Top impactful players for Cincinnati to face Alabama in CFP Semifinal"> Top impactful players for Cincinnati to face Alabama in CFP Semifinal
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Top impactful players for Cincinnati to face Alabama in CFP Semifinal

Josh Whyle (#81) of Cincinnati runs with the ball versus Georgia in 2021 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

We have arrived at College Football Playoff week.

After spending the Christmas holiday with family, Alabama fans are ready for Friday’s matchup in the CFP Semifinal between the Crimson Tide and Cincinnati. ESPN will call the game via AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas) at 2:30 p.m. CT.

RELATED: Nick Saban provides update on Bill O’Brien and Doug Marrone ahead of the Cotton Bowl

Luke Fickell brings in an undefeated Bearcats team that takes shots offensively and plays aggressively on defense.

Cincinnati has a top-10 scoring offense (38.8 ppg) and scoring defense (16.1 ppg) nationally.

Coach Fickell was on two Ohio State’s national championship coaching staffs in 2002 and 2014 under Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer. He knows what it takes to win at the highest level. The Bearcats will throw everything at the Tide. Alabama is 5-0 all-time under Nick Saban at AT&T Stadium, but Cincinnati provides a different challenge. Fickell’s impact players are below.

Desmond Ridder, Quarterback

Desmond Ridder prepares himself for marquee games.

He relishes the opportunity to perform on a big stage, and he has Cincinnati in a position to generate chaos for college football.

Ridder can make plays with his arm and legs as he has recorded 36 total touchdowns (six rushing scores) in 13 games.

RELATED: Alabama OL Javion Cohen flashes crane kick to Auburn’s practice

He’s completed 234 of 355 passes (65.9 percent) for 3,190 passing yards with 30 touchdowns.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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