Ohio State Buckeyes (12-1) at Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1)
|Date & Time||Thursday January 1, 2015, 8:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Alabama Crimson Tide -9 -- Over/Under: 56.5
The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Ohio State Buckeyes squareoff in the Sugar Bowl with the winner heading to the National Championship.
Although the Ohio State Buckeyes are on their third quarterback they are still in the NC hunt and they appear to be more then capable and 59-0 destuction of Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game tells us to not overlook this squad. Despite being hit hard by injuries under center and with Braxton Miller and JT Barrett out the Buckeyes can still do everything on offense and if that fails the #14 defense in the land is there to lean on. Barrett threw 2,834 yards and 34 scores before getting hurt but with no experience under his belt Cardale Jones has tossed for 375 yards and five TD's and has receivers Devin Smith (799 yds) and Michael Thomas (680 yds) to lean on. When all else fails hand the ball to Ezekiel Elliott who posted 1,402 rushing yards or let Jones do some running himself.
I suppose this was the season where the Alabama Crimson Tide were due for a letdown of sorts with a new quarterback running the show. That might have been wishful thinking with the offense being able to run and throw their way to 37 points while a stifling defense allowed just 312 yards and less then 17 points with 88 yards allowed on the ground. Quarterback Blake Sims was outstanding with 3,236 yards with 25 touchdowns and seven picks with Amari Cooper easily the top receiving option with 115 catches for 1,656 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Crimson Tide rushing attack was a two headed monster with TJ Yeldon and Derrick Henry combining for over 1,800 yards with both averaging over five yards per touch.
The Over is 6-0 in Buckeyes last 6 games following a SU win of more than 20 points and 6-0 in Buckeyes last 6 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game while going 4-0 in Buckeyes last 4 games after allowing less than 275 total yards in their previous game. For Alabama the over is 5-0 in Crimson Tide last 5 Thursday games while the Crimson Tide are 0-7-1 ATS in their last 8 non-conference games and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. Big Ten. Ohio State isn't given much of a chance especially with their third string quarterback but I'd rather take a shot with the points or sit this out...