Which individual matchup are you most excited to watch?
Andy Staples: Alabama freshman right tackle Jonah Williams vs. Clemson DEs Christian Wilkins and Clelin Ferrell.
Kevin Dodd feasted on former Alabama right tackle Dominick Jackson last year. Williams is a future star who should provide a lot more resistance to Clemson’s rushers.
Pete Thamel: Clemson WR Mike Williams vs. the Alabama secondary
Looking forward to watching rangy Clemson receiver Mike Williams go against the high-end Alabama secondary, which will likely mean a match-up with Minkah Fitzpatrick. Williams looked dominant against Ohio State in one-on-one coverage and snagged a sweet one-handed grab on the sideline. Williams wasn’t around last season for the College Football Playoff. Could he be the difference this year?
Lindsay Schnell: Williams vs. the Alabama secondary
If there's a "weak" part of the Tide's defense (and I use that term loosely), it's the secondary. We didn't get to see Williams in action last year due to his neck fracture, so I'm sure he's anxious to torch Alabama’s defensive backs, or at least try. The Tide do such a good job getting pressure on the quarterback though, it can be tough for receivers to get the ball in space (just ask Washington's John Ross). But Watson moves so well he should be able to find Williams on the run.
Brian Hamilton: Clemson QB Deshaun Watson vs. the Alabama secondary
The Crimson Tide defense has posted 11 scores all by itself this year. Watson has now thrown 17 interceptions on the season, but the Clemson quarterback also unleashes rocket-fueled throws that make it through the narrowest seams and into the tightest spots. Can Watson do that consistently enough to pierce a secondary that makes quarterbacks pay for even the slightest error?
Joan Niesen: Alabama DE Jonathan Allen vs. Clemson LT Mitch Hyatt
Line play is without question my favorite element of football, making this an easy answer. Allen is my favorite player to watch on the Crimson Tide, and Hyatt rarely, if ever, allows opposing rushers to get to Watson. Clemson's offensive line as a whole has been one of the best in the country, and it's young; Hyatt is a sophomore, and his counterpart of the right side of the ball, Sean Pollard, is a freshman.