckert who makes a finger tip catch!! Bama had a LB in m2m coverage on Ruckert. Good luck with that! Great pass Fields. Good sign.

From there our OLine totally controls the Bama DLine – easy run to the outside by Teague. TOUCHDOWN BUCKEYES!

OSU 7-7

Now that is more what I expected! Buckeyes are missing key pieces – but I still don’t know the list of who is out! But that was a lot better energy + execution vs a Bama D in too much m2m and an overmatched DLine.

Bama moving again!

Big pass 32 to Smith. Then 12 and 9 to Smith and Metchie.

After that the Buckeyes D starts to amp up! Big hits on Smith on a screen then stopped Harris. But Harris makes a great run for 6 with OSU defenders all over him. Sets up 3rd&3!

BIG STOP BUCKEYES ALL OVER METCHIE ON A WR SCREEN!

Another 4th&1 for Bama and another TOUGH run Harris! 1st Down and Goal at OSU 7.

Again, Buckeyes back 7 is all over the run, but Harris sneaks through for 5 to the OSU 2! Then Buckeyes great 6th year Senior LB Justin Hilliard busts thru for a huge 3 yard loss on Harris!!! End of 1st Quarter.

2ND QUARTER

3rd and Goal at OSU 5. This is big!

ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT CALL SARKISIAN!

Devonta Smith on a a reverse motion flair to the right- 5 yd Touchdown Bama! Buckeyes Defenders totally lost a Heisman trophy winner. That’s how amazing Sarkisian is at play design!

Bama 14-7 – Another 4th Down success

Buckeyes on Offense – big completion to Williams, then a tipped ball and great catch by underrated Garrett Wilson!

Buckeyes try to go Frantic Tempo, but get called for offsides. Then 2 big blitzes called by Golding. The 2nd one has Fields wincing from his Clemson injury. OSU Chrisman nice punt to Bama 11.

Buckeyes were moving it, but surprising aggression by Golding. Fields definitely not 100%. Sermon is now at the hospital. I still don’t know who’s all missing from Covid. Still the Buckeyes are now saying WE WIN THIS FOR SERMON! They will need some Magic!

Now more of that Reverse Motion by Smith and again another good game. So far Golding is surprisingly calling a better Defensive game than Mattison.

RIGHT ON CUE – MATTISON CALLS FOR A SURPRISE BLITZ BY SPEEDY LB BROWNING – SACK AND FUMBLE RECOVERY. OSU AT BAMA 24!!

1st Play – go for it in Endzone for Williams – interference on Jobe! Next play the OLine controls Bama again and Teague with another power run 4 yds TOUCHDOWN OHIO STATE!

OSU IS BEING OUTPLAYED AND WITHOUT SO MANY PLAYERS – BUT THIS IS MAGIC PEOPLE!

BUCKEYES 14-14

Bama on move again! Incredible catch by Smith on the right sideline for 16 yds! Then another catch Smith. Run Harris. Scramble up middle Jones. Too much passive zone by the Buckeyes.

Again, right on cue, Mattison brings Browning on the blitz, but this time Sarkisian dials up a great call! Jones finds great receiving RB Harris all alone in the flat and he scampers in 25 yards TOUCHDOWN BAMA!

BAMA 21-14

At this point this game is going to blow away the over/under and have a score in the 70s!

BIG SCRAMBLE FIELDS FOR 28, THEN FRANTIC TEMPO BIG RUN TEAGUE FOR 29 AS BAMA D STRUGGLED TO GET SET! 1st&10 at Bama 15!

Backup DT but talented Mathis busts thru hit Teague for a loss. First time our OLine was whipped – think it was RG Wyatt Davis who’s one of the best.

3rd & 11 pass over middle Ruckhart smashed by SS Battle – Targeting – Battle ejected!

From there a couple of bad decisions in the passing game by Fields, but Bama DC Golding is mixing better than I expected! Kudos to him.

Another Covid victim for the Buckeyes – Blake Haubeil – out. Jake Seibert was the top Kicker out of HS this year – again a tribute to great OSU Recruiting that has caught up to Bama – but he’s never kicked a college FG.

He just did! Buckeyes staying alive!

OSU 17-21

2nd&15, 16 completion Metchie. Huge pass down right sideline Smith again!! Totally burned Wade! I expect more from Wade – he can be more physical – but too many times lets WRs off the Line too easily.

