ATLANTA (AP) No. 4 Washington (12-1, Pac-12) vs. No. 1 Alabama (13-0, Southeastern Conference), 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: Alabama by 14
Series Record: Alabama leads 4-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
The winner will advance to the national championship game. Alabama is trying to preserve its hopes for its second straight national title and extend its 25-game winning streak. The Huskies last national championship came in 1991, when it shared the title with Miami.
Alabama CBs Anthony Averett and Marlon Humphrey vs. Washington WRs John Ross, Dante Pettis and Chico McClatcher. Alabama, first in the nation in total defense, is 15th against the pass. The Huskies’ offense is not one-dimensional, but Ross has 17 touchdown catches, a big reason Washington is fourth in the nation in scoring. The receiving group led by Ross may provide the Crimson Tide secondary’s toughest test thus far.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Washington: RB Myles Gaskin needs to find success to keep Alabama’s defense from focusing on the passing game. Gaskin ran for 159 yards in the Huskies’ Pac-12 championship game win over Colorado and topped 1,300 yards for the second straight year.
Alabama: How is this for dominance: DE Jonathan Allen swept the Bronco Nagurski Trophy, the Bednarik Award and the Hendricks Award after leading the Tide with 8 + sacks and 15 quarterback hurries.
FACTS & FIGURES
Washington QB Jake Browning’s 42 TD passes rank second in the nation. … Alabama leads the nation in scoring, total and rushing defense. … Alabama QB Jalen Hurts, the first freshman QB to start for coach Nick Saban, threw for 22 TDs with only nine interceptions and rushed for 841 yards with a team-leading 12 TDs. … The two-TD spread is the biggest of any College Football Playoff game. … Alabama was upset by Ohio State in the semifinals of the inaugural playoff in 2014 before winning the title last year. … Including coaches with at least five years at FBS schools, Washington’s Chris Peterson, who is 119-25, has the second best-winning percentage (.826) in the nation, trailing only Ohio State’s Urban Meyer at .855. Saban is sixth at .772 (204-60-1).
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