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View Poll Results: Alabama vs Clemson - Who ya got?
Alabama 6 85.71%
Clemson 1 14.29%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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  #21  
Old 01-06-2017, 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by SillyBoltsFan View Post
You arbitrarily dismiss Dabo and Clemson's run D... taking it for granted that they will be able to run regardless of what Clemson does or how Jalen plays... and taking it for granted that they can win solely by running.

You also dismiss that last year they (Bama) had another very good big back (Henry) who put up over 150 yards on Clemson, yet Clemson put up the points. Yes, Bama's D is better this year - but so is Clemson's team.
You just arbitrarily contradicted yourself. Run the ball and play D is how they beat Clemson last year, but they would never think to do that again with what you called a better D and a RB that just went over 180 yards last week.

Your post is Freak Approved.

There is no way in hades you want to get into a shootout while you have young Jalen and Clemson has Watson and a young 49er's team of the 90's out there.
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  #22  
Old 01-06-2017, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Chargerfreak View Post
You just arbitrarily contradicted yourself. Run the ball and play D is how they beat Clemson last year, but they would never think to do that again with what you called a better D and a RB that just went over 180 yards last week.

Your post is Freak Approved.

There is no way in hades you want to get into a shootout while you have young Jalen and Clemson has Watson and a young 49er's team of the 90's out there.
No contradiction at all - although yours does. The point I made was they had a strong run game and big, powerful, fast RB last year - yet it still was a high scoring game.

Most of the running yards came early in the game. They weren't nearly as successful after the half when the Clemson D started to knuckle down. Again, Clemson's D is better than last year to date.

It was not running the ball and playing D that won last year. Bama's D is better, but Clemson did put up 40 without Williams last year. The Bama running game is on par with last year. That brings us back to my point regarding QB play.

Last year one of the big differences was that they had a QB who was 16/25, with 335 yards passing and two TDs with no INTs. It was that, in combination with their running game that won the day - along with Saban's onside kick rabbit out of the hat and Drake's 95 yard KO return for a TD. If anything, the QB play was a significantly bigger factor than the running.

Bottom line, it took all 3 phases to pull it out, with both a running and passing game for phase O. Just running and D did not.

---- 4Q replay for reference ----

They were behind and mo was not on their side early in the 4th. They tied it on a figgie (on a drive driven by passing, not effective running). Then Saban called for the onside kick to change the momentum. On the two play TD drive after the onside kick it was 1 run for -1 yards followed by a Coker to Howard pass for 51 yards and a TD.

The D them 'limited' Clemson to a 61 yard drive that ended in a figgie (holding 'em to a figgie was huge at that point the way Clemson drove down the field).

That was followed by Drake's 95 yard KO return.

Clemson answered with another long drive, this time ending in a TD.

Bama's next drive again started with a run, for a loss of 2 yards this time. Once again Coker lofted a deep pass to Howard for 63 yards down to the 14. From there they played 3 yards and a cloud of dust.

-------

QB play...

Once again - a strong running game by itself doesn't get the job done. Just like last year, Bama's QB play will be a very big factor. As good as Bama's D is this year, I just don't see them holding Clemson to a handful of points. This year Clemson has Williams on the field.

Howard is still there - but I don't think Dabo lets him loose for over 200 receiving yards this year. Jalen is going to have to have a better game than last week, or the week before, getting back to his mid-season success to give Bama a better than not chance, unless...

--- unless.... ---

Bama might - heck, they could keep 'em in single digits - they are capable of it on their best day. However, might versus likely are two wholly different things. One factor there is can Saban flip the 'monster' switch on the Bama D, using Clemson's own words and desire to do it? The other is can Dabo get his O to bring their own guts and battle the onslaught?
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  #23  
Old 01-07-2017, 04:40 AM
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Originally Posted by SillyBoltsFan View Post
No contradiction at all - although yours does. The point I made was they had a strong run game and big, powerful, fast RB last year - yet it still was a high scoring game.

Most of the running yards came early in the game. They weren't nearly as successful after the half when the Clemson D started to knuckle down. Again, Clemson's D is better than last year to date.

It was not running the ball and playing D that won last year. Bama's D is better, but Clemson did put up 40 without Williams last year. The Bama running game is on par with last year. That brings us back to my point regarding QB play.

Last year one of the big differences was that they had a QB who was 16/25, with 335 yards passing and two TDs with no INTs. It was that, in combination with their running game that won the day - along with Saban's onside kick rabbit out of the hat and Drake's 95 yard KO return for a TD. If anything, the QB play was a significantly bigger factor than the running.

