Friday was the fourth of five practices before Monday's College Football Playoff National Championship in Tampa, Fla. Run the ball, Sark!
Needless to say, defeating a team only two years removed from a national championship by a final score of 31-0 is quite the feat, and it should have the Crimson Tide anxious about the high-flying Tigers. And now, find themselves back in the title game.
Credit good fortune, of course.
This is the game Clemson said it wanted and, like head coach Dabo Sweeney said after the Fiesta Bowl, "Be careful what you wish for".
Deshaun Watson leads Clemson into its rematch with Alabama for the national championship. And not to forget the vast resources the schools devote to non-stop recruiting, cutting-edge nutrition and lavish facilities. This season, Watson has been responsible for 46 touchdowns through 14 games and has had two or more in all but one game. But Ohio State isn't Alabama.
Clemson's defensive line won't enjoy the same level of utter dominance that it did against Ohio State's porous offensive front, but the Tigers will present some challenges for Alabama. The Crimson Tide defeated the Tigers with a score of 45 to 40. "Like Tay's a player that's capable of leaving this year and just to finish our last game [together] at home and I'm real good friends with him and me and Deon ... we don't know if the national championship will ever be here again or if we will ever play here again, and so that's big for us".
The rule Venables is referencing should be very familiar to Alabama fans.
A franchise quarterback in Watson was the ideal post-Morris bridge. He played great against Alabama in Phoenix, but he got zero help from his defense or the kicking game. The Buckeyes, meanwhile, fell to Florida and LSU by 41 points.
While Alabama's team is filled with four and five-star talent, in big games generally the team with the best players on the field is the one that is favored. Swinney attributes the consistency to not only effective recruiting but also sage evaluating. Saban said the move was "mutually agreed upon", but other reports have surfaced about discontent involving Kiffin's play calls against the Huskies. Neither was Van Smith at (free) safety. And I think, somewhere along the line, we're going to get it done. "The details that we put into it is kind of what separates us a little bit".
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"I feel like we have more juice" than when the Tigers faced Alabama a season ago, Swinney said Tuesday. Neither was (linebacker) Kendall Joseph. "I'd think, that boy probably didn't sleep all week".
"We were top heavy, especially defensively". "Every guy has got to do their job, trust and believe in it".
But no program approaches Alabama's sustained defensive excellence.
Before the Tigers face the Crimson Tide on Monday for all the marbles, the two teams will take part in Media Day at Amalie Arena on Saturday. His name is Deshaun Watson. Dodd dominated in last year's championship, racking up three sacks and a ridiculous 10 QB pressures, according to CFBFilmRoom.com. I wouldn't write off the SEC just yet. The guy is an unbelievable victor, and he is incredibly attentive to details and a great, great student of the game. This year, it's Alabama that's been undefeated so far.
The Tampa Trio of McCloud, Cain and Artavis Scott, a junior receiver from nearby Tarpon Springs East Lake High, has made a big impact in Clemson's second straight run to the national title game.
Tallahassee, Oct. 29: Watson's favorite Florida game, a 37-34 comeback victory at Florida State, Clemson's first win at Doak Campbell Stadium since 2006. Beating a team a second time in as many years isn't as easy as it sounds. And that's only happened twice previously: Alabama and Southern California in 1978 and '79; Notre Dame and Miami in 1988 and '89.
"I don't want to tackle Bo Scarborough, but I want to win the national championship".
The Super Bowl? Dallas beat Buffalo in January 1993 and '94. And even Alabama's defense is not going to hold the Tigers to only 7 points.