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Kirk Herbstreit Shares Early Thoughts On Alabama-Cincinnati Matchup

Kirk Herbstreit looks on at the Chick-Fil-A kickoff.

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 06: Kirk Herbstreit points to the crowd before the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game between the Louisville Cardinals and the Ole Miss Rebels on September 6, 2021 at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

On Friday afternoon, the Alabama Crimson Tide and Cincinnati Bearcats will square off in the Cotton Bowl Classic. The winner of that matchup will punch their ticket to the national title game.

During a media call on Monday afternoon, ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit shared his thoughts on this Alabama-Cincinnati matchup.

Even though Alabama is heavily favored heading into Friday's game, Herbstreit believes Cincinnati matches up well with Nick Saban's squad.

“I think they are going to compete in the game,” Herbstreit said, via “I don’t see them getting blown out. I think they match up fairly well. It’s tough to match up with Alabama, as well all know."

Herbstreit also said Cincinnati's defensive backs could make a few crucial plays in the Cotton Bowl.

"I think their corners give them a chance defensively,” Herbstreit added. “They have a defensive line that’s undersized but quick. They are a veteran team, so I don’t think they’ll be in awe looking over and seeing Alabama. Desmond Ridder is going to have to make some plays."

If the Bearcats are going to shock the world on Friday, they'll need to play a clean game while also forcing a few turnovers of their own.

Kickoff for the Cotton Bowl is at 3:30 p.m. ET.