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Jan
07
2016

Clemson’s 5 keys to beating Alabama.

deshaun-watson-starter

Judging by CBSSportline’s college football “experts”, Clemson should just forfeit the National Championship game with Alabama, avoid the embarrassment and finish the year ranked #2.

Alabama is a very good team, with an outstanding defense, but they are beatable. They lost to Ole Miss, nearly lost to Tennessee, and struggled in season ending games against Auburn and  Florida.

Yes the 38-0 Michigan State win was extremely impressive, but the Tide can be beat. Here’s 5 keys needed for Clemson to defeat Alabama.

1) Keep Alabama QB Jacob Coker under control.

RB Derrick Henry is going to get his yards, but if Coker plays another near flawless game like against Michigan State, the Tigers will lose. The Tigers need to keep Coker’s completion percentage around 50%. The Tigers have a more athletic secondary than the Spartans, and should be able to do a better job containing the Tide passing game.

2) Clemson runs for at least 85 yards

Usually an 85 yard running will get you beat. Against Alabama’s ferocious front seven, the Tigers just need to run enough to keep Alabama honest. There’s almost no chance the Tigers can run at will, but if they can at least put up 85-100 yards on the ground they will have held their own.

3) Deshaun Watson must throw for 250+ yards. 

This goes back to #2. If you aren’t able to move the ball running, obviously you must pass. Clemson’s Dehsaun Watson must be able throw for 250+ yards. These can’t be garbage time passing yards either.

4) Clemson CB Mackensie Alexander must win battle vs Alabama WR Calvin Ridley.

This is the game’s most important one-on-one matchup. Several teams have been able to stay with Alabama for a half only to see Calvin Ridley score on a back breaking long pass. This will be a tremendous battle, that if Alexander loses, Clemson probably does as well.

5)  Cash in on Red Zone Chances

What if Michigan State had scored right before the half when it was 10-0 to make in 10-7? The game probably would have far more competitive, but the Spartans threw an interception and the game was never the same.

The Tigers will get their chances in the redzone. They can’t come away completely empty handed even if they only kick a FG.

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