Alabama Defeats Clemson 24-6 In The Sugar Bowl
The third game in college football’s recent trilogy had a lot working against it. Not only did it have live up to the first two games but also the instant classic in the first semi-final between Georgia and Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl. As expected round three between the two clubs turned out to be a defensive affair. In the end it was a familiar result as Alabama Defeats Clemson 24-6 In The Sugar Bowl.
A Close First Half
Jalen Hurts and the Tide offense controlled the game for much of the first half. However they only led 10-3 at the intermission. The lone touchdown coming on a 12 yard pass from Hurts to Calvin Ridley.
With his touchdown reception at the end of the first quarter, Ridley now has at least one reception in all 43 games of his Alabama career and ranks No. 3 in consecutive games with a reception among active players in the FBS.#RollTide#OutworkYesterday #SugarSemi
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) January 2, 2018
Nick Saban’s club had chances to add more points but missed a short field goal. For the game Hurts threw for 120 yards and two touchdowns. In addition he ran for 40 more yards and lost one fumble.
Second Half Domination
The big story in the second half of the game was the Alabama defense. An early turnover led to a Tigers field goal making the score 10-6. However, the Tide defense took over the game to put it out of reach.
It began when defensive tackle Daron Payne picked off a Kelly Bryant pass returning it 21 yards. A 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty placed the ball at the Tigers 27. Seven plays later Payne entered the game presumably to block for Damien Harris. However he very deftly moved into the flat and caught Hurts’ second touchdown pass to put Alabama up 17-6.
Get you a lineman who can do both. pic.twitter.com/JwGtCj8uva
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 2, 2018
On the next possession Mack Wilson picked off another Bryant pass returning it 13 yards for a touchdown to make it 24-6.
— Trey Wallace (@TreyW_Radio) January 2, 2018
For the game Dabo Swinney‘s club was held to 188 yards, 260 below their season average and failed to reach the end zone. In addition it was the first time since a 28-6 loss to Georgia Tech in 2014 they failed to score a touchdown.
Furthermore, noted Tide killer Hunter Renfrow, who had four touchdowns in the last two title games and the game winner in 2017, was held in check. Guarded for most of the game by Minkah Fitzpatrick, Renfrow had five catches for 31 yards. All of his receptions came in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach.
Another SEC Title Rematch
With Monday night’s victory Alabama will go for their fifth national title in nine years under Saban when they face the Georgia Bulldogs. The Tide will be facing their former defensive coordinator Kirby Smart who has led them to a 13-1 record in only his second season in Athens. The Crimson Tide are 38-25-4 all-time against the Bulldogs. They have won five straight in the series and last met in 2015 with Alabama winning 38-10. On paper at least this one looks to be much closer.
The Bulldogs knocked off Oklahoma 54-48 in the Rose Bowl. The double overtime contest will go down as one of the greatest college games of all time. This will be the second time in the BCS/CFP era two teams from the SEC will face each other. Back in 2011 the Crimson Tide defeated LSU 21-0. This years’ run by Alabama mirrors their run from that season in which they didn’t win the SEC West or play for the conference title.
As for Clemson they return much of the nucleus from a team that finished 12-2. They exceeded expectations in 2017 with such a young club. Once again the Tigers will be the favorites to win the ACC next season and be a national force.
For all the critics who said the Tide didn’t deserve a spot in the playoff they silenced them emphatically. Alabama Defeats Clemson 24-6 In The Sugar Bowl and will play for yet another title. A win next Monday gives Saban his sixth title which would tie him with legendary coach Bear Bryant.
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