Canzano: “Big people beat up little people"
Chip Kelly, Nick Aliotti talk about national-title issue.
Nick Aliotti is coaching again. The former University of Oregon defensive coordinator has accepted a position as the assistant basketball coach of the Twin Oaks Elementary School Mustangs — a third-grade boys team in Eugene.
His grandson suits up.
I caught Aliotti on his morning walk on Wednesday. We talked a little basketball. Then, we unpacked the College Football Playoff national title game. Specifically, Michigan’s size on the line and whether the four West Coast teams entering the Big Ten next season are ready for it.
“If you’re going to win a national championship,” Aliotti said, “you’ve got to win the line of scrimmage.”
The last three times that Pac-12 Conference played for the national title — three losses — physicality was a glaring issue.
Michigan won Monday’s title game 34-13 and ripped off back-breaking runs of 41, 46 and 59 yards. The Wolverines averaged eight yards a carry on offense and outrushed Washington 303-46. And Michigan’s defensive front made Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. miserable.
Said Aliotti: “Michigan rushed four most of the time and if they didn’t get to him, they got him off his spot or hit him. You could see it took a toll. The Huskies couldn’t get the down-the-field passes that have been so big for them.”