Deshaun Watson isn’t giving much thought to his memories of Alabama’s defense from last year.
Speaking on a conference call with reporters Wednesday, the Clemson quarterback said the Crimson Tide’s defense is “totally different” this season and that he can’t draw much from what he experienced against Alabama in the national championship game last year. The Tigers face the Crimson Tide next Monday at Raymond James Stadium for the national title.
“Last year is last year,” Watson said. “You can’t look at stuff last year. They have maybe, I want to say seven new starters, eight new starters on their defense. Everyone else is in the NFL. So totally different defense. And you’ve got to go based off through this year.”
That’s a smart approach from Watson. Each season offers a new chemistry and a different personality for all teams and the units found within them.
Alabama’s defense has been particularly effective this season, with the Crimson Tide leading the nation in scoring defense by allowing just 11.8 points per game.
Certainly, Watson enjoyed success against Alabama’s defense last year. He threw for 405 yards with 4 touchdowns and 1 interception. He also ran for 73 yards.
It will be interesting to see how Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt schemes against Watson, who threw for 259 yards in beating Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl last Saturday. Kirby Smart, now Georgia’s coach, was Alabama’s defensive coordinator in the national championship game last season.
Clemson faces Alabama beginning about 8 p.m. ET Monday in Tampa. TV: ESPN.