Cotton Bowl 2021: Alabama vs. Cincinnati live stream, watch online, TV channel, kickoff time, prediction, odds – CBS Sports
The Cotton Bowl between No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Cincinnati is underway as the 2021 College Football Playoff begins on Friday. Through one quarter, the Crimson Tide are up 7-3 over the Bearcats after a strong rushing performance for the defending champions. Alabama ran through Cincinnati for 106 yards rushing in the first quarter, led by Brian Robinson Jr., who posted 74 yards on 11 carries in the first 15 minutes.
Here’s how to watch Friday’s matchup in Arlington, Texas.
Game: Cotton Bowl Date: Friday, Dec. 31 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET Location: AT&T Stadium — Arlington, Texas TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Alabama vs. Cincinnati: Need to know
Tempo, tempo, tempo:Desmond Ridder, the star dual-threat quarterback for the Bearcats, has to be a star against a Crimson Tide defense that, historically, hasn’t had a ton of success against mobile quarterbacks. The combination of Ridder’s downfield ability and a multi-dimensional rushing attack with Ridder and Alabama transfer Jerome Ford makes this offense tough to stop when coach Luke Fickell decides to crank up the tempo. Alabama has the defensive depth across the board, but especially in its front seven. Cincinnati has to find a way to wear this group out and running as many plays as possible is the path to success.
Strength vs. strength: Alabama will be without wide receiver John Metchie III, but Biletnikoff Award finalist Jameson Williams, Iron Bowl hero Ja’Corey Brooks and multiple weapons at tight end will test one of the best secondaries in the country. Make no mistake, that’s not hyperbole. Bearcats cornerbacks Coby Bryant and Ahmad Gardner are two of the best in the country, and it’ll be awesome to see how Bryant, Gardner and the crew attack a Crimson Tide receiving corps after they’ve had plenty of time to prepare.
Aberration of trend? Alabama’s offensive line picked the right time to play its best game of the year when it stymied a Georgia defense that was widely regarded as one of the best in a generation. That was the only time that we’ve seen the Crimson Tide look competent against a good opponent all year, so it’ll be interesting to see if that performance was the start of a trend or just an aberration based on some poor game-planning from the Bulldogs coaching staff.
Cotton Bowl prediction, picks
I’ll take the Crimson Tide to win, cover and dominate an overmatched Bearcats squad that won’t be able to slow down Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young. The star sophomore is lethal when he gets time in the pocket, and the success Alabama’s offensive line had against Georgia has made this a complete team that will be impossible to slow down Friday. Prediction: Alabama (-13.5)
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