Best of the Buckeyes: Standouts in the National Championship Game
With just days before Alabama and Ohio State faceoff in Miami, here's a look at three players who will look to have an impact for the Buckeyes.
QB Justin Fields
The Buckeyes offense are led by a lethal duo headlining junior quarterback Justin Fields. His running and throwing ability allows the Ohio State offense to remain balanced which was evident in their Sugar Bowl win over Clemson. The Kennesaw, Georgia native, recorded his fourth 300 yards passing game and threw six touchdowns, a Sugar Bowl record. He also recorded 42 rushing yards on eight carries. Despite the limited number of games, Fields has once again produced video game like numbers as he tallied 2,291 passing yards, 27 passing touchdowns, 358 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. With Field's ability to scramble, Alabama's defense will once again be tested. In its recent history, the Crimson Tide defense has struggled against mobile quarterbacks. In the 2018 Orange Bowl, Kyler Murray used his dual threat ability to dissect the Crimson Tide defense as he finished with 308 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, 108 rushing yards and added a rushing touchdown in the loss. Watch for Ohio State to rely on Fields' running ability to open up the passing game.
RB Trey Sermon
If Fields is Batman, than consider graduate student Trey Sermon to be Robin for the Ohio State offense. The Oklahoma transfer has caught fire in his final three game of the season, including a 331 rushing performance against Northwestern in the Big 10 Championship. In seven games, Sermon tallied 1,068 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Although Sermon has burst onto the scene over the past few weeks, the Marietta, Georgia native struggled to find his footing early in the season as he recorded 239 rushing yards in his first four games. Of those four opponents, Penn State and Indiana were the only two teams that finished with rushing defenses inside the top 50. Alabama has the No. 13 ranked rushing defense in the NCAA, setting up to be a best-on-best matchup between Sermon and the Alabama rushing defense.
DT Tommy Togiai
The program that is notorious for producing pro-bowl caliber pass rushers such as the Bosa brothers and Chase Young, may have another one in junior Tommy Togiai. Through seven games, the Pocatello, Idaho native tallied 23 total tackles and is second on the team in sacks with 3.0. The Buckeyes front of Togiai, Jonathon Cooper, Haskell Garrett may face their toughest test against Alabama's offensive line. The Joe Moore recipients for best offensive line in the country has allowed just 17 sacks in 12 games. Even with the loss of Landon Dickerson, the Crimson Tide picked up right where it left off with Chris Owens allowing just one sack against Notre Dame. The battle along the line of scrimmage with be crucial to win for both teams if they want to leave Miami with the College Football Playoff National Championship trophy.
The 10 Greatest College Football Rivalries