As the Alabama Crimson Tide prepares for their third consecutive College Football Playoff appearance, another team will make a repeat attempt at winning the national championship.

Besides Alabama, Clemson is the only team in the Football Bowl Subdivision to make two straight playoff trips.

Clemson head coach and former Alabama wide receiver Dabo Swinney appeared on The Morning Blitz to break down his team’s clash against Ohio State on New Year’s Eve.

One of the most discussed challenges for a program that has won or come close to winning a championship is returning to championship form the following season. Swinney reflected on last season’s close call against the Crimson Tide.

“The biggest challenge was flying back from Arizona, just knowing when it’s fresh on your mind how close you were to being the champ. It comes down to a few plays, and we certainly were in position to win the game. We didn’t make a few of the plays that could have won it and Alabama did.” Swinney said.

Clemson’s head couch explained how motivating his team this season has not been an issue and the reasons for it.

“As far as the challenge of motivating, it really wasn’t a challenge at all. These guys have been locked in from day one. This has been an incredibly well-led team from our seniors and our juniors.” Swinney stated.

A primary factor for Clemson’s run over the last two seasons has been the play of quarterback Deshaun Watson. Clemson’s junior signal caller has thrown for almost 4,000 yards this season, but Coach Dabo Swinney gave Watson high praise for a number of intangibles.

“He is incredibly smart. His football IQ is off the charts, but it’s his poise. He has all the measurable and all the stuff that you’d like, but it’s his poise. It’s his demeanor. It’s his humility. It’s his character and integrity, his leadership ability, his overall commitment. It’s his will to prepare. It is off the charts. I’ve never been around a guy that prepares like Deshaun (Watson) and I mean loves it, absolutely loves it.” Swinney said.

The former Alabama wide receiver went on to explain how Watson’s intangibles could lead to a promising career in the NFL.

With Ohio State on the horizon for Clemson, Swinney provided a scouting report on the Buckeyes, his philosophy on preparing for the game and his keys to victory on New Year’s Eve.

Catch The Morning Blitz every weekday from 6-7 AM on Tide 102.9/100.9 and the radioPup app.