Alabama is currently favored by 6.5 points against Clemson in Monday’s National Championship Game, but Tide linebacker Ryan Anderson said the team feels like they’re underdogs.
“We do feel like we’re underdogs right now,” Anderson said according to ESPN. “Just feel that way.”
Anderson said he didn’t feel as if Alabama was getting the respect they deserve, especially considering the fact they’ve been No. 1 since the preseason and remain unbeaten.
After Clemson’s dominating 31-0 win over Ohio State and Alabama’s lackluster 24-7 win over Washington, linebacker Tim Williams said he thinks more people have been giving Clemson a chance to knock off the Tide in Monday’s rematch.
“[The media] is selling us as possible underdogs, possible upset,” Williams, who is second on Alabama’s team with nine sacks, said.. “We know what we have to come out there and do at the end of the day — put the cleats on.”
The last time Alabama was actually an underdog was in 2015 when they were a one point underdog at Georgia. The Tide won that game 38-10. Before that, the last time Alabama was an underdog was the 2009 SEC Championship Game against Florida. Last year, Alabama was a 7.5 point favorite over Clemson, and they won the game 45-40.
Several Tide players have mentioned about how they have a chip on their shoulder heading into the game, including Jonathan Allen, Reuben Foster and Minkah Fitzpatrick.
“It doesn’t really matter what anybody else outside of this program truly thinks about what’s going to happen Monday night,” Allen said.
Clemson will provide Alabama’s defense with the most difficult challenge it has seen all season, and Tide defenders surely remember allowing 40 points to the Tigers last season.