The University of Alabama football team returned to practice field on Friday afternoon, working a nearly two-hour session in shells inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility.
Today’s session marked the first of seven bowl practices before the holiday break and 12 practices overall prior to the College Football Playoff Semifinal against Clemson in the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The Crimson Tide will face off with top-ranked Clemson on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018 with the game airing live on ESPN at 7:45 p.m. CT. Joe Tessitore and Todd Blackledge will call the Semifinal matchup from the booth, while Holly Rowe and Laura Rutledge will work each team’s sideline.
The ACC champion Clemson Tigers enter the College Football Semifinal with a 12-1 overall record and an 8-1 mark in conference play. Clemson earned its berth in the playoffs following a 38-3 over then-No. 7 Miami in the ACC Championship Game on Dec. 3. The Tigers are led by head coach Dabo Swinney, who has a 101-29 in his ninth season with the program.
Alabama and Clemson will meet for the 18th time in the history of the series that dates back to 1900. The Crimson Tide owns the series advantage, 13-4. The two most recent matchups came in the 2016 and 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Games. Alabama rallied to defeat the No. 1 Tigers, 45-40, to capture the Tide's 16th national championship in the 2016 game in Glendale, Ariz. The Tigers then returned the favor with a come-from-behind, 35-31, win in the 2017 championship in Tampa, Fla.