Washington keeps things interesting through three quarters before Alabama gets room to breathe in the fourth. "If you want to do that, you have to have that relentlessness to your work ethic and your grind". I might well pick Washington were it playing somebody else.
Here are five reasons why Alabama will knock out Washington and move on to play for a national title on January 9.
And, for the better part of the last decade, there's little doubt the Crimson Tide has been considered the best, a fact that was even apparent to the Washington sophomore growing up on the other side of the country.
Alabama is the favorite, leading the Huskies by as much as a 14-point spread, according to Odds Shark. The Huskies can move the ball on ground and through the air.
"This guy is a really, really good player", Alabama head coach Nick Saban said last week. "Even though it was hand-timed, to run that time meant a lot to me". That's definitely a challenge.
"I had that conversation with my dad after the A-Day game", Hurts said. Gaskin is the star, as he's amassed 227 carries for 1339 yards and 10 touchdown. Hurts is a brilliant two-way player (65.3 completion percentage, 12 rushing touchdowns) who has passed every test. He came through big in victories over Utah and especially Colorado in the Pac-12 championship game, when Browning was held to 118 yards on 9-of-24 passing. He kind of personifies Petersen's recruiting philosophy, finding talented players who fit his system that other coaches may have overlooked based of physical measurables. But going off one game is not really a good idea.
Avoiding miscues will be a crucial element for the Huskies, who have committed just 12 (seven interceptions, five fumbles) all season.
Which is why the key for the Crimson Tide defense - as it's been all season - will be provided a constant deluge of pressure with just four or five rushers, allowing the five or six defensive backs to cover Washington's array of receivers.
Alright, what's our final score and how do we get there?strong>.
Seeking to regain some of his lost anonymity since being named Alabama's starting quarterback almost four months ago, Jalen Hurts occasionally dons a large hoodie to walk around campus. He has passed for 2,592 yards and rushed for 841 while masterfully running the offense.
In 2008, Jones became the first freshman receiver to start an opener for the Crimson Tide.
"I'm a firm believer in age being nothing but a number", the 18-year-old Hurts told reporters. However, Nick Saban has had almost a full month to prepare for the Huskies, and you know what that means. Hurts will be tested against a talented Washington defense full of several future National Football League players. The Huskies allow 17.2 points per game and possess a standout in junior free safety Budda Baker (65 tackles, two interceptions).
WATCH YOUR BACK: Petersen's reputation as a gambling, creative coach who isn't afraid to try just about anything was forever sealed at the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, when his Boise State team pulled off three improbable plays to beat Oklahoma.