The knockout blows weren't hard to spot in Clemson-Alabama III.Most of those highlight-reel haymakers unfurled in the third quarter of the Sugar Bowl. No. 4 Alabama blew open a 24-6 victory against No. 1 Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinal in New Orleans with a series of big-time plays.MORE: Those plays put Nick Saban in position for a fifth national championship with the Crimson Tide, and sixth overall. That stage isthe College Football Playoff championship game against SEC rival Georgia and former Alabama defensive Kirby Smart at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Jan. 8. The Crimson Tide (12-1) limited the Tigers (12-2) to Tom Seaver Jersey 188total yards, including just 73 yards in the first half, while hara sing Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant all night long.The big hits came in the third quarter. You saw those plays.Linebacker Anfernee Jennings popped the Gary Carter Jersey ball out of Bryant's hand and into the arms of defensive end Da'Ron Payne.Quinnen Williams, a 6-4, 285-pound defensive linemen, then ran the world's biggest pick play with Payne out of a jumbo package near the goal line for a touchdown catch from Jalen Hurts.Mack Wilson followed with an 18-yard interception return that ended any po sible drama before the fourth quarter started.You'll see highlights and stats ad nauseam until the championship game, but it was a hidden series of jabs that helped set up those plays to open the third quarter.Alabama's Jalen Hurts fumbled on a bad exchange on the second half's first snap, which Clemson recovered at the 20-yard line with a chance to turn the Tide's 10-3 deficit into a tie game.Do you remember these plays?Jennings smacked Bryant in the pocket for a 2-yard lo s on first-and-10.Minkah Fitzpatrick corralled Clemson running back Tavien Feaster on a swing pa s for a 3-yard lo s. Bryant scrambled, but was tackled by Terrell Lewis for no gain on third-and-15.Clemson settled for a field goal, and the deluge followed shortly afterward. That three-play sequence amplified what was in plain sight the rest of the night: The Tigers couldn't get in the end zone in the final two minutes.Call it whatever you want. Confidence. Juice. Swag. Mojo.MORE: Alabama's defense has all of that again after late-season hiccups against Mi si sippi State and Auburn. Given what former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson Neil Walker Jersey did to this defense the last two seasons, it had to be a satisfying victory for Saban and outgoing defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who certainly wasn't distracted by his new job at Tenne see in this meeting.Clemson torched the Crimson Tide's defense the last two years. This time Bryant took five sacks. The Tigers averaged 1.9 yards per carry. Star receiver Hunter Renfrow, who caught the game-winning TD last year,was limited to five catches for 31 yards.A few hours after No. 2 Oklahoma and Juan Lagares Jersey No. 3 Georgia combined for more than 1,000 yards in a 54-48 double-overtime thriller, Alabama did what it usually does on the big stage: The Tide won in clinical borderline boring fashion to earn a shot at a national championship in a season where they didn't play for the SEC title for the second time under Saban.We all remember how that rematch with SEC champion LSU went in the 2012 BCS championship game. Alabama won with defense in that one, too.Only this one has more drama than those battles with LSU or even the Clemson trilogy. It's a teacher-meets-student drama against Smart, a former Alabama defensive coordinator who has the Bulldogs on target for their first national Dwight Gooden Jersey championship since 1980.This is SEC Championship Game II, and it will decide the national title.Everybody will be looking for the big subplots. Saban, Pruitt and Jennings, who left late with a left knee injury in the fourth quarter, will be at the center of that on Media Day.If Alabama can find a way to throw thosejabs on defense, however, then the ending of the story will be the same.It won't be hard to spot either.It's the one where Saban holds up another national championship trophy.