By Ray Glier
Some stuff before the kickoff:
*There is a disparity at quarterback tonight between Alabama and Clemson. But I have always said, Alabama’s quarterback may not play well, but the Alabama defense makes sure your quarterback doesn’t play well, either.
*Clemson lost at home to Pitt. It barely survived at home against Louisville. It almost lost at home to N.C. State. I don’t think this offensive line is as good as the Clemson line of 2015. It beat Virginia Tech by one score at home.I don’t know what exactly that means, but….
*Watson will try and throw Mike Williams open. That is when interceptions happen. Williams has bailed him out this season, we’ll see tonight. Deshaun Watson has 30 INT’s in 29 games. That’s significant.
*There are going to be some games in the Tide secondary tonight. They know how to disguise and they are going to try and change the picture on Watson often.
*The TV ratings will be very, very yuge tonight.
*I wonder if Calvin Ridley and Ardarius Stewart and O.J. Howard have seen enough of this hype of Williams/Cain/Leggett/Renfrow CU receiving tandem and are anxious to play a little bit tonight. I know this, Lane Kiffin wrote is receivers out of the game plan against Washington. Sark will not do that.
*Nick Saban had no choice but to move on from Kiffin. The guy was house-hunting in the middle of the playoffs.
*When Alabama got a handle on Clemson’s offense in the second half of the 2015 championship game, linebacker Rashaan Evans had the job of tracking down Watson. That will happen tonight. Watson is going to have 15 called runs and Evans is going to have to blow up TE Leggett and get Watson on the ground. Clemson is not worried about an injury at this point.
*No kid gloves tonight. If Jalen Hurts, the Alabama QB, counts seven in the box, he is going to throw it.
*I think Alabama is going to jam the Clemson receivers to stop the timing on short throws. It is imperative Alabama’s rushers get their hands up against quick throws. I think Dabo knows Bama has fierce rush and he wants it out quick.
*Alabama can play a cleaner game than Clemson: 2 penalties, no turnovers. That’s going to be big. Alabama still has better special teams.
There is this “thing” that Clemson is ordained to win. Destiny and that stuff. Xs and Os and Jimmies and Joes.
Alabama wins 24-13.
The winning streak is just 26. That’s nothing in college football. It’s as if folks are saying Alabama is due to lose.