For the third year in a row, and sixth time in the last nine seasons, the Alabama Crimson Tide will be playing in the college football National Championship game. Alabama dominated the defending champion Clemson Tigers last night in the Sugar Bowl semi-final playf game, setting up an all-SEC national title game in Atlanta next week.
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Alabama's defense fueled their 24-6 victory over Clemson, limiting the Tigers to just 188 yards fense. Bama's defenders also accounted for a pair touchdowns in the third quarter, including a 1-yard touchdown grab by 308-pound defensive tackle Da'Ron Payne, just moments after he picked f Clemson QB Kelly Bryant. Payne, who was named the Sugar Bowl's defensive MVP noted after the game, "I've got gold hands."
On Clemson's next fensive play, Bryant's pass deflected f the hands Deon Cain and was picked f by linebacker Mack Wilson, who returned it 18 yards for another TD.
"This game was about our identity as a team," Saban said. "I don't think anybody would doubt our relentless attitude out there. We had a warrior-like mentality."
Just incredibly disappointed in our performance," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. "But congratulations to Alabama. They were the better team today. No doubt about it."
No.4 Alabama will now take on the No.3 Georgia Bulldogs in the National Championship game next Monday, January 8th.
Check out some the highlights and reactions to last night's Sugar Bowl below.