Bottom line, it took all 3 phases to pull it out, with both a running and passing game for phase O. Just running and D did not.

---- 4Q replay for reference ----

They were behind and mo was not on their side early in the 4th. They tied it on a figgie (on a drive driven by passing, not effective running). Then Saban called for the onside kick to change the momentum. On the two play TD drive after the onside kick it was 1 run for -1 yards followed by a Coker to Howard pass for 51 yards and a TD.

The D them 'limited' Clemson to a 61 yard drive that ended in a figgie (holding 'em to a figgie was huge at that point the way Clemson drove down the field).

That was followed by Drake's 95 yard KO return.

Clemson answered with another long drive, this time ending in a TD.

Bama's next drive again started with a run, for a loss of 2 yards this time. Once again Coker lofted a deep pass to Howard for 63 yards down to the 14. From there they played 3 yards and a cloud of dust.

-------

QB play...

Once again - a strong running game by itself doesn't get the job done. Just like last year, Bama's QB play will be a very big factor. As good as Bama's D is this year, I just don't see them holding Clemson to a handful of points. This year Clemson has Williams on the field.

Howard is still there - but I don't think Dabo lets him loose for over 200 receiving yards this year. Jalen is going to have to have a better game than last week, or the week before, getting back to his mid-season success to give Bama a better than not chance, unless...

--- unless.... ---

Bama might - heck, they could keep 'em in single digits - they are capable of it on their best day. However, might versus likely are two wholly different things. One factor there is can Saban flip the 'monster' switch on the Bama D, using Clemson's own words and desire to do it? The other is can Dabo get his O to bring their own guts and battle the onslaught?
The variables in this game are many many, no doubt. It should be a good one. Both will be ready. I think it will come down to better scheme that was then executed. Even then both squads are capable of execution. It's really looking like a good one. I am a Bama/Saban guy, but that Clemson team is really talented. Williams for the Chargers is fine by me !
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  #24  
Old 01-07-2017, 06:43 AM
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Clemson...

That is all you need to know.

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  #25  
Old 01-07-2017, 07:44 AM
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  #26  
Old 01-07-2017, 08:58 AM
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Alabama's D-line the best in title game? Not so fast: Most of the attention leading up to the national championship game will focus on Alabama's deep and talented defensive line, but I believe Clemson's front line has more star power in the trenches.

I know it's almost blasphemous to suggest another team has superior personnel than the reigning national champions, but the Tigers' young defensive line group possesses a collection of big, athletic disruptors that NFL scouts covet in the trenches. Starting with Christian Wilkins, a wrecking ball off the edge, the Tigers can control the trenches with their young pups. The 6-foot-4, 315-pounder exhibits terrific first-step quickness and explosive power taking on blockers at the line. Not to mention, Wilkins is an aggressive run stopper adept at corralling runners in the backfield.

Naturally, the presence of one big-bodied disruptor would be enough to make opponents tweak their game plans, but the emergence of Dexter Lawrence and Clelin Ferrell makes the Tigers' front line one of the most feared units in college football. Lawrence, the 2016 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, is a massive interior defender (6-foot-5, 340 pounds) with exceptional hand skills and agility. He routinely swipes, bull rushes or swims past blockers on the way to the quarterback (seven sacks during the regular season). Most impressively, Lawrence complements his polished hand skills with the kind of raw strength and power that's rarely seen in sound defenders.

Ferrell stole the show at the Fiesta Bowl with his remarkable feats as an edge defender. He displays rare first-step quickness and burst off the ball, yet he plays with outstanding balance and body control turning the corner. Ferrell's explosiveness and athleticism make him a nightmare to block when he attacks quarterbacks from the open side. With Clemson's high-powered offense routinely forcing opponents to chase points, Ferrell is able to focus his efforts on harassing quarterbacks off the edge.

The Tigers' defensive line is as good as it gets, and a spectacular performance against the Crimson Tide's massive offensive line could convince plenty of scouts to book extended stays in Death Valley. -- Bucky Brooks

* * *

Two candidates to take a star turn in Clemson vs. Alabama rematch: The national championship game features several marquee names in college football, including Deshaun Watson and Jonathan Allen. However, last year's title game featured surprise heroes like Alabama TE O.J. Howard and Clemson WR Hunter Renfrow. Which under-the-radar prospects should we keep an eye on in this year's rematch? I'll give you two:

Clemson TE Jordan Leggett: The Tigers have arguably the most talented wide receiving corps in college football, led by All-American Mike Williams. That should free up the middle of the field for Leggett. He has tight-end size but also possesses wide-receiver quickness and route-running ability. He was a major factor in the ACC title game against Virginia Tech, and I expect him to put up solid numbers in the national championship game as well.

