Clemson’s defensive line get off allows them to sack the Quarterback more than any team Alabama has faced this season. As soon as that football moves an inch they are in a race to get to the Quarterback. The only similar defense line that has come close to Clemson was Mississippi State. They were on Tua like bees attracted to honey. Tua only had 164 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Alabama’s offensive line must have their best performance to win this game. Clemson’s strength is their defensive line, but Clemson weakness is their secondary, therefore given adequate time, Tua can attack that weakness with their athletic wide receiver core.
Similarly, Alabama’s defensive line must attack Trevor Lawrence the freshman phenom quarterback. Trevor Lawrence is a pocket passer so if Alabama can take him out of his comfort zone and get him to scramble then it will be to the Tide's advantage.
Historically, Alabama doesn't do well against mobile quarterbacks but fares far better against quarterbacks like Trevor Lawrence. Dual-threat quarterbacks like Kyler Murray give Bama problems. If Alabama’s defensive line pushes Clemson’s offensive line around, then Trevor Lawrence can struggle. Guys up front like Quinnen Williams, Isaiah Buggs, Raekwon Davis, Anfernee Jennings, can set the tone early by pressuring the freshman phenom.
Nick Saban a great coach which was highlighted by the decision against Georgia to pull starter Jalen Hurts for freshman Tua Tagovailoa at half-time. Facing a defensive line like Clemson’s, Saban may be compelled to do the same thing in reverse. Tua struggled against Mississippi State and Georgia because of pressure. Jalen Hurts does not have the arm talent Tua does, but his athleticism allows him evade pressure. The Clemson defensive line should give Tua fits, but that wildcard Jalen Hurts gives Bama the element of surprise. I am sure Clemson will not be because they are aware of Slick Nick.