Clemson football, Springfield native Christian Wilkins, fall to Alabama in Sugar Bowl

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Joined in 2008. His eyes immediately go to the bottom of the depth chart.

"He just does his job, which is just as effective as being a huge 6-4 receiver", Alabama junior defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick said Wednesday. "He wants to play everybody that deserves the opportunity". That said, Clemson has been far from flawless, and Kelly Bryant will be playing in his first College Football Playoff matchup. Coaches aren't required to empty their benches.

The Tigers' offense found their groove in the second quarter.

Alabama ranks No. 2 in SB Nation's S&P+ rankings, while Clemson ranks No. 7. He threw for 120 yards, two touchdowns, and ran for 40 yards on 11 carries.

We'll match the master Nick Saban against one of his leading acolytes, Kirby Smart. They told us we weren't ready. Because overall defensively, a lot of coaches don't want to play a lot of backups.

The touchdown grab moved Ridley into a tie with Dennis Homan (1965-67) for second place on Alabama's career touchdown receptions list with 18 career scores.

Team leaders such as Wilkins reiterated that message in the days and weeks to come.

"It's a big part of our formula".

Clemson was fortunate to be down only 10-3 at halftime, and closed the gap with a field goal after Hurts lost a fumble on the first play of the second half. "He said that he made us quit past year (in Clemson's national title game victory over the Tide) and they erected a tombstone on their campus".

The Alabama defense forced the potent Clemson offense into a three-and-out on the opening drive of the game.

His challenge: Who is that going to be this year? And if they're offense gets in a rhythm before next week, the Georgia Bulldogs are going to be in for a battle for the ages. "It definitely is hard, physically". "We go to the National Championship and beat Georgia's butt".

Alabama's defenders are confident in their fitness level.

"Hunter's just that kind of player", Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said earlier this month, according to the Anderson (S.C.) Independent Mail.

The game didn't end until 12:22 am in the East. Mack Wilson, who had foot surgery in November, should be more effective after some time off.

Zach Lentz is a Clemson University alumnus who got his start working with the Tigers basketball team from 1999-2004. Last year's loss in the title game had to have been a shock to the Hall of Fame head coach but he learned from it and made sure it didn't happen again.

"My gut instinct is when we see them on January 1, they will look more like what we're used to with Alabama than what we saw down the stretch", Blackledge said. In my opinion, I think Clemson football has the advantage.

Well, the average starting field position for Alabama on its 13 possessions was the Alabama 43-yard line. With Jalen Hurts who is also an extremely talented dual threat QB, all those running backs including Damian Harris who averaged nearly 9 yards a carry, and arguably the top WR in the country in Calvin Ridley.

"It's just cool, finally getting together and making big plays" Smith said. "My question would be: What more do you want him to do?" Alabama will take over at the Tigers 46. So unlike the first game in this one, the defense will need to make the plays to win this game.