Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Chris Olave has been a playmaker all year, and he could play a major factor in the national championship game. We saw how much of a difference he is for this offense when he’s not out on the field. Quarterback Justin Fields and the Buckeyes passing game wasn’t clicking without him late in the season, but it looked flawless in the Buckeyes’ upset win over the Clemson Tigers in the semifinal game.
Despite playing in just six games, Olave ranks No. 50 in all of college football with 660 yards receiving. He caught 42 passes this season and caught seven touchdowns, tied for 30th in the country.
The ceiling is sky high for Olave on Monday night. He has gone over 100 receiving yards on five of the six games he played this year and scored multiple touchdown in three of them. This is an Alabama defense that can definitely be thrown on, as the Crimson Tide rank 78th in college football in passing yards allowed per game.
I would imagine Nick Saban and company are devising a game plan focusing on stopping Olave from going deep, but his ceiling is 150 yards with multiple touchdowns. If he hits these numbers, it likely means Fields is healthy enough to make this happen, and there’s a chance Ohio State can come away with the win. The bigger obstacle will be on the other side of the ball in stopping the Alabama offense, which we haven’t seen a team do yet.
Ohio State needs to score a ton of points in order to keep up with Alabama offensively because I’m not too convinced the Buckeyes will get many stops. That certainly raises the floor for Olave, but there’s definitely a scenario where Olave is held in check. For his floor, let’s go with five receptions for 50 yards without a touchdown.
For this to be the case, it likely means Fields isn’t healthy, and/or Alabama put together a great game plan to stop Ohio State’s best wide receiver playmaker. Whatever the reason, the Buckeyes are not winning this game with this type of performance. They need big plays from Olave both for him and other Ohio State pass catchers to succeed.