Stuckey: Only Three Teams Could've Competed For National Title

"Everybody else was running for fourth and fifth place," former Clemson All-American Jim Stuckey said

The DA Show
January 02, 2019 - 12:28 pm

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No. 2 Clemson (14-0) will face No. 1 Alabama (14-0) in the College Football Playoff for the fourth straight year – including the third time in the national championship game. 

While the Tide are favored by almost a touchdown, Jim Stuckey believes the Tigers can win.

“I think we need to get our running game going,” the former Clemson All-American and two-time Super Bowl champion said on The DA Show. “We have Travis Etienne, who has had a phenomenal year. The offensive line is healthy, and Clemson plays almost 70 players each week.”

Etienne ran 176 times for 1,463 yards (8.3 yards per carry) and 21 touchdowns this season. Trevor Lawrence, meanwhile, has provided big plays in the passing game. The true freshman has completed 65.0 percent of his passes for 2,606 yards, 24 touchdowns and four interceptions.

“We lead the nation in big plays,” Stuckey said. “Before the playoff game against Notre Dame, we had over 90 plays over 20 yards, 66 plays over 30 yards. It’s incredible how we do big plays. We’re a big-play offense. I think we’re going to have to capitalize on any turnovers or field position.”

Clemson is 54-4 over the last four seasons. Alabama is 55-3. Stuckey isn’t surprised these two powers are meeting again for all the marbles.

“I felt this whole season there were three teams that could compete and that were far and away above everyone,” he said. “That’s Alabama, Clemson, and I felt Georgia was also, that had the athletes and the depth that could compete for the national championship. I felt everybody else was running for fourth and fifth place.”

Clemson and Alabama will play for first place on Jan. 7. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. ET.