BY THE NUMBERS
Team: 223.7 passing yards allowed per game (No. 57)
Sacks leader: Xzavier Dickson (8)
Interceptions leader: Landon Collins (3)
Team: 188.2 passing yards allowed per game (No. 15)
Interceptions leaders: Doran Grant (5); Vonn Bell (5)
Sacks leader: Joey Bosa (13.5)
Doran Grant and Vonn Bell lead way on a unit that has 21 interceptions this season, fourth most in the country. The Buckeyes front has given opponents fits, recording 40 sacks this season. They have played particularly well over the past five games, in which they have 27 of those sacks. All-American defensive end Bosa has been an animal with a sack total that leads the Big Ten. As far as yards allowed through the air, Bama’s pass defense ranked 11th in the Southeastern Conference (only Texas A&M, Auburn and Mississippi State) ranked lower. The team had 10 interceptions this season. But despite those numbers, Bama giving up just 16.6 points per game, fourth in the nation.
Opponents are completing 54 percent of their passes against both teams, but Ohio State’s ability to put pressure on the quarterbacks gives them the edge. Keeping track of and blocking Bosa will be a must for the Tide’s offensive line, although Bama quarterback Blake Sims has a knack for extending plays with his legs. Besides, it would be hard to give the nod to a Bama team that gave up 456 passing yards against Auburn in the Iron Bowl.
Advantage: Ohio State
-- Rod Walker