Alabama football’s report card vs. Cincinnati
Offensive Line: B
The offensive line has been a weak spot for Alabama football all season, but the Tide put on their best performance in the SEC Championship. They needed to step up and play well again as they faced a stout defense.
The offensive line dominated when Alabama ran the ball. Despite having its first Heisman quarterback ever, this has been Alabama’s biggest strength in 2021. It was led by Evan Neal at left tackle, but the entire line was able to create holes for Brian Robinson.
Alabama had to make a move when Emil Ekiyor went down with an injury. They went with JC Latham, a true freshman.
All things considered, the offensive line was great when they ran the ball and poor when they passed it. The pass protection will need to improve in the national championship.
Defensive Line: A-
Alabama football’s defensive line has been solid all year, and they were billed with stopping Jerome Ford between the tackles. Ford was a former Tide back, so they were at least familiar with the team.
The defensive line got pressure early when they rushed the passer, but Cincinnati was able to attack the defensive line early in the run game. Dale got a quick sack, and Mathis batted a pass down on third down.
The defense bent on multiple occasions, but they never broke. Credit the guys up front with staying strong and ending drives without touchdowns.