Published: Mon, December 31, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

CFP championship set: It’s Clemson vs. Alabama, Part 4

CFP championship set: It’s Clemson vs. Alabama, Part 4

I wouldn't trade it for anything. "Not even close. It doesn't even compare to my burning desire to win a national championship here". It really felt like in that third quarter, like one more play and we were gonna bust it open. The Sooner offense just was not on its game, while the Crimson Tide gashed them on the ground and through the air.

Last season, when the semifinals were played on New Year's Day and Georgia and Oklahoma went to overtime in the Rose Bowl, the games averaged a 13.9 overnight rating. Very good. So was Oklahoma (14-2).

"Our guys, they got it done in the trenches", Swinney said.

It's nearly as if Saban knew the Sooners would turn this into the shootout it was supposed to be in the second half.

"We've still got a bunch of Big 12 trophies", Riley said of OU claiming its 12th conference crown in the last 19 seasons.


Murray trailed off before shrugging his shoulders. Oklahoma's leading receiver was held without a catch the whole game and dropped a crucial third-down pass in the third quarter that forced the Sooners to settle for another 26-yard field goal from Seibert.

Saturday night, Mullen and the Gators saw how far they have to go, how far everybody in the SEC has to go, how far everybody but Clemson has to go.

"Not being 100 percent, it hurt me, but I was out there trying to fight for my team", Brown said. But early in the second quarter, Notre Dame All-America cornerback Julian Love went out with what coach Brian Kelly said after the game was a head injury and Lawrence started taking apart the Irish secondary.

Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams won the Outland Trophy as the nation's most outstanding interior lineman this season. He chose to complete his sentence after the game.

Maybe Williams wanted to say his teammate Tua Tagovailoa should have gotten the Heisman over Murray? I'd feel much more comfortable with Alabama at -3.5 than I am with Saban's crewing being favored by almost a touchdown. But in person, he's really fast - inside-the-park-home-run fast - and a great quarterback and tough, very tough.


Earlier in the year, the two-way star appeared to make his decision when he signed a $4.66 million contract with the A's after being picked No. 9 overall in the Major League Baseball draft. "I mean, they had a hard time covering him".

A couple of times when Murray broke into the clear against the Alabama defense, he chose to slide.

This year's version of Nick Saban's machine did things a little bit differently, killing teams early and often with offense rather than slowly choking them out on defense.

Oklahoma's loss leads to coming weeks of focusing on Kyler Murray, and what he will choose to do with his future.

"This is what we came here to do", Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. I think that's why we're recruiting the way we are and that's obviously I think one of the first places that you see it. Make the place better than you found it. "I just hope everybody knows I never quit".


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