Clemson is gearing up for a rubber match in the College Football Playoff with Alabama, this time for the semifinal in New Orleans.
Both national championship games proved to be epic matchups, coming down to just a few plays and widely regarded as a pair of the best championship games ever played.
Each game provided plenty of entertainment with high point totals and offensive explosions but Christian Wilkins and the Clemson defense are not satisfied with their performance against the Crimson Tide the last two seasons.
The Tigers are gearing up for another epic showdown but Wilkins expects this year’s showdown to look differently than years past.
The junior defensive tackle is not pleased with his performances against Alabama in the two national championship games and was “not at his best.”
“The first year I was a freshman and was still adjusting” said Wilkins. “I played a lot and was in a lot of games but I was figuring it out, was heavy and not in my best shape.”
As a Freshman All-American Wilkins managed a pair of tackles against the Crimson Tide in the 45-40 loss in Arizona. He did not fare any better as sophomore against Nick Saban’s team.
“Last year was sort of the same, I was not in my best shape, didn’t play at my best and we still won without me being at my best” he said.
In the 2017 national championship game Wilkins did not make the box score and only played three quarters of the game.
Even in last seasons win he did not feel like the Clemson defense played at its peak performance and gave up too much ground to the Crimson Tide.
“We gave them a lot of plays and didn’t make them earn it” said Wilkins. “If we want to be in a good position we need make ‘em earn it this year” he said.
The Tiger defense has been rolling as of late coming off an impressive performance in the ACC Championship Game.
Making Alabama earn every inch is no easy task but Wilkins and the Clemson defense are ready for the test on New Year’s Day in the Superdome.