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Ohio State Inexplicably Tried to Cover DeVonta Smith With a Linebacker

DeVonta Smith
DeVonta Smith, CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama | Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

DeVonta Smith dominated the first half of the College Football National Championship Game. The Heisman Trophy winner had a title game record 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns as Alabama raced to a 35-17 lead. The Buckeyes simply couldn't find a way to contain Smith and perhaps on play epitomized that.

With 1:50 to go in the half, the Crimson Tide lined up for a second-and-4 on Ohio State's 42-yard line. Quarterback Mac Jones dropped back and delivered a strike to Smith, who was streaking wide open over the middle and he waltzed into the end zone. How did that happen? Well, the Buckeyes opted to shift coverage so middle linebacker Tuf Borland wound up on Smith. It didn't go well.

Now watch Smith ISO'd:

And finally, here's the play design and what it looked like:

Credit Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian for drawing this up so well, but Ohio State can't allow something like this to happen. As it became clear college football's best player is going to be covered by a linebacker, someone should have immediately called timeout. I mean, what the hell guys?

With a player as good as Smith, you have to know where he is and what he's doing at all times. The Buckeyes simply failed to do that throughout the first half and he completely dominated them.