2021 CFP National Championship preview: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 3 Ohio State

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

There is just one game left in the FBS college football season. Just months ago, it was not clear if we would even get to this stage.

The No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes and the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide will do battle in the final game of the season. The College Football Playoff National Championship will be played at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The game will kick off at 8 pm EST.

Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Jones attempts to run a play during practice before the College Football Playoff National Championship game
Mac Jones attempts to run a play during practice before the College Football Playoff National Championship game (Photo by Alabama Crimson Tide Football/Instagram)

There will be 16,000 fans in attendance for this game. This is the highest amount of any game since before the coronavirus shutdowns began in March 2020.

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“We’re excited about having the opportunity to play against a great Ohio State team,” Saban said Monday. “These guys are really well-coached. Ryan Day has done a great job there. They’re one of the best defensive teams in the country in terms of points allowed. Tough to run against, really explosive on offense, really good skill players outside.

According to SportsBettingDime.com, Alabama is the favorite to win the game as they are favored by 9 points.

The Crimson Tide defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to play in this season finale. The Buckeyes defeated the No. 2 Clemson Tigers to advance to this game.

Related: Aggies have big fourth quarter, defeat Tar Heels in 2021 Capital One Orange Bowl

Both teams come into the game with an undefeated record. The Crimson Tide are 12-0, while the Buckeyes are 7-0.

This is the first between the teams since January 1st, 2015. The Buckeyes won 42-35 over the Crimson Tide in the inaugural College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“Well, the goal was never just to beat Clemson,” he said Monday. “The goal was to win the national championship.

Related: Cyclones defeat Ducks in 2021 Fiesta Bowl

“While it was an emotional win, that wasn’t the goal. The goal was to win this one. And so, I’d be disappointed if we didn’t play well in this game.”

The Crimson Tide have not lost a game since November 30th, 2019. They were defeated by the Auburn Tigers, 49-45 in the Iron Bowl in Auburn, Alabama.

The Buckeyes have not lost a game since their final game of the 2019 season. They were defeated 29-23 by the Tigers in the Fiesta Bowl in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Related: Longhorns hire Steve Sarkisian as their new head football coach

Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Jones — who may be appearing in his final college football game before declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft — has gone 275 of 357 for 4,036 yards. He has had 36 touchdown passes and four interceptions.

Najee Harris has had 229 carries for 1,387 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns. 2020 Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith has had 105 receptions for 1,641 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields — who is likely playing in his final college game before declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft — has gone 141 of 192 for 1,906 yards. He has thrown 21 touchdown passes and six interceptions.

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Trey Sermon has had 115 carries for 868 yards and four touchdowns. Chris Olave has 42 receptions for 660 yards and seven touchdowns.

“I think it’s been good for everyone that we’ve been able to play football, whether it’s NFL football or college football,” Saban said Thursday. “A lot of people have put a lot of time and effort throughout the country, throughout the NCAA, throughout every conference to try to create an atmosphere and environment which gave the players an opportunity to compete, the fans something to root for and look forward to, and I think that’s a real positive thing.”

Alabama is in their eighth national championship game in the past 12 seasons. They are presently won five of their last 11 national championship games.

Related: Bulldogs score 14 fourth quarter points, defeat Bearcats in 2021 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

The Buckeyes have won eight national championships, including one in the College Football Playoff era. They won the inaugural College Football Playoff during the 2014 season.

Besides the 2014 Championship, the team also won championships in 1942, 1954, 1957, 1961, 1968, 1970, and 2002.

The Crimson Tide have won 17 national championships. Since 2009, they have won five championships in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2017.

Related: Wildcats defeat Tigers for the first-time in the 2021 Citrus Bowl

The team also won championships in 1925, 1926, 1930, 1934, 1941, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, 1979, and 1992.

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