Alabama defensive back on Clemson: "We want to dominate them"
|Thursday, January 5, 2017, 7:01 AM- -|
Minkah Fitzpatrick doesn't want just to beat Clemson next Monday night in the National Championship. He wants to dominate them and leave little doubt that what happened last year in Arizona was the exception, not the rule when it comes to Alabama's defense.
Alabama won the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship with a thrilling 45-40 victory over Clemson in Glendale, Arizona, but apparently it wasn’t good enough for the Tide defense.
Clemson’s players have talked all week about the sour taste left by the defeat at the hands of the Tide, but sophomore Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick said they want to avenge the 40 points given up in last year’s title game.
According to Fitzpatrick the team that Clemson faced nearly a year ago wasn’t "the real Bama.’"
“I’m real excited to get another chance cause I didn’t play real well against them,” Fitzpatrick told the local Alabama media Wednesday. “The whole defense really didn’t play that well, and I said earlier they didn’t see the real ‘Bama last year. They just saw a little flash of it. Hopefully, this year if we go play right, they gone get a little taste of the real ‘Bama.”
In the game, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 73 more yards, something Fitzpatrick said the Tide wasn’t equipped to handle at the time.
“Last year, I think it was kind of obvious what (Watson) brought (to the table),” Fitzpatrick said. “We had a bigger defensive line so we couldn’t really contain him. He was moving all around, and on the back end, we had to cover for about 10 seconds which is almost impossible no matter who you are. It’s almost impossible to cover that long. We were getting tired.
“They were having a new receiver in every single play to run us down the field while he was running all over the field. We were getting real tired while he was doing that. He has a great arm and leadership.”
However, a year later and a year older, Fitzpatrick said he’s ready for his second shot at shutting down Clemson’s high-octane offense.
“I didn’t play real good. I had two touchdowns scored on me,” Fitzpatrick said. “I’ve never had that done ever before in my whole life. I was young. I wasn’t really playing my best game technique-wise. He (Deshaun Watson) made a couple of good throws. I still could have played them better, played the routes better. Just little things I wasn’t doing right that I tried to work on this season.”
Fitzpatrick said when the Tide take the field against the Tigers Monday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, beating Clemson simply won’t be enough.
“That’s definitely why I feel like we’re going into it like we almost lost because of how bad we played in that game,” Fitzpatrick said. “We’re working probably even harder than they are because they’re saying ‘oh, we just want to beat them.’ We want to dominate them because of how we played last year.”