College Football Playoff National Championship: Clemson's 3 Biggest Keys

College Football Playoff National Championship: Clemson's 3 Biggest Keys

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College Football Playoff National Championship: Clemson's 3 Biggest Keys

College Football Playoff National Championship: Clemson’s 3 Biggest Keys


What are Clemson’s three biggest keys going into the College Football Playoff National Championship vs. Alabama?


What does Clemson have to do to pull out the win and do what it couldn’t last year in Arizona? First of all …

The Defense Has To Get Off The Field & Not Wear Down

Alabama has one of the nation’s most physical and pounding running games, able to wear down even the best of defensive fronts. Remember, it’s going to be a long game tonight, and the Crimson Tide are going to keep on leaning on the terrific Clemson defensive line. Washington had a tremendous defensive front, too – but eventually, Bo Scarbrough broke through it. LSU was able to hold up just fine, until Jalen Hurts ripped off a few big runs late in the 10-0 Crimson Tide win. Unlike last year’s team, Alabama is great on third downs. Clemson’s defense has to be better. To do that, it has to …

Attack Jalen Hurts

That’s much, much easier said than done, but if any defense can do it, it’s Clemson’s. One of the best in the nation at getting into the backfield, the Tigers bring the heat from all angles. It’s a group effort with everyone seemingly getting in on the fun. Hurts isn’t a typical pocket passer, but he can be deadly if he gets time. He’s at his best when he’s on the move, acting like another running back at times when the passing lanes aren’t there. Clemson can’t let him get comfortable – he’s too smart and too patient. The front four has to attack, attack, attack. But most of all, if Clemson is going to win this game …

The First Rule Of Playing Alabama: You Do Not Throw Interceptions

The second rule of playing Alabama? You do NOT throw interceptions. Ask Washington what happens when you do. The Crimson Tide managed to come up with the devastating pick time and time again to screw up teams thinking they’re on a roll. On the season, the Bama D came up with 16 interceptions for six scores. And Deshaun Watson? He threw 17 picks on the year. USC, Western Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida – in big game after big game, Bama generated the pick-six – game over. Deshaun, don’t … throw … interceptions.

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