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Since the BCS era began in 1998, the Bulldogs have won over 73 percent of all games they've played, which equals about nine wins a season and is the sixth highest out of all Power Five schools. Clemson WRs Mike Williams and Deon Cain were unavailable for last year's title game - Williams due to injury, Cain due to suspension - and they'll join a host of other playmakers who surround Watson, from a two-time 1,000-yard rusher in Wayne Gallman to a unsafe tight end in Jordan Leggett.

"Who wins the national title, Alabama or Clemson?".

Clemson's veteran players don't consider themselves lucky to have been in that game. As a result, the game is likely to shake out much different this time around as well. It's a close call, but I see the Tigers upsetting the undefeated Crimson Tide in the national championship game. Instead, he gained 50 rushing yards and allowed running back Bo Scarbrough to rush for 180 yards and two scores. Clemson shut down Ohio State last week, but Mike Weber and Curtis Samuel aren't 6'2, 230 pounds. The Tigers have coughed up the football then lost it 26 times. "You can't go based off previous year", Watson said.

Sam Greszes: Scoring defense. But it goes something like this: An Alabama fan is on his way home from work when he sees smoke billowing from up ahead.

Overall though, the matchup generally favors them. He's thrown for over 4,000 yards in each of the last two seasons and is a tremendous threat with his legs as he's run for 586 yards this year.

Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt was asked Saturday how best to prepare for Watson's combination of big arm, passing accuracy and quick feet. I mean, it is nearly like you can count on the defense getting you 7 points on its own every week and they just suffocate you into making a mistake. The offense will provide the nation's best defense with enough points to slip past Watson, perhaps the nation's best playmaker. That cannot be dismissed. Clemson, on the other hand, has zero returns for touchdowns and averages only 8.1 yards on each. It is their culture.

"If we can win this thing tomorrow night, it's not like it's our final destination or like we just hang up the cleats and walk away". Lane Kiffin may not be able to be at the game, but he's still predicting a big Alabama win. While the Tigers won the initial three meetings, the Tide have won the last 13 contests, outscoring Clemson 435-94 over that span.

Here's a look at the Steelers-Dolphins playoff matchup
Then, we get at them. "We have to remember it is about us, to get our stuff together before we worry about other people". The way the Steelers defense ended the season wasn't a ringing endorsement that they have a handle on stopping the run.

Obviously, special teams have a chance to play a huge role as well, as Alabama showed with a kickoff return for a touchdown late in the game versus Clemson past year. Other than being a mouthful to say - it needs something elegant, like Super Bowl - it should be a great game.

Of course, Alabama (14-0) stands in the way - again.

"To not get a chance to play and be a part of it (last year), that was tough, because you don't know if that opportunity will ever come back", Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said.

And defense - particularly the Alabama defense - seems to show up as the difference maker way more than it doesn't.

"I feel like, at this point in the season, I'm no longer a freshman anymore". It's a run-first offense, which is fine, since nobody has been able to stop it just yet. "If they do that, you're probably getting beat". A little over a week ago, they changed the offensive coordinator. Remember that Jalen Hurts has had Kiffin's voice in his ear this entire season so this is a bigger change than people are really appreciating.

Alabama receiver ArDarius Stewart describes hulking Tide offensive lineman Bradley Bozeman as a "big softie," but Bozeman doesn't take offense to that. When Deshaun Watson has the ball, look for him to rely on his confidence and poise in the pocket to pick the Crimson Tide defense apart all night.

In the Peach Bowl, it was Washington's John Ross.


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