Upon returning to Cleveland, LeBron James led the Cavaliers to the Finals in 2015, but Steph Curry lifted the Warriors to the title, 4-2. The Rose Bowl started at its usual 5 p.m. start time and the Sugar Bowl hadn't reached the fourth quarter, even when the clock was well past 11 in the East.
Roundtrip tickets cost $178 from Tuscaloosa to New Orleans, but many families didn't pay that amount because of special game package deals.
Where it may have been necessary to use Fitbit technology to track the yardage and scoring during Georgia-Oklahoma, an abacus would do for the Sugar Bowl.
Welcome to a second championship game between SEC schools.
Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide entered this season's playoff with only one non-offensive touchdown after entering last season's playoff with 14. For the third straight year, Clemson faced Alabama in the post-season.
Series NotesAlabama and Clemson meet for the 18th time when they face of in the 2018 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Alabama used a heavy dose of the run game, with three different players carrying the ball for 40 yards on seven carries, before senior placekicker Andy Pappanastos converted a 24-yard field goal attempt to get the Tide on the board. The Tigers were unable to pick up a first down, and eventually settled for 42-yard field goal by Spence that cut the Alabama lead to 10-6.
Calvin Ridley's 12-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter Monday was his 18th career receiving score, moving the junior into a tie with Muscle Shoals' own Dennis Homan for second place on Alabama's all-time career touchdown list. With Clemson trailing just 10-6, the Tigers were driving and had the ball at the Alabama 35. Clemson never threatened Alabama again. It ended with a field goal, though, to make it 10-3 with about 10 minutes left in the half.
Things were headed for a down-to-the-wirse finish, just like the last two seasons, but the Crimson Tide began to pull away in the third quarter thanks to a couple of big defensive plays. On the first play from scrimmage, a fumble by Hurts was recovered by Clemson's Kendall Joseph at the Alabama 20-yard line.
Payne set himself apart with his athleticism and grace after making the interception.
It should be a great matchup and we will have coverage all day and night heading into the big game tonight. Those 308 pounds then shuffled into motion, and bounced off the line into the flat, and then found the little pass from quarterback Jalen Hurts that made it 17-6.
Jonathan Stewart was out grilling in below-freezing temperatures and while he says last year's national championship game was a heartbreaker, there's nothing stopping the Crimson Tide this year. But there will be no surprises: Alabama knows what Georgia is about and vice versa, with Saban's former chief lieutenant, Kirby Smart, already installing his own version of the process to bring Georgia within a win of its first national title in decades.
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