HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The College Football Playoff finale is set, and it’s a familiar fixture for many college football fans.
Alabama will take on Clemson in the national championship game for the third time in the last four years. Clemson took care of Notre Dame this past Saturday 30-3 and the Crimson Tide followed suit with a comfortable 45-34 win over Oklahoma.
During a media call this morning, Crimson Tide quarterback and Hawaii native Tua Tagovailoa expressed his excitement to be back on college football’s biggest stage for the second time in as many years.
“I mean, this is just another great opportunity for not only me but for me and my teammates. This is something that we've wanted since the ending of last year's game, you know, so we're just one step closer to achieving what we want to as a team,” Tagovailoa said. “Just got to go in with the mindset that this is a big game, but you've got to go in being confident, I mean, and just go out there knowing it's football.”
When the Crimson Tide have been in a rhythm on both sides of the ball this season, they have been seemingly impossible to stop. But a lot of questions were raised going into Alabama’s CFP semi final matchup against the Sooners, particularly because of Tagovailoa’s health status.
Tagovailoa suffered a high ankle sprain in the SEC title game against Georgia earlier this month and underwent surgery for it. However, he played exceptionally well against Oklahoma to eliminate any doubt that he wouldn’t be ready to play.
“Yeah, you know, after the game, it was definitely sore. I couldn't tell if it was any better or if it was the same. But I guess I can say it's better,” Tagovailoa said of his ankle after the Oklahoma game. “I have treatment going on right now, as we speak, and I think we're still going to stick with that 24-hour treatment protocol. Up until the game, I think I'm still going to be getting treatment, and I'm still going to be going through rehab and therapy, as well. But I definitely think it's improving, you know.”
Clemson can expect a healthy Tagovailoa under center for the Crimson Tide next Monday and fans from both sides of the field should be in for another memorable fixture between two of the country’s elite football programs.
The national championship game is set for Monday, January 7th. Kickoff is at 3 p.m. HT.