Interference on CB Banks, then another easy flair to Smith for 5 and another Bama Touchdown!!

Sarkisian’s play design is absolutely killing OSU DCs! As I said in my Preview, Sarkisian is a hero of mine that got me started on Power Spread over a decade ago, but this is ridiculous. There needs to be serious Halftime adjustments.

BAMA 28-17

For the first time the Buckeyes Offense looked off. Mixed up mess in executing the passing game like down at the goaline on the previous drive. This definitely looks like the disruptions of last week taking its toll.

Big PR Smith. 14 yd pass Harris. 42 yd pass Smith and yet another Bama Touchdown!! Again way too easy. Surprisingly bad design by Mattison and Coombs and now OSU’s Energy is heading in the wrong direction.

BAMA 35-17

Buckeyes just trying to run the clock out. Incredible. Now another injury. Wyatt Davis who I just mentioned.

It’s pretty obvious at this point, that Covid, which had such an impact on the Big 10 and the Buckeyes this year, and of course on the World, has taken its toll again.

This is a team that struggled getting through practice last week. Probably deserved to have the game suspended a week. And now will need amazing Magic to pull this one off.

OSU punts – Bama a chance to get to the 40s at Halftime!

Finally a good play on Smith by Wade!

Halftime

Everyone talking about Smith, but this is Sarkisian. This guy is amazing and always has been. He’s why I started Power Spread. But our DCs Mattison and Coombs are better than this. The Covid Disruptions took their toll.

It’s been a strange year. An Asterisk year. But College Football should’ve done the right thing and let this game be postponed a week. Saban made an excuse of why that wouldn’t be possible. He definitely wanted the Buckeyes this week and not next week. Not a lot of class.

Buckeyes still have a chance, but now the Energy is bad in addition to the DScheme and Fundamentals. If they pull off a miracle win, then they are definitely a Team of Destiny in a year they probably shouldn’t even be playing.

3RD QUARTER

Long time-consuming drive Bama. Buckeyes still looks pretty down from 1st Half – whole week – debacle.

Smith is injured and goes out, but short passes to the other WRs. Some adjustments by our D, but Bama with slow tempo eating up the clock.

Big run for Harris on 3rd&5. Huge hit by OSU S Proctor on 3rd and Goal swing pass to Harris. Buckeyes energy down, but fighting. Holds Bama to a FG.

Bama 38-17

HUGE RUN OFF READ OPTION BY FIELDS FOR 33 YDS! Finally Wilson steps up. After 17 yard catch – Fields finds WILSON FOR 20 YDS IN CORNER OF ENDZONE TOUCHDOWN! Still hope.

OSU 24-38

Bama basically runs the ball down OSU’s throat on this drive. That is not the Defense I saw throughout the year. Again, they look tired – getting pushed around, with no energy. Not only about the Bama Offense.

Sarkisian wisely using a lot of Play Action off the power runs. 5 yard TD pass to Bolden.

Bama 45-24

Fields completes a pass to Olave, makes a run, but he definitely isn’t 100%. I’m not even sure he’s 75% like he reported. More like 50%.

OSU goes for it on 4th and 1 and Teague stuffed. Now the Oline, which was dominating early, is barely showing any fight or energy.

Another pass to Metchie 27 yards – a lot of missed tackles. Really bad energy. Smith is out and doesn’t even matter. OSU not really in this game mentally or emotionally

4TH QUARTER

More runs – play action or RPO – another catch Metchie. Easy run Harris TD. OSU completely out of it.

Bama 52-24

It’s repetitive at this point, but this game needed to be played next Monday. For the sake of College Football and fair competition. But that didn’t work for the TV Network, SEC or Nick Saban.

There will be no excuses. That’s not Ryan Day’s way. But the truth is staring everyone in the face if they choose to see it.

Justin Fields keeps fighting. A heart of a champion. But he seems to be in pain and barley 50%. The rest of the team pretty dead.

Even then they get a drive going, but 4 Incompletes from the 6 yard line and thats a wrap.

Alabama 52 Ohio State 24

That was fun..

Congrats to Nick Saban, the SEC and to College Football for a job well done. True integrity and care taken during an unprecedented time to insure each team the fairest representation in line with the true spirit of competition.

