Alabama Football: Final thoughts before CFP Semifinal

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Alabama football still has work to do

For almost a month, Alabama football has been prepping for a game against the Cincinnati Bearcats. Cincy is the only undefeated team left in college football, but Alabama is the top-ranked team in the sport.

We’ve analyzed this game in every way imaginable. We’ve discussed reunions and injuries. We’ve analyzed how Alabama football’s response to COVID-19 can give them a boost, and looked at key position groups and players for the Cotton Bowl Classic.

With the game only hours away, here are some final thoughts before we kick off.

Alabama’s offense has been inconsistent all year due to inefficient offensive line play. However, the Tide played its best against Georgia. They are now healthier, but they’ll need to step up and play like they did in the SEC Championship against Georgia. That will give Bryce Young time to make plays, which is when Alabama’s offense is at its best.

The loss of John Metchie is massive. Look for Williams to have another game-breaking game, but the depth behind him will determine Alabama’s postseason success. Someone like Traeshon Holden or Christian Leary needs to have a solid performance. The tight ends will also see more targets against Cincinnati, but that puts more pressure on the offensive line to win without extra blockers.

Cincinnati’s strength is in the secondary, but it is hard to stop the speed of Williams. Expect Alabama to scheme plays for Williams to get the ball with momentum and open space.

Cincinnati’s key to winning offensively is dominating the trenches. That has been their style of play all season. The only concern is that Alabama’s defensive front is its strength. Will Cincinnati break character and win through the air? Will they try to win in a strength-vs.-strength battle? This will be something to track, but the secondary is already missing players for Alabama football. If the Bearcats can get a few deep shots through the air, this game will have a different feel for it.

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Still, expect Alabama to win this one. They have a dominant record in semifinal games, and I have them winning this one easily.