Alabama Crimson Tide Reason No. 3
More outmatched than the Cincinnati defensive line, will be the Bearcats’ offensive line. Drill down to the details on the Cincy o-line to see why they will have big Cotton Bowl trouble.
Desmond Ridder is a good quarterback; good enough to make it in the NFL. He also has a career problem with inconsistent, throwing accuracy. The Crimson Tide will bring wave after wave of pressure against Ridder. His offensive line cannot handle Will Anderson Jr, Dallas Turner and other Tide defenders.
Reason No. 4
Alabama has been a bit short-handed in practice preparation. Joe Pendry was added to fill in for Doug Marrone. Marrone and Bill O’Brien have been working remotely because of COVID infections. O’Brien arrived in Dallas on Tuesday. Both men are expected to coach on-site, in the Cotton Bowl game.
If O’Brien and Marrone were having to miss the game, perhaps Cincinnati would not have a major coaching disadvantage. With a return by the Tide coaching pair – plus Nick Saban, and the rest of the Tide staff, the Tide has a big coaching advantage.
Reason No. 5
This last reason will not determine the outcome of the game. It is also not insignificant. The Bearcats have a serious weakness at placekicker. Cincinnati has used three guys to kick field goals this season. Combined they are 7-for-17. Over the past five Cincinnati games, Christian Lowery has been 2-for-4. Neither of his two makes was from 40 or more yards. On the season, the combined stat for Cincinnati’s percentage of made field goals is close to the bottom on the FBS.
On fourth down plays, the only kicking Luke Fickell may allow is punting.
There is nothing bold in this ‘five reasons’ list. Bama Hammer will have some BOLD predictions later.