Clemson and Alabama are playing in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game for the third time in the last four years and for the fourth straight year in the CFP. And though it seems like the same ole thing, it’s actually not.
The Tigers and the Crimson Tide are still as dominant as they always have been on the defensive side of the football, but now the two are just as explosive on the offensive side, as both rank in the top four nationally in scoring and total offense.
“It’s two new teams,” Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell said Wednesday as the Tigers hosted media day for the title game at the Poe Indoor Practice Facility in Clemson. “We are not the same team from last year, and neither are they.
“Both of us bring a lot of new challenges and a lot of different things to the table. It is going to be a great matchup.”
The Tigers and Alabama will play Monday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m., EST.
In years past when playing Alabama, Clemson’s defense has had to prepare for its running game, which is always physical and hard to stop. That challenge will remain the same this year. However, with Heisman Finalist in quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the Tigers face a different challenge in trying to slow down the Crimson Tide.
“It still starts up front,” Ferrell said. “They are built inside-out. They always have a strong rotation of running backs. They are going to run the ball. They want to enforce their will and run the ball.
“Obviously, with the way the quarterback has played this year, their throwing game has been, very, very good, especially with the receivers that they have, that just adds to the pie that we have to eat. So, we are going to have a tough matchup for us, but I feel like we have the right coaches and the right players to get the job done.”