Alabama OLB Ryan Anderson: Every starter on the Alabama defense will eventually get selected in the NFL draft. I can't recall ever saying that about an entire defense. They have star players all over the field, but Anderson is a guy who always seems to make a big play when one is needed. His pick-six against Washington in the Peach Bowl changed the momentum of the game and launched the Tide into a lopsided victory. His ability to slow down the Clemson running attack will be a huge factor in this game. -- Daniel Jeremiah

* * *

Ben vs. Bo: Alabama's sledgehammer offensive approach puts the spotlight squarely on Clemson LB Ben Boulware in the national championship game. The 6-foot, 235-pound defender faces the unenviable task of taking on Crimson Tide RB Bo Scarbrough in the hole in a game that could become essentially a "nine-on-seven" period (inside run drill) with the sledgehammer-type runner plunging between the tackles 25-plus times on an assortment of hard-hitting runs.

Although the big-bodied runner didn't top the 1,000-yard mark during the regular season, he is coming off a spectacular performance (19 carries, 180 rushing yards and two scores) in the Peach Bowl that showcased his potential as punishing RB1. Considering how Alabama wants to wear opponents down with the ground game, how well Boulware protects the middle of the Tigers' defense could determine whether Clemson is able to hoist the trophy at the end of the game.

Looking at the All-22 coaches' tape, Boulware excels at patrolling the tackle-to-tackle box as a free hitter. He has a knack for slipping blocks and stopping runners in the hole. Boulware's physicality, toughness and non-stop motor jump off the screen when I study the tape, but Scarbrough is unlike any running back the Tigers have faced, with a size-strength combination that's comparable to elite pro runners. With NFL scouts expected to closely study this matchup, Boulware can certainly enhance his draft prospects with a strong performance in the title game. -- Bucky Brooks

* * *

Matchup that could decide championship game: There are several juicy matchups in the title game rematch, but Clemson WR Mike Williams vs. Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey is at the top of my list. Both guys have outstanding size and love to play physically at the line of scrimmage. Humphrey usually enjoys safety help over the top, but he might not have that luxury in this contest if Deshaun Watson becomes a major factor in the Tigers' rushing attack. Williams is one of the best high-point catchers I've seen in quite some time. This matchup could decide the outcome of the game. -- Daniel Jeremiah
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap300...e-next-ed-reed
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  #27  
Old 01-07-2017, 09:16 AM
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Why Alabama will win: Roman Harper reflects on title matchup
Quote:
<snip>

The Saban way

What I like about Nick Saban, besides the fact that he treats me well when I'm there, is that Alabama is always prepared. They don't lose to teams they're not supposed to lose to. You don't see many close games. You don't see a lot of nail-biters. They prepare like they're playing against Clemson every week, whether it's Mississippi State, Florida or Charleston Southern. They put out a great product every week no matter who the opponent is. You don't see games where they just don't show up, which you see so often in other programs.

Talent-wise, you get exactly what you recruit. And for six or seven years now, they've had the No. 1 or No. 2 signing class in the country, and it shows. Not only that, but Nick Saban and his staff make those guys better in terms of development.

Alabama is recruiting itself at this point because of the exposure the program is getting, and the great tradition there. Everybody wants to be with a winner, so it's a pretty easy decision to go there right now. And it shows on draft day when they've got first-round picks every year. Julio Jones is a good example. He's always had the body and the speed, but now his route-running has gotten so much better than when he first came into the league. He's worked at his game and now he produces every week and puts it on tape. He's the best receiver in the game. He'll be an all-time franchise guy for the Atlanta Falcons, and he if he continues his career the way it's going, he could be in the Hall of Fame.

Breaking down 'Bama's defense

I'm a big Reuben Foster fan. I've seen this guy since he was a freshman, when he used to blast people on kickoff coverage. Back then I was thinking "I don't know who this guy is, but he's going to be in the league because he can run and he can hit." When he gets to the ball, he gets there with bad intentions. But this Jonathan Allen cat, he just continues to disrupt things up front and make plays. I don't know who their best defensive player is, but there's so much talent on all three levels, especially up front, it's crazy. You've got first-round picks at all three levels of that defense. I think this is the best defense Alabama's had in its history. And I say that begrudgingly because I feel like when I was in college, we had a great defense for two years, but unfortunately we didn't have the offensive firepower they have now.