Takeaways
  1. OSU is a great team this year as well as Alabama. This game, along with the Northwestern game, were not representative of the talent/scheme/execution with which this team played the rest of the year.
    1. Both of these games were after big disruptions due to Covid.
    2. In this game, not only was the execution off, but the schemes, coaching and finally the energy were all off. It was pretty obvious these coaches didn’t have the focus they normally do.
    3. The only reason it wasn’t worse was because of the Culture OSU has under Day. And the Talent.
  2. This game needed to be played a week later. When I saw the gleam in Saban’s eye (a rarity) in the pre-game interview, after his lethargic, stressed out interviews during the week, I knew he won.
    1. CFootball Logistics
      1. TV Advertising Money and Ratings
      2. Ticket Money
    2. Saban/SEC Logistics
      1. Easier to beat a Buckeye Team in total disarray with a ton of kids missing and not 100%. Especially off one of the greatest wins in Buckeye history. Take away their Time. Similar to Tempo Offense Saban always complained about.
      2. Buckeyes only played half a season. They shouldn’t even be allowed to play. Not fair – except – the whole season has been a shitshow. Maybe no team should be here or playing right now, Nick!?
      3. Bama played a full season and survived. They deserve to play as scheduled. Not their fault OSU has Covid issues.
        1. Bama had practically no player cases all year. Why is that? Especially when they played other SEC teams who had outbreaks.
        2. The rules weren’t consistent nor fair all year. And did everyone even follow the rules?
      4. More on this next week!
    3. OSU / B10 Logistics
      1. This is a highly unusual year. The effect on Covid, team to team, was wildly inconsistent.
      2. Alabama was one of the least Covid distracted teams in the country and got to play a full season.
      3. This had nothing to do with injuries – that is part of the game every year. Covid is not.
  3. OSU had a Letdown in addition to the Covid Disruption.
    1. This is on me. It was my original thought right after the huge Clemson win. How will the Buckeyes not suffer from a big letdown.
      1. That was my huge concern, before I found out about the Covid Outbreak.
      2. Then my first thought was “If they don’t postpone this game, OSU is done.”
    2. Then I got enamored by the Cleveland Narrative, and created an unrealistic idea that somehow OSU would overcome a letdown by galvanizing from Covid.
      1. Could happen? I guess. But that was pretty far fetched.
      2. Letdown+Covid = DISASTER. Especially vs a great opponent.
  4. Alabama is now the official best Team of 2020 – the Team of Destiny if you will. But..not so fast…
    1. Would Bama have beaten OSU with both teams Covid free? With Justin Fields barely 50% and the team letting down after one of their greatest wins in school history – probably.
    2. Would it have been closer? Probably.
    3. How about with both teams close to full strength? That’s different. We are talking potential Instant Classic with OSU having at least a 50/50 shot.
      1. OSU Dline was hit hard by Covid and it showed.
      2. Our Oline lost one of the top Guards in the country in Wyatt Davis and played with zero passion after bullying the Tide early.
      3. The DScheme – which has been decent for 2 years – was a disaster. Day’s gameplan/playcalling on offense also was off. The coaches were obviously distracted last week.
      4. Oh and Trey Sermon was in the hospital before the 1st Quarter even ended.
      5. Bama never had to play a top team at full strength, while they were relatively covid free all year.
        1. Dickerson and Waddle were big injury losses, but that was basically it!
        2. Most teams dealt with far more loss and distraction throughout the year.
  5. Steve Sarkisian is a Master.
    1. In 2008 he busted up the Buckeyes and awakened me to the importance of Scheme and Power Spread.
    2. 12 years later he’s doing it even better, having quickly adapted to Power Spread early in the last decade!

That’s a Wrap

The 2020 season is officially in the books. An end to a shitshow of a year with one big fat Asterisk to boot!

But there is always a Silver Lining and a little Magic.

Players and Coaches came together like never before. All across the country the talk was about the Love for Team – for each other. Teams came TOGETHER like never before. Something for the Country – the World – to take note of — to ponder – to Change.

Yes, there are still a lot of people out there – even our esteemed leaders – who will do anything to win. To forcefully take what they feel they deserve. Without regard for what is fair or just. Seemingly without a clear understanding of the bigger picture. Of what really is important.

Today we cheer and praise these well presented, yet thinly veiled Great Men of Society. But tomorrow approaches in a mighty way. The answers of today may soon become our questions of tomorrow.

Change.

~DP

Comments
  1. […] College Football Playoff National Championship: Ohio State vs Alabama – Live Commentary […]

  2. […] College Football Playoff National Championship: Ohio State vs Alabama – Live Commentary […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.