Pregame Pep Talk: Alabama thrives on NOTs, Clemson wary of turnovers

Kiffin had accepted the head coaching job at Florida Atlantic after the SEC championship game, but the assumption was nothing would change until Alabama's season ended because just a year ago, then-defensive coordinator Kirby Smart accepted the head coaching job at Georgia but remained until Clemson was subdued.

Kickoff is at 8:30 tonight.

Ticket prices on the secondary market for Alabama vs. For those without tickets, ESPN will televise the game. The Crimson Tide are going for their fifth national title in eight years so these games have become incredibly frequent.

"I really don't have anything left to say about Alabama", former Lake Marion Gator and current Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams said. What was the general impression of Ohio State by the Clemson players and coaching staff following your dominating win in the Fiesta Bowl? The Tigers shut out Ohio State, something which is incredibly rare for both Meyer himself and for the Ohio State program on a larger level. "We've been here since 9 a.m. yesterday morning, but we're going to be front row, so it's going to be all worth it".

As the coaches met with the media for the final time before Monday night's national championship game, this much was clear: They are at distinctly different places in their careers but will be playing for the same thing at Raymond James Stadium: a national championship that will ultimately define their legacy.

Wayne Gallman leads a versatile backfield that can feature his power running game or they can get Ray-Ray McCloud and CJ Fuller out in space and include them in the passing game.

"He (Jim) just liked the way he coached and the way he could turn teams around", David said. Similarly, no team that isn't in the top 25 has won a national title.

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A win could bring in even more money for the school. The best teams have the best coaches. Both teams will be well-prepared, both have excellent athletes, both are probably confident.

Whoever makes the least amount of mistakes (i.e., penalties and turnovers) will win this game. It went the better part of a month without allowing a touchdown. If there is a crease in the Alabama defense, and there haven't been many, it's up to him to exploit it. Those scores break the backs of opponents, and that's why we believe this to be the best Tide ever.

This 3rd & 4 scramble away from the pocket by Watson during the first quarter of last year's title game is the type of play that keeps defensive coordinators awake at night.

"I thought he played fantastic against us previous year", Alabama coach Nick Saban said of Watson. You need no further proof than the national statistics: Alabama leads the nation in scoring defense (11.4 ppg), rushing defense (62.0 ypg), and total defense (244.4 ypg). That all means big plays. But those count, too.

The play you see above might have been the best throw Watson made in the entire game during the first meeting.

Tight End O.J. Howard's five catch for 208 yards and two touchdowns in the championship game in 2016 earned him offensive MVP. These commentators are convinced that there will be a problem in play-calling, perhaps in the tempo or flow of the game, perhaps in lack of communication between Hurts and new coach Steve Sarkisian.

  • Ronnie Bowen