I've loved watching Eddie Jackson develop. I didn't know at first if he would be enough of a thumper as a tackler. Safeties have to tackle. Still, his ball skills and big-play ability -- when he gets it in his hand, he's off the charts. But I saw him at the Peach Bowl and he has good size. And he's humble -- I talked to him for a little while and enjoyed getting to know him. Ronnie Harrison is so explosive as a tackler. He gets to the ball with bad intentions, too. He's still young, but the guy makes plays. Alabama gets these top players in and they learn how to play in an NFL system under coach Saban. Minkah Fitzpatrick gives them so much flexibility because he can play corner, he can play nickel, he can play safety, he can do it all. He's physical, he can tackle and he can cover. And there's depth. When one guy goes down, they always seem to plug someone in who is right there with the starters.

How Alabama will beat Clemson

I'm the biggest Dabo Swinney fan there is. He was the wide receivers coach at Alabama when Mike DuBose first offered me a scholarship. That's how long I've known about this guy, and to see him do great things at Clemson has been special, but to know where he's from, playing at Alabama, I'm a big fan of his.

I think Clemson is better this year than last year. I think they still have a few holes defensively, but I think overall, they're more confident because of the battles they've been through. They know who they are as a team. Deshaun Watson is great. He'll be the best quarterback Alabama faces all year long, just like he was last year. With the amount of success he had against Alabama last year, you know he'll be confident coming into this game.

Alabama has to control Watson, we can't turn the ball over offensively, and our defense has to dominate things. We've got to be smart offensively and run the ball effectively. We can't put too much on this freshman quarterback's shoulders (Editor's note: UA's Jalen Hurts is attempting to become the first true freshman QB to win a national title since Oklahoma's Jamelle Holieway in 1985). We've got to be smart about that. He can help win the game, but it doesn't need to be on him to carry the team. We've got to get some takeaways on defense. If we do that, I love our chances. Clemson has turned the ball over all year long. If we can go out and take advantage of that, we'll be fine.

This change at offensive coordinator seven days before the game, it has me a little nervous. But I'm still confident and I trust this coaching staff. I feel like we're the better team regardless. (New offensive coordinator) Steve Sarkisian hasn't called a game in a while. It won't be easy. You don't ever see this kind of thing with what happened on that. These coaches are highly paid and it takes skill to call a game. Anybody can draw up a play on the board when the players aren't moving, but in the flow of a game, it takes real skills to call the plays. Sarkisian has those skills, I know, but he hasn't done it in a while. I hope he's on point. It's definitely going to be tough, but if Nick Saban thought this move was the best move to make, then I trust him.

I love Dabo, and I know he's going to make it close. Clemson isn't scared of Alabama. I'm confident that Alabama will get it done some kind of way, even if it's by one point. We've got to get to 17 national titles. Seventeen in '17.
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  #28  
Old 01-07-2017, 09:22 AM
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Why Clemson will win: C.J. Spiller reflects on title-game matchup
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Dabo's way

When coach Tommy Bowden got fired (in 2008), coach Swinney took over as the interim coach for the remainder of the year. My senior year, they took the interim tag off him and made him the head coach. He played receiver at Alabama and he's a genius at finding mismatches all over the field. He's so down-to-earth personality-wise. What you see is what you get. There is no phoniness. He treats every player the same -- there's no favoritism with him.

That just goes back to his background of being a walk-on and having to earn his way onto Alabama's team. He didn't have an easier path like scholarship guys do. I think that played a role in how he's coached. Starters get treated no differently than the fifth-string walk-on. He's able to relate to every player on the team because of that. He knows what a hard upbringing is, because he's been through it. I think that's why I relate to him so well. He also has a Christian faith that you can see. He doesn't press it on guys, but lets you know where he stands with it.

I'll see him this week when I watch the team practice (in Tampa). We always embrace with a hug. With the way my season went this year, he would reach out and make sure I was in good spirits. He's very encouraging. You don't get that from every head coach. And it's not just me. Talk to any other guy.

Before my senior year, coach Swinney put a lot of trust in me. We had a long conversation when I was deciding whether I was going to leave for the draft or come back for my senior year. We both looked at the pros and cons and he said, "C.J., if you come back, you'd better saddle up. Because I'm going to ride you. You're going to be our mule. We'll get you the ball as much as possible." And he was telling the truth, and that year helped me get drafted higher. I had turf toe that year, but we didn't let that slow us down and I kept getting a lot of touches. And he always knew how many touches I had at halftime of every game. The first three years, me and James Davis were a thunder and lightning combination. That last year, coach Swinney said, "C.J., this is your team."

