Alabama Crimson Tide – Five Cotton Bowl Winning Reasons
Alabama Crimson Tide Reason No. 1
Supposedly, LSU’s Daronte Jones and Auburn’s Derek Mason provided blueprints to stopping the Crimson Tide offense. Basically, their plans were to attack with as many numbers as needed to stuff the Tide’s running game and, more importantly, keep Bryce Young under frequent pressure.
In between the Iron Bowl and the SEC Championship, Bill O’Brien made enough changes to negate such pressure. Sometimes it was formation, sometimes it was tempo and almost all of the time it was predicated on Bryce Young throwing quickly. Too quickly, for even Georgia’s speed rushers.
Cincinnati, under DC Mike Tressel always plays the same way LSU and Auburn played the Tide. He has an aggressive front six, backed up by a secondary that can cover. That style is in the Bearcats’ DNA. It is impossible to alter. Against one of the most poised Heisman-winning quarterbacks ever, the Cincinnati defensive plan will fail.
Reason No. 2
Tressel has another problem. His front three and his outside linebackers don’t have the beef to stonewall the Crimson Tide run game. While it is true, Georgia had little success running against Cincinnati in the 2020 Peach Bowl, the situation is different in the Cotton Bowl. For the Dawgs, the Peach Bowl was not a reward, it was a thin substitute for not making the Playoffs.
Except for Evan Neal, the Tide offensive linemen are not world-beaters. But they are good enough to push around a smaller Cincinnati front. And the Bearcats have never had to contend with anyone like Evan Neal. Collectively the Tide o-line, under O’Brien’s scheme will be too much for the Bearcats.