Time: Today, 7:45 Central Time
Location: New Orleans, La
Notes and Story lines:
National Championship rematch, Dabo Swinney vs. Nick Saban. Alabama, through a somewhat controversial decision by the Playoff committee, were able to jump Ohio State and make the playoffs despite not winning their own conference. In last years National Championship, Clemson was able to pull off the upset and beat the vaunted Alabama Crimson Tide. Nick Saban, one of the greatest coaches of all-time, has vengeance on his mind, this should be battle of the football wits. If Dabo Swinney can beat Nick Saban, he should cement his lore as one of the great coaches in college football history.
If you are expecting a high scoring and action packed game, you will leave this game disappointed. If you are a fan of smash mouth, hard hitting, defensive struggle, this game is for you. Alabama and Clemson both have top-5 defenses. Both have stout front-7’s and will not allow alot of yards on the ground. On offense, both teams are similar with how they like to run the ball. Kelly Bryant quarterback for Clemson, has a completion percentage of around 67 percent with 13 touchdowns in the air, but where he is most dangerous is on the ground. Bryant has rushed for 646 yards and scored 11 touchdowns this season. Clemson likes to use two running backs in Travis Etienne and Tavien Feaster who have acccounted for 1300 yards rushing. They are in for big challenge tonight when they face the nations #1 defense.
Alabama’s Jalen Hurts is not known as a great passing quarterback, but much like Kelly Bryant will frustrate defenses with his feet. He looks more like a running back than a Quarterback. Speaking of running backs, Alabama has two pretty good backs in Damien Harris and Bo Scarabough who combine for over 1400 yards and 19 touchdowns. This game is going to be a smash mouth/old school type of game. Should be interesting to see which defense will give up the big play(s).
Keys to the Game
- This will be a tight game at first, the team that makes the most mistakes will lose. Not a lot of keys to this game since they are so close match-up wise.
As I said earlier, the team that makes the mistakes will lose. This will be a close low scoring game. I think the game changer will be Kelly Bryant’s ability to make plays through the air. I am going to take Clemson to win this game, Clemson-13 Alabama-6.