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Alabama Vs. Clemson. 5 Reasons Why Each Team Can Take Home the W

The College Football Playoffs come to an end tonight. The final game pairs the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Clemson Tigers at 7:30 p.m. in Glendale, Ariz.

But who will win the National Championship in the second year of the College Football Playoffs? The money in Vegas is coming in heavily for the Crimson Tide, and college football experts around the country are picking Alabama as well.

Both offenses have star athletes from Alabama’s Heisman winning running back Derrick Henry to Clemson’s Davey O’Brien Award winning and third-place Heisman vote getting quarterback Deshaun Watson. The defenses have both played solid all season too.

So, here is why Alabama will be crowned National Champions tonight.

Derrick Henry           (Alabama's Heisman winning running back Derrick Henry. Image Credit: cbssports.com)

  1. Give the ball to Derrick Henry. He didn’t have a huge game in the Semi-Finals against Michigan State when he ran for 75 yards, but he had two touchdowns.
  2. Stop Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson. When Bama has lost games over the last few years, it’s been to teams with a dual-threat quarterback. Those losses include Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel and Chad Kelly. Containing Watson on the ground is the key to Alabama taking home the crystal ball tonight.
  3. Turnovers. In their only loss of the season, Alabama turned the ball over 5 times. But for the season, the Crimson Tide have a plus-9 turnover margin. And, Alabama feasts off its opponent’s turnovers.
  4. Jake Coker. Coker had been playing as most Alabama quarterbacks do as a game manager. Playing well enough to win the game but not statistically having huge games. That was until the Crimson Tide rolled through Michigan State on New Year’s Eve. Coker threw for 286 yards, completing 25 of his 30 attempts. He even completed a 50-yard pass to talented freshman wide receiver Calvin Ridley, setting up one Henry’s two touchdowns.
  5. Coaching experience. The Tide have Nick Saban leading them in another championship game. He is 4-0 in championship games: winning three at Alabama and another at LSU. Saban knows how to get his guys prepared before taking the field in the biggest game of the season, and for some, their careers. And this teams is hungry for another National Championship after being beaten by Ohio State in the Semi-Finals last year.

Alabama isn’t the only team playing tonight. Here is why Clemson will win the Crystal Ball tonight and be crowned the 2016 National Champions.

Deshaun Watson          (Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson. Image Credit: sportingnews.com)

  1. Deshaun Watson. Watson is a dual-threat quarterback with a strong arm and quick feet. He is the type of quarterback that Alabama has had problems with over the last few years. The only loss Alabama had this was to Ole Miss, in which the Tide turned it over 5 times and there were some fluky plays. But the Ole Miss quarterback burned the defense with his feet a few times. The only other close game for Bama was against Tennessee, who has a dual-threat quarterback. If Watson can use his feet to allude and run down field, Clemson can win this game.
  2. Clemson’s Secondary. Clemson has explosive corners who can play man-to-man coverage against the Alabama wide receivers. Watch for Mackensie Alexander to try and shut down Calvin Ridley. Playing man-to-man will provide Clemson to bring their safeties up to help stop the run, which is the key to Alabama’s offense. Watch for All-American safety Jayron Kearse to have a big game.
  3. Defensive line. The Clemson Tiger’s defensive line is one of the stoutest in college football and it’s anchored by All-American defensive end Shaq Lawson to have big game, if he is healthy enough to play. Lawson comes in with 10.5 sacks on the season and leads a defense that is ready to prove they can play with anyone after shutting out Oklahoma in the second half of their Semi-Final game. And, Oklahoma went into that game with one of the hottest offenses in the country. But the Tiger defense slowed them down in the end.
  4. Score touchdowns. Alabama ranks second in the country only allowing 258 yards per game. The defense only gives up 14.4 points per game, which is third in the country. So, when Clemson gets in the red zone, they must score touchdowns. And, they need to score touchdowns when they aren’t in the red zone. Field goals are great, but Clemson has to score touchdowns when they have the opportunity.
  5. It’s the Tigers turn. This year was the first time Clemson made it to the number one spot in the rankings since winning their only football National Championship in 1981. And they have been in the number one spot for most of the season. This year’s team has a few connections with that 1981 National Championship team. The defensive captain from the ’81 team, Jeff Davis, works in the football administration office and has twin sons on the team. Offensive tackle, Mitch Hyatt is the nephew of Dan Benish, who was an All-ACC defensive tackle on the ’81 team. And, lineback Jarvis Magwood is the son of former wide receiver Frank Magwood. Also, Clemson won the 1981 National Championship in the Orange Bowl, which was the site of their Semi-Final game. Maybe the stars are aligning for Clemson once again.

No matter who wins, televisions across the country will be tuned in to see what could be one of the best games of the year. Hopefully, this game won’t be a blow out like most of the other bowl games were this year.