The best season for the Washington Huskies in almost two decades included a 12-1 record, a Pac-12 title, and now includes a berth in the College Football Playoffs.
The Crimson Tide had four combined rushing touchdowns from Derrick Gore (1), Joshua Jacobs (1) and Bo Scarbrough (2).
The Crimson Tide (13-0, 8-0 SEC) put together another dominant effort in the SEC title game on Saturday, as Nick Saban's squad throttled Florida, 54-16. The Tide won 38-10 and held Tennessee's No. 26 scoring offense to 10 points as well.
The Peach Bowl semifinal between the Tide and No. 4 Washington it will also be the first meeting of Saban and Washington coach Chris Petersen, who has an.826 winning percentage since he first became a head coach with Boise State in 2006. There had been some analysts of the believe that the Penn State Nittany Lions deserved the fourth spot. Hurts is going to be trouble for anyone, and that includes a stout Washington defense that allows 316.2 yards per game (No. 10 in the nation).
Washington has the ability to defeat Alabama, even if the Tide were rarely tested during an unblemished and perhaps historic run through the regular season.
"As for the No. 4 slot, we talked about it at great, great length, (and) it was a close call between Washington and Penn State", CFB Playoff selection committee chairman and Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt said Sunday. The best part about this 'Bama squad is that it really is a collective effort in all three phases of the game. Hurts finished with 138 yards and one touchdown pass on 11-for-20 completed passes. The Vegas Insider website has Alabama listed as the favorites by 14 points for this playoff semifinals game. The Huskies, while winners of the Pac-12, had a non-conference schedule of Rutgers, Idaho and Portland State. And a national championship. Myles Gaskin had 29 attempts for 159 yards and Lavon Coleman had 18 carries for 101 yards.
He joked that he feels like he knows Saban well because he's on TV so often, but said this will be the biggest challenge the Washington players and coaches have faced.
Defense: Alabama. The Tide enjoyed a month-long streak of games without allowing a touchdown, and Minkah Fitzpatrick had a Pick-Six against the Gators.
Alabama: DE Jonathan Allen, 8.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries for touchdowns.
In Friday's action, the Huskies gained entry into the playoffs by also routing their conference opponents.
Alabama steamrolled its way into the No. 1 spot, culminating in a 54-16 victory over Florida in the SEC championship game, trailing only Auburn for largest point differential ever in an SEC Championship game (a 39-point win over SC in 2010). But, I mean, every year, you know Alabama is going to be right there. There are no major weak links in Alabama's chain but there might be areas that can be exploited, if just barely. So this is a key component of the game.
"Appreciate that", Petersen said to Saban. In each area, the Huskies match up better with Alabama than one might expect. Alabama's won their last eight games at the Georgia Dome.
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