Gary Danielson offers keys to the national championship, 'biggest storyline' for Ohio State
CBS Sports analyst Gary Danielson is one of the few broadcasters who has called games this season involving Alabama, so he has an interesting perspective on the national championship tonight against Ohio State.
For Danielson, it starts with the Buckeyes’ ability to slow down the high-powered Alabama offense. Danielson called the SEC Championship, along with the Georgia game and several other Alabama games this season. He shared his thoughts with John Talty of AL.com.
“The biggest storyline of the game is can the defensive line for Ohio State make a game of it?” Danielson said. “If Alabama is able to run the ball with Najee (Harris) and control the line of scrimmage, then their play-action pass game will become devastating for them.”
Keeping Alabama’s offense off the field may be as important as whatever success Ohio State has on defense.
“Ohio State can’t get in a game where they get four or five stops but Alabama gets 14 possessions. You still get killed,” Danielson said. “They do it with that offensive line where if they run 80 plays, you don’t have a chance. That’s the key to the game.”
There is a path for Ohio State to pull the upset, and Danielson offered a recipe for how that would unfold.
“They’ve got the formula,” he said. “They’ve got a running back, they’ve got two speed receivers, they’ve got big tight ends. Alabama’s defense does not handle the middle of the field well this year. The two inside linebackers are not great cover players. (Ohio State) has to continue to run the ball a little bit and take the deep shots. Their receivers are going to put pressure on this Alabama defense. We’ve seen it all year — people who have quarterbacks who can throw the ball, there’s openings to throw the ball over the middle of the field against Alabama.”