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Alabama vs. Cincinnati Predictions

Jameson Williams (No. 1) runs an 81-yard catch for a touchdown in Alabama's game versus Southern Miss.

Alabama football and the Cincinnati Bearcats will kick off the College Football Playoff today in Goodyear Cotton Bowl.

The kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CST. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN.

The staff at Touchdown Alabama provide their predictions and analysis of the game.

STEPHEN M. SMITH / SENIOR REPORTER

Alabama 48 – Cincinnati 24

Key Insight: “Alabama’s offense must attack Cincinnati’s secondary, but it also needs to force the Bearcats’ offense to be on the sideline by running the football. This could be another big game for Brian Robinson, especially with Cincinnati running the 3-3-5 defense. Defensively, the Crimson Tide can not give up big plays to Desmond Ridder and the Bearcats’ receiving options. Alabama has to create sacks and turnovers.

JUSTIN SMITH / SCOUTING/RECRUITING ANALYST 

Alabama 45 – Cincinnati 20

Key Insight: “Many believe this game will be determined by Bryce Young’s performance against Cincinnatti’s secondary. However, that is not the only path to victory for the Crimson Tide. The Bearcats’ defense has struggled to stop the run at times this season. They have allowed three running backs to rush for more than 100 yards against them, and Alabama should have plenty of opportunities to succeed in the run game. Desmond Ridder is a capable running quarterback who can make plays with his feet. Alabama will need to get after him and not allow him to extend plays. Cincinnati’s running back, Jerome Ford’s stats speak for themselves. The Tide’s defense will need to contain him all game. The Tide should have complete control of this one through most of the matchup.”

PATRICK DOWD / ALABAMA BEAT REPORTER

Alabama 38 – Cincinnati 24

Key Insight: “At some points, it didn’t feel like it’d make it here, but some way shape or form Alabama is back in the College Football Playoff and once again the favorite to bring home the top prize. But this year Cincinnati stands in the way of the Crimson Tide with nothing to lose and everything to gain. Although Alabama has been here before, Luke Fickell brings an experienced group on both sides of the football led by quarterback Desmond Ridder. It’ll be easy to look past the American Conference Champion, but today’s game will be much closer than anticipated due to Alabama losing wide receiver, John Metchie, and cornerback, Josh Jobe for the year. Expect a hard-fought few quarters but Alabama should be able to pull away at the end.”

 

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