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08-16-17 MFB Practice Alabama offensive lineman Bradley Bozeman (75) Photo by Amelia B. Barton 08-16-17 MFB Practice Alabama offensive lineman Bradley Bozeman (75) Photo by Amelia B. Barton

Crimson Tide practiced in full pads for roughly two hours inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama football team put in a two-hour session in full pads on Wednesday afternoon inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Practice Facility.

It was No. 5 of seven practices before the Tide breaks for the holiday and the fifth of 12 practices overall prior to the College Football Playoff Semifinal against Clemson in the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The fourth-ranked Crimson Tide will face off with the top-ranked Tigers on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, with kickoff scheduled for 7:45 p.m. CT on ESPN. The tandem of Joe Tessitore and Todd Blackledge will call the Semifinal from the booth, while Holly Rowe and Laura Rutledge will work each team’s sideline.

Clemson enters the College Football Playoff Semifinal with a 12-1 overall record, including an 8-1 mark in ACC play. The Tigers remained atop the CFP rankings following a 38-3 victory over then-No. 7 Miami in the ACC Championship Game on Dec. 3. The Tigers squad is led by head coach Dabo Swinney, who holds a 101-29 record in his ninth season with the program.

The New Years’ Day contest will mark the 18th pairing between Alabama and Clemson in the history of the two schools, with the Crimson Tide owning a 13-4 series advantage. The two most recent matchups came in the 2016 and 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Games. Alabama rallied to defeat the No. 1 Tigers, 45-40, to capture the Tide’s 16th national championship in the 2016 game in Glendale, Ariz. The Tigers then returned the favor with a come-from-behind, 35-31, win in the 2017 championship in Tampa, Fla.