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College Football Bowl Previews

Jeff Shain, OFN CFB writer
01/01/2018 11:28AM ET

CLEMSON (12-1) VS. ALABAMA (11-1)

Site: Superdome, New Orleans.

Kickoff: Monday, 8:45 p.m. TV: ESPN.

Line: Alabama by 3.

All-time series: Alabama leads 13-4.

Last meeting: Clemson 35, Alabama 31 (2016 national championship).


Coach: Dabo Swinney (10th season, 101-29).

All-time postseason: 22-19.

Last postseason appearance: Beat Alabama 35-31 for 2016 national championship.

Draft spotlight: DT Christian Wilkins. From day one, Wilkins has been one of the biggest difference makers on one of the best teams in the country. He makes plays all over the field – sideline to sideline and even up the field against the pass. He is a terror to block off the snap. Read full report here.

Other Tigers to watch: *WR Deon Cain, *OT Mitch Hyatt, G Tyrone Crowder, DE Clelin Ferrell, DE Austin Bryant.

Tiger Tales: Clemson travels extremely well – winning 5 times this year on the road against top-25 foes. … Clemson’s seniors are 50-6 in their careers, and a Sugar Bowl win would tie the FBS all-time record – Alabama’s seniors have won 51. … The three winningest coaches in Clemson history are all Alabama grads: Frank Howard, Swinney and Danny Ford.


Coach: Nick Saban (11th season, 130-20; overall 22nd season, 221-62-1).

All-time postseason: 38-25-3.

Last postseason appearance: Lost to Clemson 35-31 for 2016 national championship.

Draft spotlight: *CB Minkah Fitzpatrick. Equally effective at cornerback and safety and legitimately projects to both spots in the NFL. Winner of the Bednarik and Thorpe awards can beat receivers at the point of attack, stick to their hip pocket on underneath cuts and run downfield with them. Read full report here.

Other Crimson Tide to watch: *RB Bo Scarborough, *WR Calvin Ridley, *NG Da’Ron Payne, LB Rashaan Evans, CB Anthony Averett.

Tide Readings: Alabama is the only team in the nation among the top 20 in all four main offensive categories (scoring, rushing, pass efficiency, total) and the equivalent four on defense. … After scoring 15 non-offensive TDs last season, the Tide managed just one in 2017. Levi Wallace had a pick-6 vs. Mississippi. … Alabama is 25-7-1 all-time in domed stadiums, including a 16-2 mark since 2009.

* underclass draft prospect

Click here to listen to a preview of the bowl season including today’s CFB Playoff Semifinals.