Abril 20, 2018

'Bama bulldozes its way into championship game

12 Enero 2018, 09:52 | Gerardo Tarin

Getty Alabama is a slight favorite over Clemson in their Sugar Bowl matchup

Getty									Alabama is a slight favorite over Clemson in their Sugar Bowl matchup

Following an Alabama punt, the Tigers found their rhythm on offense before Kelly Bryant's pass was intercepted at the Tide's 37-yard line and returned 21 yards by Da'Ron Payne to the Clemson 42-yard line.

The damn ball had been run, and a few plays later Alabama had built a lead that all but guaranteed an appearance in a third consecutive national title game.

Bryant provides the same sort of dual threat as Watson, capable of beating teams with his arm or his legs, but it's hard to envision him putting up the same sort of numbers on the big stage.

He may be the smallest guy on the field, but he's come up big against Alabama each of the past two seasons and there's no reason to believe he can't do it again.

In two national championship games against the Tide, Renfrow has done his job to near-perfection, combining to haul in 17 catches for 180 yards and four touchdowns. "I think it would change the narrative of college football", Clemson linebacker Dorian O'Daniel said about a possible win, according to Greenville Online. "And as the quarterback for Alabama, anything less than absolute perfection is a disappointment". Although it's happened in the Finals only once, teams meeting in three consecutive postseasons is more common in the conference finals, including the 76ers-Celtics in the 1980s and Pistons-Bulls in the late 1980s and early '90s.

With a more conservative approach under new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Hurts' numbers fell off this season.

Over his last three SEC games, the sophomore completed barely 50 percent of his throws (33 of 65) for 637 yards and three touchdowns.

Alabama coach Nick Saban has the Crimson Tide in the national championship game for the sixth time.

Brown took issue with that, and said, "I love the lies he told".

There were many stories written about it and many questions posed to both coaches and players.

Clemson could barely take advantage of gifts.

"Anytime you struggle on third down, its juts about getting yourself out of that situation in the first place", tight end Hale Hentges said. Secondly, you have to have the will to improve, improve every day.

Hurts will get a big assist from Saban. "And I'm the same way". The computer also likes Alabama, but projects a narrow 25.7-22.1 Crimson Tide victory. He made plays with his feet and his arm. They've only been on the field for an average of 63.8 plays per game (Clemson averages 75.2 offensive plays) and never for more than 78 snaps.

Of Alabama's five first-half drives, four started beyond the Crimson Tide 40-yard line, and yet, the excellent field position led only to a 24-yard field goal by Andy Pappanastos and a 12-yard touchdown pass from Hurts to Calvin Ridley.

But he wasn't ideal. The Crimson Tide defense, last seen allowing 408 yards and an uncharacteristic 5.2 yards a play in a 26-14 loss to Auburn, suddenly looked like last season's Alabama defense.

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