Former Clemson Football Coach Danny Ford Previews Alabama vs. Clemson [Audio]
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The 2016 college football season comes to a close Monday with two teams looking to make history.
The Clemson Tigers get a second crack at winning their first national championship since 1981 while Alabama tries to cement their status as one of college football’s top dynasties with their fifth national title in the past eight seasons.
Back in 1981, a former Alabama star under legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant led the Tigers to the program’s first national title while Bryant eclipsed the all-time wins mark held by Amos Alonzo Stagg.
Former Clemson head coach Danny Ford stepped Inside the Locker Room with Wimp and Barry Sanderson to break down the second straight national title game tilt between Alabama and Clemson.
Ford analyzed how Clemson game planned for Ohio State signal caller J.T. Barrett and how that plan could be similar to the one used for Alabama’s Jalen Hurts.
“They went into the Ohio State game not thinking that (J.T.) Barrett could beat them throwing the ball. They tried their best to shut down the run. I believe they got the same kind of ideas versus the quarterback at Alabama. I don’t think that they think that he can beat them throwing the ball, and I believe that they’ll probably going to gang up and try to stop the running back.” Ford said.
While the former ACC and SEC head coach thinks Clemson will attempt to shut down Alabama’s running game, he also touched on a distinct quality to Alabama’s tandem of running backs.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an Alabama running back get knocked backwards. They’re just very physical, lean forward, get their pads down low, run behind their pads, and break a lot of tackles.” Ford said.
Relative to Clemson’s game plan in stopping the run, Ford noted Clemson’s ability to tackle Alabama’s running backs as one of his concerns for the Tigers.
“I don’t know that Clemson’s linebackers can tackle the backs. I think that’s what it’s going to come down to. How does Clemson’s linebackers play against the Alabama backs?” Ford stated.
On offense, Ford examined Clemson’s ability to use the zone read with Deshaun Watson in both the running game and passing game.
The former Clemson and Arkansas coach also looked at Dabo Swinney’s overall job performance as Clemson’s football coach, Lane Kiffin’s departure from the Alabama coaching staff and the similarities in the culture of Alabama football under Paul “Bear“ Bryant and Nick Saban.
Catch Inside the Locker Room every weekday from 7-9 AM on Tide 102.9/100.9 and the radioPup app.