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Clemson And Alabama Pummel Opposition, Will Face Off For Football Title

Hunter Renfrow of the Clemson Tigers celebrates scoring a touchdown in the third quarter Thursday against the Oklahoma Sooners during the 2015 Capital One Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. i

Hunter Renfrow of the Clemson Tigers celebrates scoring a touchdown in the third quarter Thursday against the Oklahoma Sooners during the 2015 Capital One Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Chris Trotman/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Chris Trotman/Getty Images
Hunter Renfrow of the Clemson Tigers celebrates scoring a touchdown in the third quarter Thursday against the Oklahoma Sooners during the 2015 Capital One Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Hunter Renfrow of the Clemson Tigers celebrates scoring a touchdown in the third quarter Thursday against the Oklahoma Sooners during the 2015 Capital One Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Clemson University, having its best football season in decades, will face off for the national title against perennial power Alabama later this month after both teams won semifinal games Thursday night.

Clemson was down a point at halftime to the University of Oklahoma, but scored three second-half touchdowns while keeping the Sooners from scoring, and won 31-17.

Tim Williams of the Alabama Crimson Tide sacks Connor Cook of the Michigan State Spartans in the second half Thursday during the Goodyear Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas. Williams threw two interceptions and the Spartans were unable to reach a single first down in the shutout loss. i

Tim Williams of the Alabama Crimson Tide sacks Connor Cook of the Michigan State Spartans in the second half Thursday during the Goodyear Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas. Williams threw two interceptions and the Spartans were unable to reach a single first down in the shutout loss. Ron Jenkins/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Ron Jenkins/Getty Images
Tim Williams of the Alabama Crimson Tide sacks Connor Cook of the Michigan State Spartans in the second half Thursday during the Goodyear Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas. Williams threw two interceptions and the Spartans were unable to reach a single first down in the shutout loss.

Tim Williams of the Alabama Crimson Tide sacks Connor Cook of the Michigan State Spartans in the second half Thursday during the Goodyear Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas. Williams threw two interceptions and the Spartans were unable to reach a single first down in the shutout loss.

Ron Jenkins/Getty Images
Alabama fans saw a lot to celebrate Thursday night against Michigan State during the Cotton Bowl. i

Alabama fans saw a lot to celebrate Thursday night against Michigan State during the Cotton Bowl. Tom Pennington/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Alabama fans saw a lot to celebrate Thursday night against Michigan State during the Cotton Bowl.

Alabama fans saw a lot to celebrate Thursday night against Michigan State during the Cotton Bowl.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Alabama's defense did Clemson's one-half better, shutting out Michigan State as the Crimson Tide cruised to a 38-0 victory.

The national championship game will be played at 8:30 p.m. ET on Jan. 11 in Glendale, Ariz., and broadcast on ESPN. A win against Clemson would give Alabama its fourth national title since the 2009 season; a Clemson title would be its first since 1981.

Correction Jan. 1, 2016

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Michigan State had no first downs throughout the game. In fact, it had 16.

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