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’Bama Meets Clemson In Title Game For Third Time In Four Seasons

by Daniel Gerbick on Monday, January 7th, 2019

2019 national championship alabama vs clemsonToday the country will once again be treated to a national championship game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers.

This time the two finest teams in the nation will meet at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, home of the San Francisco 49ers, in a game that will feature two unbeaten teams baring identical 14-0 records.

This will be the four straight season these two teams meet in a postseason college football game and the third time they clash in the CFP National Championship game.

So far Alabama leads the series 2-1, but they are tied 1-1 in championship games with the Tide winning in 2015-16 and the Tigers avenging that loss a season later.

Last year these team met in the CFP Semifinals with Alabama winning 24-6 on their way to a 26-23 win over Georgia to claim its second title in the last three years. Furthermore, the Tide has won five titles since Nick Saban took over as football head coach in 2007.

The Tide will rely on a healthy Tua Tagovailoa to try to once again claim the national championship, as their offense performs at a different level when he’s on the field.

Tagovailoa’s mobility and ability to move around and scramble out of the pocket and make throws on the run is huge for the tide against a team as dynamic and complete as Clemson.

Tua value however lies in the fact that he’s great against the blitz because he has great field vision and quickness, as evidenced by the performance in the CFP Semifinal where he went 10-for-10, with 173 yards and four touchdowns against the Oklahoma Sooners pass rush.

Tua will have to watch out for the Tigers defensive line as they’re a unit that is full of NFL caliber players and is among the best in the nation. Look for them to give the Tua and the Tide’s offensive front a lot of problems.

For the Tigers, their hope lies with freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who has great pocket presence and has shown the ability to make big plays.

If Alabama gives Lawrence the time to make his throws, he can burn and expose the Tide’s secondary, which has at times looked suspect, including in their last two games against the Georgia Bulldogs and the Sooners.

Clemson has a ton of playmakers down the field so the Tide’s defense will have to step up and try to patch those holes that can be exploited by an elite quarterback such as Lawrence.

For Alabama to win this game they’ll need to start fast and score a lot of points early to avoid falling behind like in the Georgia game. Clemson is not the kind of team the Tide wants to trail to because they have a superior defense and it will be very hard to come from behind to beat them.

Also, the Tide will need to protect Tua as he’s been badly banged up lately and has been dealing with ankle and knee issues. Against a defensive line as physical as Clemson’s, it will be vital to protect him in order to keep him on the field and give the Tide the best chance to win.

Even though Jalen Hurt proved in the game against Georgia that he’s a very dependable backup capable of stepping in at any given moment, he won’t necessarily be capable of bailing the Tide out against a team as polished as Clemson.

 

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