Four Things to Watch: Clemson vs. Alabama
The National Championship is here. They’ll get underway in the final game of the college football season. It will be a rematch of last year’s classic between Clemson Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide. These two teams developed themselves as two of the strongest blue bloods in college footballs. For Tigers, they can win their first National Championship since 1981, and for the Tide, Nick Saban goes down in college football lore tying Bear Bryant with six national championships.
Watson and ball security
My biggest fear tonight if I’m a Clemson fan is how reckless Deshaun Watson has been with the football. He’s throw 11 interceptions this season, and a few of them have been really bad. Watson’s biggest problem is he likes to force passes that simply are not there. Alabama’s defense made a killing this season on defensive and special teams turnovers. Tide haven’t seen the receiving corp that Clemson brings to Tampa, but still, there’s a good chance Alabama could run one back.
Sark taking over
The big question all last week was how would Alabama look with Steve Sarkisian taking over the play calls from Lane Kiffin. Next year, Alabama could be real scary as Sark is a mastermind at offensive coordinator. But on Monday, it’s going to be tough to see how he changes the offense. My assumption is they will run the football much more. Bo Scarbough looks like the next great Bama running back. We’ll see if Sark lets him loose.
Alabama’s pass rush vs. mobile quarterback
We all know that Bama will have three players on their front seven go in the first 15 picks of the draft -Reuben Foster, Tim Williams and Jonathan Allen. All three are mean pass rushers and can get to the quarterback in a heartbeat. But Watson’s elusiveness makes this a more challenging task. All three are ungodly quick, but still, Watson can do so much with his legs in this game that it ends up being the difference. Don’t be surprised if Alabama only rushes four and uses Foster as a spy to contain Watson.
Clemson’s defense – Real or not real
Yes, Tigers shut down Ohio State and held them to no points. But could that game be fools gold? Against their best competition like Florida State, Virginia Tech and Auburn, they allowed over 30 points in two of those three games. I’m not ready to buy into Clemson’s defense after one strong game versus an exposed Ohio State offense. Ben Boulware is a great player, and Tigers have some talent yet they’ve been beat up pretty good by better teams.
There’s no one beating Bama. I know Clemson’s offense had their number last year, but that was last year. This team is a better version. Alabama will have a big day from Jalen Hurts, and Minkah Fitzpatrick makes a huge defensive play to secure yet another national championship for the Tide. BAMA 24-14