Bowden: "Clemson is fully capable of beating Alabama"

by - Assoc. Editor -

Former Clemson coach and current Fox Sports South analyst Tommy Bowden had some interesting thoughts on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show about #2 Clemson's chances of upsetting #1 Alabama to win their first title since 1981.

“Oh, yes, they can (beat Alabama),” Bowden said. “They’re going to be really confident. They had 500 yards of total offense (vs. Alabama last year). They scored 40 points. If Alabama doesn’t get the onside kick, they probably win the game. So they’re going to go in there with confidence. They know the offense can score. So yes, Clemson is fully capable of beating Alabama.”

Bowden thinks the key to the game is the battle of the trenches.

“To me, the key is going to be the offensive line,” Bowden said. “Alabama can impose its will on Clemson’s offensive line, but they’ve got a great equalizer back there at quarterback in Deshaun Watson and some really good skill. Plus, Clemson’s defense is playing really, really well. I’m anxious to see now the battle in the trenches. In most games, it comes down to that, and I think it surely will in this game.”

Bowden knows that Clemson has an offensive style that makes you tackle in space and can expose team's that don't tackle well on the perimeter.

“Not only that, it’s how Clemson attacks the defense,” Bowden said. “They’re going to really attack the field from sideline to sideline. They’re going to take that 53 yards and make you defend every bit of it, either a bubble screen or a speed sweep or a tunnel screen outside and then obviously the downfield throws to Mike Williams. They’ve got a nice vertical passing game. So Alabama is going to have the best athletes – but not by much, by (only) a little bit – on defense. Clemson is going to challenge them to make them do the hardest thing: Okay, you got better players, but every one of your good athletes better make an open-field tackle because we’re going to make you defend the whole width. If you put many guys up there, we can get Mike Williams and some of these other big wideouts downfield. So not only does Clemson have good athletes, but they really challenge the other teams defenses by how they make you tackle in space.”

Clemson will play Alabama for the College Football National Championship at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Monday, January 9, 8 pm ET on ESPN.

This will be the first time that two teams will have a rematch of the previous National Championship game and Clemson is currently a 6.5 point underdog against Alabama as of Monday morning.

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