Alabama Football: Four keys to National Championship

Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Alabama Football
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No. 1 – Can the Tide defense contain Trevor Lawrence’s rushing yardage?

Lawrence is a dangerous runner. Compared to last season when he rushed for 563 yards, Lawrence has run less this year; until the second Notre Dame game. In the loss to Notre Dame, Clemson rushed for net-34 yards. In the ACC Championship game win, Clemson rushed for 219 yards. Lawrence accounted for 90 of those yards, along with a rushing touchdown.

Travis Etienne is a tremendous running back. He might be as good as Najee Harris, but the Clemson line does not open holes like the Crimson Tide line does. Clemson cannot pound its way to a victory. It will need Lawrence and his receivers to be sharp, Etienne to be effective and Lawrence to escape the pocket for key yards at important times. He can hurt the Tide with his feet if Crimson Tide defenders overrun the pocket and fail to keep him contained. Spying Lawrence with Dylan Moses could be the best defensive option.

Statistically, the Crimson Tide and Clemson are top ten in the FBS in opponent average yards per rush. The Tide will need to continue that strong performance against Clemson. If the Tigers’ offensive attack becomes one-dimensional, while it may scores points, it will not be enough points to outscore the Alabama football, explosive offense.