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Bring the national title home this year

Bring the national title home this year”

It all comes down to this. But with the recent upheaval of Lane Kiffin's departure, the flat offensive showing against Washington and the Tide's struggles to stop Clemson in last year's College Football Playoff Championship my confidence in Alabama has shaken a tiny bit. Still, as the betting favorite and the defending champion, Alabama enters Monday's showdown with big expectations.

"The whole defense didn't play that well and I said they didn't really see the real Bama a year ago", Tide sophomore defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick said. "Clemson's going to win their second national championship".

Reuben Foster, Jonathan Allen and Ross Pierschbacaher talked about the heated play late in Saturday's 24-7 Alabama win over Washington in the College Football Playoff semifinal win at the Georgia Dome. Clemson allowed Alabama to gain 473 yards and did not create a turnover. Just ask Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson.

So, former Washington and USC head coach Steve Sarkisian will take over as coordinator as he was going to be promoted to do following Kiffin's departure. They got one in 2014.

Swinney thinks that his players and coaching staff will not be in awe of the National Championship game considering they are there for the second straight year. Clemson's defensive line is stout enough to nullify Alabama's run game.

"The biggest thing from past year is that they know they belong", Swinney said. Things are a little different this year than they were last season, but the game should be just as entertaining. The Crimson Tide won that contest 45-40, but the Tigers covered as six-point underdogs.

Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) runs between Tennessee Titans cornerback Brice McCain (23) and inside linebacker Avery Williamson (54) after a reception during the third quarter of an NFL football game at Nissan Stadium on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in Nashville.

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Finally, there's the Alabama DL, which returns largely intact and features multiple pass-rushers who can beat good OL.

Alabama's defensive players have taken notice. But I think the result will be the same.

No one saw this coming, not even the Tigers.

Still, Alabama has been relentless in pressuring the quarterback this season.

While the stars appear to be aligning in the Tigers' favor, the players understand there are some other similarities to last season, and one is not something any team is looking forward to - facing the Alabama defense. Our coaches are working hard to try to put the best game plan we can together to play against a very good Clemson defense, and we're in the planning stages right now. Offense will be tougher to come by, as Clemson's pass rush can make life hard for Jalen Hurts. "It's not the same team; they just have the same name".

Alabama went 12-0 (8-0) during the regular season. That said, the Crimson Tide are actually threatened this time. Tight end Jordan Leggett will roam free for seven or eight catches and a touchdown. Now the Tigers face another sack-happy team, but Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is confident is his offense line going up against the Tide.



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