Sugar Bowl Matchup
No. 1 Clemson (12-1, 7-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) vs. No. 4 Alabama (11-1, 7-1 Southeastern Conference), Jan. 1, 8:45 p.m. (ESPN)
LOCATION: New Orleans
Clemson: QB Kelly Bryant. The emergence of Bryant has helped push the Tigers back into the College Football Playoff. His numbers aren’t as eye-popping as predecessor Deshaun Watson, but he’s still completing more than 67 percent of his passes for 2,678 yards.
Alabama: RB Damien Harris. He leads the team with 906 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. He’s a threat to score every time he touches the ball and averages 8.2 yards per carry.
Clemson: The Tigers have been playing some of their best football over the past few weeks. They went on the road to beat rival South Carolina 34-10 on Nov. 25 and then beat Miami 38-3 in the ACC championship game on Saturday.
Alabama: Alabama’s had a tough time staying healthy on defense this season, especially at linebacker. But coach Nick Saban says he expects his defense to be close to full strength by the time the Crimson Tide faces the Tigers on Jan. 1.
Clemson beat Alabama 35-31 in the CFP national championship game last season.
Clemson is 22-19 in bowl games and is appearing in the postseason for a 13th straight season.
Alabama is 38-25-3 in bowl games and is trying to win its fifth national championship in nine seasons.
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