BY THE NUMBERS
TEAM: 281.0 yards per game (No. 22). LEADERS:Passing:Blake Sims, 230 completions, 355 attempts for 3,250 yards and 26 touchdowns; Receiving:Amari Cooper 115 receptions, 1,656 yards, 14 touchdowns.
TEAM: 246.8 yards-per-game (No. 51). LEADERS: Passing: Cardale Jones, 22 completions, 34 attempts for 375 yards and five touchdowns; Receiving: Devin Smith, 30 receptions, 799 yards, 11 touchdowns.
Buckeyes sophomore Jones will be making his second start … EVER. He played well in his first one though, earning MVP honors in the Big Ten Championship Game when he started in place of injured J.T. Barrett. His main weapon, big-play wide receiver Smith, is averaging a 37.6 yards per touchdown catch. Sims set Bama’s single season records for passing yards and total offense gets to throw passes to Cooper, who won the Biletnikoff Award as nation’s top receiver.
The good news for Ohio State is that it has a defense that has given up just 188.2 yards per game and has 21 interceptions (fourth best in the nation). But the bad news is it hasn’t faced a receiver quite like Cooper, who is as dangerous as they come. And it’s hard to argue against when it comes to Bama’s record-setting Sims against Jones making just his second start on such a big stage.
-- Rod Walker