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Scarlet Sunrise: Chance to make history arrives for underdog Ohio State

Chris Olave-Ohio State-Ohio State football-Buckeyes
Chris Olave and the Buckeyes will face Alabama for the national title. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Scarlet Sunrise

Scarlet Sunrise: Chance to make history arrives for underdog Ohio State

Good morning, Ohio State fans, and welcome to the Scarlet Sunrise. Football will always be our focus, but every day we’ll cover news, notes and analysis from across Buckeyes sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Ohio State football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Ohio State vs. Alabama game time, details

Ohio State already cleared the first hurdle. The Buckeyes dismantled a Clemson program they had previously never beaten in the Sugar Bowl, setting up a national title tilt with Alabama. The Buckeyes emphatic blowout win over Clemson was a huge hurdle finally cleared. But the Buckeyes have one game still left to play.

And if Ohio State can pull off its second-straight upset victory, this time over top-ranked Alabama, it’ll capture its second national title of the College Football Playoff era and make a lot of history.

Ohio State is 4-3 against the spread this season. The Buckeyes are 2-3 in their last five games against the spread. Alabama is 8-4 against the spread this season. The Crimson Tide failed to cover the record-setting spread in their College Football Playoff semifinal matchup against No. 4 Notre Dame. The Buckeyes are 10-1 under Ryan Day against ranked teams straight up. Ohio State is 3-2 all-time against the spread in the College Football Playoff.

Alabama leads the all-time series 3-1. The two programs last played in the 2015 Sugar Bowl; the Buckeyes defeated the No. 1 Tide 42-35 en route to their first national since 2002. But this challenge is different for the No. 3 Buckeyes.

  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • Date: Monday, Jan. 11
  • Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, Florida
  • Weather: High of 77 degrees, low of 69 and overcast
  • The line: Alabama is an 8-point favorite, per VegasInsider
  • Over/under: 75.5 points

Zach Boren breaks down Buckeyes defense

Maybe Ohio State hasn’t quite posted the flashiest sack numbers this year after dominating in that department last season. And perhaps they didn’t have a surefire first-round NFL Draft pick to anchor the group, even though they clearly have a leader and a productive veteran in Jonathon Cooper to set the standard. But there’s been no question at all that Ohio State has continued its rich tradition up front by generating relentless pressure, swallowing up opposing rushing attacks and forcing fumbles with a rotation that is again among the nation’s best.

What is fueling the relentless Ohio State pass rush? How successful have the Buckeyes been up front even without racking up a ton of sacks? Who will be key for the Rushmen in the national-title game against Alabama? Former Ohio State captain Zach Boren popped in the film with Lettermen Row and answered those questions in the latest episode of BuckIQ.

Miss any Lettermen Row coverage so far this week?

Stick with Lettermen Row for wall-to-wall national-title coverage

Lettermen Row will be on site in South Florida on Monday night for comprehensive coverage of the national title matchup between the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide. Follow along on TwitterInstagram and YouTube for experienced Ohio State coverage.

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Spencer Holbrook

Spencer Holbrook covers Ohio State football and basketball for Lettermen Row. A graduate of Ohio University's Scripps School of Journalism, he's in his second year covering the Buckeyes. He was previously the sports editor at Ohio's student newspaper, The Post, where he covered Ohio University football and men's basketball.