Alabama's win over Clemson sets up all-SEC National Championship Game

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Alabama dominated Clemson 24-6 in the Sugar Bowl to take the rubber match between the two programs and book its trip to next week's College Football Playoff National Championship.

And while that might seem like too short a time for the winning semifinal teams to recover and get in sufficient game preparation for next Monday's championship game, according the CFP executive director Bill Hancock the school presidents who made up the CFP's ultimate policy-making board are determined that the championship game can not be played more than seven days after January 1.

In the middle of the third quarter, fans who had been treated to Georgia 54, Oklahoma 48 in the Rose Bowl, were looking at Alabama 10, Clemson 6 in the Sugar.

For the third straight season, Alabama and Clemson square off in the postseason.

After Alabama drove to a first down at the Clemson 1, Payne re-entered the game - presumably to add another big body for blocking purposes.

"If we get off on third down, we eliminate all those things where we have to play 100-plus plays", Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans said.

Ogilvie scored a touchdown in three Sugar Bowls, the only UA player to achieve that distinction. Hurts also had 11 carries for 40 yards.

Defensive lineman Da'Ron Payne was a key catalyst.

"Calvin (Ridley) better watch out", Hurts deadpanned when asked about Payne's effort. Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide are dealing with a lot of injuries at the moment and hopefully will be a lot closer to full strength by the time kickoff rolls around.

"We wouldn't have thrown it to him if he didn't", Saban said.

However, Alabama's defense forced Clemson backward five yards over the next three plays, and Clemson sent out kicker Alex Spence for a 42-yard field goal.

And once 'Bama got such a sizeable lead, its defense just gnawed on Bryant the rest of the night, running up five sacks. He also pressured well and "retraced" from the back side to make stops on shallow crossing routes that have been effective for Clemson.

If Alabama's old nemesis shows up big again, as he's apt to do with cohorts Deon Cain, Ray-Ray McCloud and Tee Higgins commanding attention elsewhere, Renfrow could prove to be the Crimson conqueror once again.

Right now, however, Pruitt's focus is on helping to lead Alabama to another title - and derailing Swinney's bid to repeat along the way. In 1952, the Lions won in Cleveland, 17-7, thanks to a 67-yard Doak Walker touchdown and a 2-0 turnover advantage. That was the only pass to Ridley that fell incomplete. That was more than enough for the dominant Alabama defense.

Clemson, which accounted for more than 1,000 yards of offense in the past two meetings combined, was held to just 188 yards. Clemson is led by QB Kelly Bryant who is cut from the same mold as former Clemson QB and now stud in the NFL Deshaun Watson.

Hurts has completed 135 of 222 passes for 1,940 yards with a pristine 15-1 TD-interception ratio.

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