Monday, January 11, 2016

National Championship Preview - Bama vs Clemson

The #1 and #2 teams in the nation face off tonight in the college football playoff final. Initially I thought Bama's 38-0 blowout win over MSU was the more impressive final four win. But Clemson absolutely took it to Baker Mayfield and co. in a game that they were 4 point dogs and had me second guessing myself.

For Bama the key on offense is obviously Heisman winner, workhorse, Derrick Henry. Henry has 359 carries on the year and will get 20+ more tonight. The gameplan for Clemson against this offense and what teams have been trying to do all year is bottle up Henry and make Jake Coker beat you. The issue with that is Coker can ball a bit when he needs to, he was extremely efficient against MSU going 25-30 with 286 yards and 2 TD's. Coker's 25 completions were his high for the season and Henry only had 75 yards. Henry's is by far Bama's best option but if you load the box Coker can beat you with Ridley and his other weapons on the outside.

Clemson's success is based on the incredibly dynamic Deshaun Watson, exactly the type of QB that can give Bama (or anyone for that matter) fits. Watson has 3,699 passing yards on the season and went over a 1,000 yards rushing last week.  He has a bunch of talented wide outs starting with Artavis Scott and spreads the ball around really well. Watson is the type of special player that can take over a game, if he is making plays tonight Bama is in trouble. The RB for Clemson is Wayne Gallman and he has been on fire lately, he put up 150 yards last week and 187 vs UNC.   

Bama is always backed heavily in Vegas and that shows again tonight where the line favors them by 7. This game will come down to Bama's D vs Watson, he can not be stopped but if they can force him to make some mistakes they can control the clock and pound it with Henry. I'm putting my trust in Saben and the Bama D to do enough of that tonight to get the win. Adam Griffith starts the rebuilding of kickers everywhere and kicks the game winner tonight. 

Prediction Bama 27 Clemson 24       

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