Coach: Dabo Swinney
Clemson Players to watch:
***Freshman QB Trevor Lawrence (6-5/205)
In the CFP Semi-Final/Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Trevor Lawrence completed 27 of 39 pass attempts for 327 yards and three touchdowns, including 19 of 26 for 264 yards and a pair of touchdown passes to Justyn Ross in the first half alone.
**Sophomore RB Travis Etienne (5-10/210)
Against Notre Dame, Travis Etienne ran for 109 yards on 14 carries, including a 62-yard touchdown run that pushed him past Wayne Gallman’s 2015 mark for the most rushing yards in a single season.
Senior DE Austin Bryant (6-5/265)
Austin Bryant’s two sacks and six total tackles were one of the main sparks of a defensive effort that only allowed three points to a Notre Dame team averaging over 33 per game this season.
***Freshman WR Justyn Ross (6-4/205)
True freshman wide receiver Justyn Ross has had Clemson fans talking since he walked on campus, but he made his first national splash with an outstanding game at the Cotton Bowl. Ross caught 6 passes for 148 yards and 2 touchdowns, averaging a whopping 24.7 yards per catch against the Fighting Irish.
Coach: Nick Saban
Alabama Players to watch:
**Sophomore QB Tua Tagovailoa (6-1/216)
Tua Tagovailoa finished the Capital One Orange Bowl with a blistering 236.7 QB rating. He hit on 24 out of 27 passes for 318 yards and 4 touchdowns. During the Orange Bowl, Tagovailoa set a new UA school record of 3,671 passing yards in his career with a chance to add to that total on January 7th in Santa Clara, California.
*Junior RB Josh Jacobs (5-10/212)
Jacobs rushed for a team high of 98 yards against the Sooners. He also caught 4 passes for 60 yards. One of the most memorable plays of the game was when Jacobs bulldozed Oklahoma defensive back Robert Barnes on a 27-yard catch-and-run touchdown pass from Tagovailoa that put Alabama ahead by four scores 2 minutes into the second quarter.
**Sophomore WR DeVonta Smith (6-1/175)
Smith will be long remembered in College Football Playoff National Championship lore for catching Tagovailoa’s 41-yard bomb on a streak down the sideline to secure the Crimson Tide with its 17th national championship against Georgia in 2018. In this year’s CFP semi-final against Oklahoma, Smith pulled in 6 receptions for 104 yards and 1 touchdown.
***Sophomore FS Xavier McKinney (6-1/197)
McKinney was named the Defensive MVP of the Orange Bowl. Against Oklahoma’s gunslinging QB Kyler Murray, McKinney totaled five tackles to go along with a game-high four pass breakups.
RELATED: Nick Saban recalling a play he ran when he was 15 years old is peak football nerdery | Christopher Powers • The Loop • January 3, 2019
2019 National Championship Game
#2 Clemson vs. #1 Alabama
8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Santa Clara, California