Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Preview
The first college football playoff matchup is the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. We have the number one team in the country going up against the number four team in the country in this matchup. On paper this might be one of the more lopsided college football playoff games ever. As we have a team from the AAC going up against a team from the SEC. The matchup is none other than Cincinnati (13-0) going up against Alabama (12-1). This will be an interesting matchup for sure and is a great way bowl game to watch to end the new year. With that being said here is my preview for the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
The Bearcats are the first non-power five team to play in the College Football playoff. They will have their hands full against Alabama, but let us focus on Cincinnati for right now. This Bearcats offense averages 438.2 total yards of offense per game and averages 39.2 points per game. Cincinnati’s offense is led by quarterback Desmond Ridder. Ridder has been with these quarterbacks for years now and it is good to see his hard work play off as he is able to play in the college football playoff before he leaves. He has thrown for 3,190 passing yards to go along with 30 passing touchdowns and 8 interceptions. This offense flows well if Ridder is having a good game. Without Ridder this offense isn’t as good as it has been all season long. They will need him to go above and beyond against this Alabama defense.
Defensively, the Bearcats statistically is a great defense. They only give up 322.9 total yards per game and less than 170 passing yards per game as well. Their passing defense will need to bring their absolute best, because this Alabama offense is one of the best passing offenses in the country. Cincinnati also gives up 16.1 points per game as well. The Bearcats will need to limit the big play ability of this Alabama offense in order to keep themselves in the game.
Alabama’s offense is led by Heisman trophy winner Bryce Young. Young threw for 4,322 passing yards to go along with 43 passing touchdowns and 4 interceptions. This Crimson Tide offense also averages 42.5 points per game and 513.6 total yards of offense per game as well. This offense won’t have one of it’s top receivers, however I don’t think it will be that much of a problem for the Tide. Alabama’s offense has put up 20 or more points in every single game this season. The Crimson Tide offense has some NFL Draft prospects here and it will create a lot of problems for Cincinnati’s defense.
Defensively for the Tide they need to do what they do best and that is pressure the quarterback. This defense has 46 sacks on the season and is led by potential top three pick William Anderson Jr. Alabama’s defense gives up 20.2 points per game and gives up just over 80 rushing yards per game. The passing defense is the only worry for Alabama though. They give up 223.3 passing yards per game, but with the amount of pressure that they can get on the quarterback will be big for Alabama. They will create problems for this Cincinnati offense from the jump and I don’t know if Cincinnati will be able to get a flow going if this Alabama offense is in his face over and over again.
Alabama is a 13.5 point favorite with the over/under set at 57.5. I lean the over here as I think both offenses should score, but I am worried that Alabama’s defense makes Cincinnati’s offense look foolish. My official play is Alabama -13.5, I think the Crimson Tide is going to roll over the Bearcats in Cotton Bowl classic. The Cincinnati Bearcats aren’t going to know what hit them after this game is over and done with.
-Chris Jones (@cjoneswho1212)
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