Sport 3 reasons Alabama failed to repeat as national champions

15:05  10 january  2017
15:05  10 january  2017 Source:   sportingnews.com

Kiffin out as Alabama OC, Sarkisian to coach title game

  Kiffin out as Alabama OC, Sarkisian to coach title game Lane Kiffin will leave his position as Alabama offensive coordinator and will not coach in the team's College Football Playoff National Championship Game against Clemson, the school announced on Monday. Steve Sarkisian will assume coordinator duties effective immediately, the school said.Alabama will take on the Tigers next Monday seeking their fifth national title in the last eight years.Kiffin, who has spent the last three seasons as the Alabama offensive playcaller, accepted the head coaching job at Florida Atlantic University last month.

It was there for the taking for Alabama , but the Crimson Tide lost to Clemson because of three key reasons .

Alabama regularly runs zone slices or counter runs and with Jalen Hurts as the QB, they’ve become more versatile. Just as he is relied on to be efficient throwing the ball, he is relied upon to literally run the offense. He also is tied for 17th in the nation with eight rushing touchdowns.

It was there for the taking. Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts had given the Crimson Tide a 31-28 lead over Clemson with just over two minutes remaining in Monday's College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

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  Report: 'Lots of drama' surrounded Kiffin before he left Bama There may well be more than meets the eye going on with regard to Lane Kiffin’s departure at Alabama. The school announced Monday that Kiffin was leaving as offensive coordinator effective immediately to begin focusing on his new head coaching job at Florida Atlantic. It appeared surprising and abrupt at first glance with a title game looming, but a series of reports in the aftermath of that statement indicated that there’s a lot more going on, and it has been building for some time.

The run game is Saban’s bread and butter, but he needs a reliable quarterback to manage the game. Hurts this season has done that via the passing game but he’s also a big part of reason No. 3 of why Alabama is championship bound.

If it failed , it could win field-position battles anyway thanks to a historically great defense and standout punter JK Scott. The same should be true this year. Of course, if Alabama does repeat as national champion , luck will be far down the list of reasons .

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The Alabama offense turned things over to the nation's best defense, but Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson marched the Tigers downfield and his 2-yard touchdown pass toHunter Renfrow with a second remaining gave Clemson a 35-31 victory and its first national championship since 1981.

The Tigers (14-1) scored 21 points in the fourth quarter against an Alabama defense that had allowed just 32 fourth-quarter points all season.

So, how did Alabama (14-1) lose a game it led at halftime for the first time in 24 games? There are three key reasons.

Alabama's Bo Scarbrough is looked at after being hurt during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) © (AP Photo/David J. Phillip Alabama's Bo Scarbrough is looked at after being hurt during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Bo Scarbrough's injury

10 memorable moments from Saban's decade with Alabama

  10 memorable moments from Saban's decade with Alabama On Jan. 4, 2007, Nick Saban landed at Tuscaloosa Regional Airport and officially became Alabama's head coach. What's happened in the 10 years since is absolutely remarkable.What's happened in the 10 years since is absolutely remarkable, as the 65-year-old has built the Crimson Tide into one of college football's all-time great dynasties.

- Give me your Top 5 reasons why Alabama repeats as national champions in 2018, as well as your Top 5 reasons why. KareemAbdul Alabama Fan Member since Dec 2012 1509 posts. re: Top 5 reasons Alabama repeats /doesn't repeat ?Posted by KareemAbdul on 2/12/18 at 9:39 am to Fells.

Having said that, here are the 10 reasons that Alabama may, and in my opinion will, repeat as national champions . To all the people who point to the losses on defense, they fail to realize that the people that are replacing them came into the system with a much higher talent level.

The Crimson Tide offense just wasn't the same without their bruising sophomore running back, who left early in the third quarter with a leg injury. Scarbrough ran the ball 12 times for 76 yards in the first half, scoring both Crimson Tide touchdowns to give them a 14-7 halftime lead. Scarbrough had just four carries in the second half and finished with 93 yards. The Clemson defense had no answers for the 6-2, 230-pound Scarbrough prior to his injury.

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Alabama's Jalen Hurts scrambles during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) © (AP Photo/John Bazemore Alabama's Jalen Hurts scrambles during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Lack of sustained drives

Hurts was trying to become the first true freshman since 1985 to lead his team to a national championship. But Hurts, despite his go-ahead 30-yard touchdown run with 2:07 remaining, turned in an underwhelming performance. He was 13 of 31 for 131 yards and a touchdown. The Tide were just 2 of 15 on third down and couldn't stay on the field to give their defense a break. Each of Alabama's four touchdowns were of the big-play variety— Scarbrough's runs of 25 and 37 yards, a 68-yard pass to tight end O.J. Howard and the late Hurts score. Before the Hurts touchdown run, Alabama had gained just 27 yards on 10 plays in the fourth quarter with three punts.

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Let me say right up front, that I expect Alabama to finish the regular season undefeated and to repeat as National Champions . But if they should stumble, these are the ten reasons they may have done so.

If Alabama can continue their undefeated streak, the idea of a back-to-back national championship becomes more of a reality. Here are five reasons why they will be the 2016 NCAA Football champions .

Nick Saban © (Getty Images) Nick Saban

Penalties

While the Alabama defense wore down late because Clemson ran 99 offensive plays, the Tide were uncharacteristic of a Nick Saban-coached team with nine penalties for 82 yards. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on sophomore defensive tackle Da'Ron Payne helped put Clemson in position to take its first lead with under five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. A pass interference penalty helped moved the ball from the Alabama 9 to the 2-yard line in the final seconds to put Clemson in a better position for the game-winning score.

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Alabama to hire Arizona's Byrne for AD position .
Byrne, who left for Arizona in 2010, was formerly the AD at Mississippi State.The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because Alabama had not confirmed the move, but said Arizona had already begun its search for a new athletics director in anticipation of Byrne’s departure.

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