College Football Playoff semifinals: Andy Staples’ keys to victory

With the College Football Playoff semifinals set for New Year’s Eve, College Sports Nation’s Andy Staples is breaking down what each team will need to do to find themselves in the national championship game on Jan. 9.

First up, the seemingly unstoppable Alabama Crimson Tide will take on the underdog Washington Huskies in the Peach Bowl. For ‘Bama, the path to victory is pretty clear: stuff the run. They’ve done it all season, and they’ll want to do it again as they look to shut down the Huskies’ potent offense before they can put up too many points.

Washington will look to shake up Alabama’s freshman quarterback, Jalen Hurts, in order to topple the undefeated powerhouse. No easy task, but the Huskies boast the best overall team that the Crimson Tide have played all season. Will Hurts succumb to the pressure of the big stage?

That takes us to the Fiesta Bowl matchup between the Clemson Tigers and Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday night. A clear-cut key for the Tigers? “Just throw the ball to the guys with the tiger paws on their helmets.” according to Staples. Deshaun Watson has thrown 37 touchdowns this season, but he’s also given away a career-high 15 interceptions.

The Buckeyes will need to keep their offensive game multi-dimensional, meaning they need to run the ball as well as they throw. If the run game dies, quarterback J.T. Barrett will feel the pressure, and that will almost certainly lead to mistakes.

Catch the action on College Sports Nation on ch. 84.


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