Alabama and Ohio State are set to square off in Miami on Monday night in the CFP national championship. The Buckeyes enter the game coming off a blowout victory over Clemson in the Sugar Bowl and will look to pull off a second consecutive upset against the Crimson Tide. What will have to happen for the team from Columbus to walk away with the national championship trophy on Monday?

1. Ohio State Must Stop The Run - The Ohio State Buckeyes rank second in the nation in rushing defense, only allowing 89.1 yards per game on the ground this season. Ohio State held Clemson to only 44 yards on the ground in the semifinals on a mere two yards per rush. Clemson's Travis Etienne rushed for only 32 yards in the game but was able to contribute 64 yards receiving.

Ohio State must contain Najee Harris if it hopes to finish as national champions. Harris has averaged 115 yards rushing this season and he is now the Crimson Tide's all-time leading rusher.

2. Buckeyes Stars Must Be Stars -  Ohio State was without several wide receivers in the Big 10 Championship game against Northwestern and was able to squeak out a narrow 22-10 win. However in the semifinals all of Ohio State's stars were on display.

  • Justin Fields - 22/28 385 yards, 6 TDs 1 INT & 8 rushes for 42 yards
  • Trey Sermon - 31 carries for 193 yards and 1 TD & 4 receptions for 61 yards
  • Chris Olave - 6 receptions for 132 yards and 2 TDs

The three Buckeyes stars will have to put on prime time performances against the Alabama Crimson Tide defense if Ohio State is to emerge victorious.

3. Ohio State Must Disrupt Mac Jones - Ohio State has 19 sacks in its seven games played this season, good enough for 2.7 sacks per game this season. The Buckeyes front of Jonathon Cooper, Tommy Togiai, Haskell Garrett and Zach Harrison can provide major assistance to the secondary by pressuring Mac Jones in the passing game.

The Alabama offensive line has allowed 17 sacks this season in 12 games, good for a little less than 1.5 sacks per game this year. Whichever side of the line of scrimmage is able to get the better of the other will go a long way to becoming national champions.

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