Alabama vs Clemson Still Lagging behind Rocky in Sequels
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Give these two programs credit. They stayed the course.
- The closest anyone got to the Tigers were Texas A&M and Syracuse in September, and frankly,
- It could be argued that The Citidel put up the feistiest fight against the Crimson Tsunami.
Now, it's time for the real fight.
Of course, Rocky just kept going with different opponents until he ran outta box office.
Not so with Alabama-Clemson IV. Their two title clashes and one semi-final game were five-star entertainment, and this one looks to be no different.
Why should you bet on Clemson ...
Defense has been the mainstay for the Tigers all season long. Clemson surrendered just 13.7 points per game to tie for the second-best mark in college football, and gave up the third-fewest rushing yards per game at 92.9.
Overall, Clemson racked up 52 sacks on the year to lead the NCAA and finished in a tie for 10th with 12 fumble recoveries.
On the other side of the ball, freshman QB Trevor Lawrence has shown mastery of every sorta pass imaginable in slinging for 2933 yards with 27 TDs while yielding a mere four interceptions on the year.
Soph RB Travis Etienne complemented him by rushing for 1572 yards with 22 touchdowns while averaging 8.3 yards per carry.
As usual, these dudes are stars because of an exemplary offensive line.
Why bet on Alabama ...
Speaking of sequels, this one's also gonna be Crimson Tide Title Game IV. Bama graduating classes may as well be scheduling reunions around the championship weekend.
This trend shows no signs of subsiding. Alabama may have its best team of all this time. Their defense is lights-out, too, and with Tua Tagovailoa at the helm, dudes have an offense to match. He's hit 69.5% of his passes for 3671 yards with 41 touchdowns, yielding only four interceptions. They're averaging 47.7 points per game, the second-most in the nation.
Meanwhile, the Bama D surrendered just 14.8 points per game and yielded the 13th-fewest passing yards per game at 178.4.
The ability to shut down the passing game can be attributed to the pass rush anchored by a pair of defensive linemen, senior Isaiah Buggs and sophomore Quinnen Williams. Buggs led the team with 9.5 sacks and two forced fumbles while Williams had 18 tackles for a loss.
Overall, Alabama tallied 45 sacks, the fourth-most in the NCAA.
Instant analysis ...
However their schedule is viewed, Alabama went over 60 points in all but two games this year, with the two exceptions being victories in which they shut out LSU and Mississippi State.
Meanwhile, Clemson averaged 44.3 points per game but only went over 60 points in five of them.
Two of the previous three meetings went over 60 points with an average combined score of 60.33. Yes, both have killer D's, but these two high-powered offenses will likely find a way again to pile on the points.
Total pick: Over 58
Result: Clemson 44 Alabama 16 ... Over covers
Sportbet Columnist: Josh Bailey
Aspiring to become the Mark Twain of sportswriting, Josh has been labelled as the up-&-coming sportswriter of the year by absolutely nobody and the new heavy hitter in sports handicapping by his mother.