HOW IT WILL GO
2017--18 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Georgia has averaged 263.5 rushing yards per game, but trying to run against Clemson will feel like the first Georgia-Auburn game, when the Bulldogs averaged 1.4 yards a carry. It will be up to Jake Fromm to loosen up Clemson's defense through the air. Otherwise, the Bulldogs will suffocate.
Dabo Swinney (above) and Clemson will need another big performance from WR Hunter Renfrow, last season's title game hero. But it may come down to a contest between Tigers RB Travis Etienne and Georgia's Sony Michel to see who can be the first to have a long run that breaks the game open.
NO. 1 CLEMSON
THE HEALTHIEST EDITION of the Crimson Tide since the season opener will take the field in New Orleans, and that should worry Clemson QB Kelly Bryant and the Tigers' offensive line. LBs Terrell Lewis and Christian Miller, injured much of the season, should be close to 100%. Alabama QB Jalen Hurts (below) will have to play much better than he did in the Iron Bowl. Auburn's front pressured Hurts and kept him in the backfield—something no team had done. Clemson's d-line, led by DT Christian Wilkins (above), is the best in the country, and an offense that struggled with Auburn LB Jeff Holland may find more trouble from Clemson.
CLEMSON 27 | ALABAMA 24
NO. 4 ALABAMA
NO. 2 OKLAHOMA
IF GEORGIA DEFENDERS believe that Oklahoma is just a soft Big 12 team, they're in for a long afternoon. The Sooners' o-line is the best the Bulldogs have seen, and that group will be blocking for Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield (above), the best QB Georgia has faced. Still, LB Roquan Smith and the Bulldogs have proved capable of dominating good offenses, and Georgia's ground game, with RB Nick Chubb (below), can pound away.
GEORGIA 38 | OKLAHOMA 37
NO. 3 GEORGIA