THE LEAD

Film study for the Alabama defense has been a little different as the Crimson Tide prepares for Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones (6-foot-5, 250 pounds) and the Buckeyes.

There isn’t a whole lot of film out there to watch on Jones.

Jones, who started the season as the third-string quarterback, got his first start in the Big Ten Championship Game just a little over three weeks ago.

“He’s a mystery,” Tide defensive back Nick Perry said. “We really don’t know exactly what all he can do or what kind of offense they’re gonna have come game time, so we’re just preparing for everything and anything.”

Jones threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns in the 59-0 Big Ten Championship Game rout over Wisconsin.

“It’s his strength and his ability to run the ball at his size,” Alabama safety Landon Collins said.

“The last person you see with that size running the ball like that was Cam Newton.”

PLAYR TO WATCH

Cam Robinson. The freshman from West Monroe wasted little time making an impact for the Tide when he became Bama’s first true freshman to start at left tackle since Andre Smith in 2006.

The 6-6, 323-pound Robinson was named a freshman All-American by Sporting News after having 32 knockdown blocks and surrendering just three sacks in 792 snaps.

QUOTABLE

“Pray. He’s unstoppable man. That’s a scary guy when you get him out there on an island.”

-- Perry on Cooper

DID YOU KNOW

The Tide is 3-0 against the Buckeyes. Alabama beat Ohio State 35-6 in the Sugar Bowl at the end of the 1977 season, 16-10 in the Kickoff Classic in 1986, and 24-17 in the Citrus Bowl after the 1994 season.

LAGNIAPPE

Alabama defensive line coach Bo Davis is an LSU grad who played for the Tigers in the early ’90s. … Bama has racked up 600 or more yards of offense in four games this season and 500 or more yards in four more games, including 504 against Missouri in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game.

-- Rod Walker