College Football Championship 2019: Alabama and Clemson will face off in the College Football Championship Game 2019 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Monday night.
College Football Championship 2019 Live
The Crimson Tide and the Tigers have been the two best teams in college football this season, and the two schools have a bunch of recent history. This is the fourth straight year that Alabama and Clemson are playing in the College Football Championship Game 2019.
The two schools have alternated victories the past three seasons. Alabama beat Clemson to win the national championship at the end of the 2015 season. Then, the Tigers got revenge by beating the Tide to win the national title at the end of the 2016 season.
Last season, Alabama beat Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, which was a CFP semifinal matchup.
When the Crimson Tide beat the Tigers last season, Jalen Hurts was still Alabama’s starting quarterback. He was replaced by Tua Tagovailoa in the Tide’s next game, when Tagovailoa led a comeback overtime victory over Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship.
In Tagovailoa’s first season as a starter, he has led Alabama to a 14-0 record, the SEC Championship and an Orange Bowl victory while passing for 3,671 yards, 41 touchdowns and four interceptions.
Now, he is set for his first matchup against Clemson, which also enters the game at 14-0.
“I’m not too sure what they do on their side, but whatever they’re doing, they’re very successful with it, and I think they’ve done a tremendous job within the past couple seasons, continuing that success,” Tagovailoa said this past weekend, per BamaCentral. “I’d say for us, it’s what we do [in the] offseason with what no one sees.”
Although the 20-year-old only played the second half and overtime during last season’s CFP National Championship, he has more experience playing for national titles than his Clemson counterpart.
The Tigers are led by true freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who took over the team’s starting job after the first four games of the season.
Lawrence has passed for 2,933 yards, 27 touchdowns and four interceptions while leading Clemson to the ACC Championship and a Cotton Bowl victory.
Although the 19-year-old had a strong showing in the Tigers’ CFP semifinal win over Notre Dame, this matchup against Alabama will be on an even larger stage.
“They’re just a great defense,” Lawrence said of the Crimson Tide, per BamaCentral. “They’re definitely the best defense we’ve seen up to this point, for sure, and they fly around, they’re well-coached and they’re physical.”
Because this is the fourth straight year that Alabama and Clemson have faced each other in the CFP, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban compared the matchup to playing a conference opponent, because of the familiarity the schools have with each other.
“I’m sure they know a little more about us, we know a little more about them,” Saban said during media availability over the weekend. “I think that players still look at each game as a new challenge, and certainly I think that’s going to be important, because they’re a really good team that you’re playing against, which is what you should expect in a game like this.”