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Our school soccer consultants predict what would be the x-factor and who’s going to return out on high of Alabama-Clemson half 4.
USA TODAY

Monday’s showdown between Alabama and Clemson within the School Soccer Playoff championship sport would be the continuation of a rivalry that began three years in the past. 

Their fourth playoff assembly in consecutive years comes after they cut up two earlier matchups within the title sport within the 2015 and 2016 season. Alabama gained final yr’s semifinal. 

This would be the third title in 4 years if the Tide prevail and second in three seasons for the Tigers ought to they win. If historical past holds, this ought to be one other memorable and shut matchup between the groups. The earlier two title video games had been determined by lower than a landing. 

Our workers picks for the championship sport:

Jace Evans

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence was sensible in Clemson’s Cotton Bowl win over Notre Dame. He was so good, in actual fact, it’s simple to neglect that he’s a real freshman. However that time is a crucial one: No true freshman quarterback has overwhelmed Nick Saban’s group since 2007, his first yr in Tuscaloosa. One other factor working in opposition to Clemson is the absence of Dexter Lawrence. Whereas the protection hardly missed a beat in opposition to Notre Dame with out him, that is the kind of sport the place a participant of his caliber might actually swing issues.

There’s additionally a way that Alabama can hit one other gear than what it confirmed in a considerably sloppy win within the Orange Bowl. That Alabama was perceived to be barely off its sport whereas nonetheless scoring on seven of 10 drives in opposition to Oklahoma speaks to the usual the Crimson Tide has set for itself. However with one other nationwide title on the road, the wager is Tua Tagovailoa and Co. tighten up and put up extra factors than Lawrence will have the ability to match.

Alabama 34, Clemson 28

Paul Myerberg

A matchup of what are questionably the nation’s greatest groups might be determined by quarterback play, the move rush and the power to win on early downs. On paper, neither group holds a determined edge in anybody space. Alabama hasn’t confronted a group of Clemson’s caliber all season; likewise for the Tigers. Search for scoring, influence performs and sufficient expertise to populate the higher ranges of the subsequent handful of NFL drafts. However even on this period of highly effective offenses, search for protection to hold Clemson to the nationwide championship.

Clemson 34, Alabama 30

George Schroeder

Alabama’s run as probably the most spectacular dynasty in school soccer historical past reveals no indicators of ending. Nick Saban has constructed a unbelievable machine, after which tweaked it to make it extra monstrous. However over the previous couple of years, Dabo Swinney and Clemson have closed the hole.

With Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence distributing the ball to so many fabulous toys, we’ll get one other thriller worthy of the 2 greatest packages within the sport. However Clemson’s protection will make yet one more cease.

Clemson 41, Alabama 39

Erick Smith

These two groups have been on a collision course for the reason that preseason, so it’s becoming the Crimson Tide and Tigers are right here within the championship sport and with each unbeaten, as nicely. Alabama has a special look with its offense main the way in which. And whereas the Tide’s protection has been beneath its excessive normal, the unit has been missed. It is nonetheless fairly good and might decelerate Clemson and freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence. However in the end, this comes all the way down to Tua Tagovailoa and whether or not the defensive position of the Tigers can strain the sophomore into some dangerous choices. The Heisman runner-up will not be good, however he’ll do sufficient to guide his group to a second title in row. 

Alabama 34, Clemson 27

Eddie Timanus

I don’t need to sound all entitled right here, however as followers we’ve needed to wait out a reasonably lackluster common season and one other pair of drama-free playoff contests to achieve this seemingly inevitable payoff. We definitely hope the sport itself delivers the products. It ought to, and I’d be greater than a little bit dissatisfied if it doesn’t. Right here’s hoping for an instantaneous traditional. I’ll go along with the Crimson Tide in an in depth one, however I wouldn’t be shocked if it goes the opposite approach.

Alabama 38, Clemson 35

Dan Wolken

The sport goes to return down to 2 key points, and so they apply to each groups: Can your offensive line block and might your defensive backs cowl? Each groups have some points within the secondary, so there might be performs to be made if the quarterbacks have time to throw. I just like the Alabama offensive line’s possibilities of permitting that barely higher than Clemson’s. It’s anybody’s sport however Alabama will win.

Alabama 38, Clemson 31 

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