Cotton Bowl 2021: Alabama vs. Cincinnati live stream, watch online, TV channel, kickoff time, prediction, odds

No. 1 Alabama leads No. 4 Cincinnati 17-3 at halftime of their College Football Playoff semifinal matchup in the Cotton Bowl on Friday. The Crimson Tide controlled the first half on the ground, rushing for 172 yards with Brian Robinson Jr. accounting for 134 of those yards on 17 carries. Heisman winner Bryce Young went 12-of-20 passing in the first half for 130 yards and two touchdowns. 

The Alabama defense has stood out the most, however, as it held the high-powered Cincinnati offense to just 77 total yards through the first 30 minutes. 

Here’s how to watch Friday’s matchup in Arlington, Texas.

LIVE updates: Alabama vs. Cincinnati in College Football Playoff semifinal

How to watch Cotton Bowl live

Game: Cotton Bowl
: 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)

Which college football picks can you make with confidence during bowl season, and which underdogs will win outright? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,600 in profit over the past five-plus seasons — and find out.


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