1. Derrick Henry
The nation’s leading rusher is a handful to bring down and seems to get better as the game goes along. As defenses wear down, he doesn’t. The Heisman Trophy winner has more than 40 carries in two of the last three games, and has 2,061 yards and 25 touchdowns on the year.
2. Nick Saban
Alabama’s coach has led the Crimson Tide to three national titles since 2009. He always seems to have his team ready to play in big games.
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3. Special teams play
Clemson has had its struggles in the return game, and Alabama is more than capable of making you pay. Cyrus Jones has returned four punts for touchdowns, and as a team, Alabama has five punt returns for scores.
4. Defensive front
Clemson’s offensive line is very good, but Alabama presents a whole new challenge. Alabama leads the country in sacks with 50, led by Jonathan Allen with 12 and Tim Williams with 10 1/2.
5. Turnover margin
The Tigers have struggled taking care of the football and have a minus-1 turnover margin. No one has capitalized yet, but Alabama is more than capable. The Crimson Tide has a plus-9 turnover margin, good for No. 22 in the country.