Henry to carry the load?
Can Derrick Henry close up his historic season by leading Alabama to the College Football Playoff Championship over Clemson tonight?
According to oddsmakers at RealBets, Alabama is favored in this championship game, as the Crimson Tide are getting odds of -6.5 points against Clemson. The over/under total for the contest has been set at 50.5 points. These two meet tonight at 8:30PM ET on ESPN from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.
Henry won the 2015 Heisman Trophy as he led Alabama (13-1, 8-6 ATS) to an SEC Championship and playoff spot after rushing for 2,061 yards and 25 touchdowns. The Tide are up against Clemson (14-0, 7-7 ATS) in tonight’s title game and Henry will be facing the 18th-ranked run defense in the country. The Tigers give up 124.8 yards per game on the ground and the focus is likely to be on stopping Henry, similar to what Michigan State attempted to do. While Henry scored twice in the semifinal, he had just 75 yards on 20 carries.
For the championship contest, oddsmakers have listed Henry with an over/under of 146.5 rushing yards and 1.5 total touchdowns. Henry has been very difficult to stop this season, as he has rushed for 90 yards or more in all but three games this year. Two of those three games were lopsided wins over Charleston Southern and Louisiana Monroe. Alabama has shown in the past that they will ride Henry’s legs to a win if it is the only approach. He has had 30 carries or more in four wins this season. If Jake Coker struggles during the game, Henry may be fed the ball often, regardless if he is breaking any big runs. Henry will clearly be the focus near the goal line, as he has multiple TDs in eight games this year.