Facing the Tide

I got a chance to see Alabama's program just coming into its own under coach Saban in 2008, when we played them in Atlanta to start the season. We didn't know what to expect. I don't know if we handled being ranked highly very well, and I don't think Alabama was ranked very high, because they weren't a championship program at that time like they are now.

We couldn't get anything going offensively. That was our first true matchup to see how we stacked up as a team, and they got us pretty good. When I was in the game they played us one way, when James (Davis) was in the game, they played it totally different. Really all I want to remember about that game was the kickoff return I had for a touchdown to start the second half. We had a kickoff return earlier in the game and I got tackled on their sideline, and I was maybe five feet away from coach Saban, and I told him, "That was close. If you keep playing with fire, we're going to take one back." He said "We're going to keep kicking it to you."

We made an adjustment at halftime for the kickoff to get a block we needed, and I just found a crease. I used my speed and vision to try to spark us and took it to the house. They were stout up front. You could sense after that game what they were building: a very tough, physical defense, and on the offensive side, a running game that would pound the ball and wear down defenses in the second half.

Scouting Gallman

I'm really excited to see what Wayne Gallman will do in the NFL. I think he's one of the top three backs in the country. He's a physical runner. He's faster than people think and he can catch it out of the backfield, but the biggest thing any rookie has to do is pass protection. And he's put it on tape that he can pass protect.

That's a thing I challenged him on this year -- be physical with blitzers, don't just cut block them all the time. In the league, some coaches like that, but some don't. And at the end of the day, you've got to protect a $20 million quarterback. It was something I had to learn, taking on bigger guys. I was taught some different techniques by different coaches on that. He really changed how he pass protects and it's helped him. I think he's a top-three back, hands down.

Game time

(Saints and former Alabama RB) Mark Ingram and I were talking some trash to each other before last year's Alabama-Clemson game. We were both honorary captains of last year's game, so it was pretty exciting to walk on the field. You would've thought we were both suiting up the way we were acting. I'm pretty sure I'll see him down there, and I'm sure we'll have some kind of (side bet) on it.

It's going to be a fun atmosphere. Two of the best teams in the country going at it one more time. Even though I was an honorary captain, I didn't speak to the team before the game last year. There's not much to say when you reach a game like that -- it's all about execution. That's for coach Swinney. He knows the right things to say, so I don't have to do any of that. It's a big game that can change lives forever, but coach Swinney gets everyone's mind right all week.

As far as the game goes, I think it'll be just like last year -- a very physical game and a very high-scoring game. I think people will write Clemson off because Alabama has a great team and a great defense. I believe Clemson is clicking at the right time and there are some weapons in the offense that weren't there last year, like Mike Williams and Deon Cain. People forget Mike Williams didn't even play last year. Nick Saban is going to do some things to take him away, but Mike's a special talent. And him just being out there can open things up for some other guys to make more plays.

The team came a long way to get back into this game and now they have another chance to finish it. I'm sure coach Saban will have something up his sleeve, but I have Clemson winning it and being national champions. The team that has the fewest turnovers will be the team that wins. If we take care of the ball, I know we'll win. I'll be on the sideline. Come Monday night, I'll be there, jacked up. The atmosphere is so electric. I can't even wait.
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:26 AM
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http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap300...hings-to-watch
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The matchup is set: Clemson will meet Alabama on Jan. 9 in a rematch for the national championship. Here are five things I'm looking forward to seeing in the title game.


1. Deshaun Watson vs. Nick Saban: I was at the title game last year and Watson put on a show against Alabama's ultra-talented defense. This year, the Tide defense is even better, while Watson has added a major weapon in WR Mike Williams, who missed all but the first game of the 2015 season due to a neck injury. I can't wait to see what wrinkles Saban tries to throw at Watson this time.

2. Which DL is better? Both of these teams are loaded with NFL talent in the trenches. Alabama has a little more experience, but Clemson has some big-time underclassmen up front. Can they control the running game and corral a mobile quarterback? Both teams face the same challenge.

3. What does Bo Scarbrough do for an encore? The Alabama passing game left a lot to be desired on Saturday against Washington, but Scarbrough more than made up the slack, rushing for 180 yards and two touchdowns. He has similar traits to Titans rookie and former Tide RB Derrick Henry, but I think Scarbrough is a little more agile. He has my attention.

4. Mike Williams vs. Marlon Humphrey: Humphrey has faced most of the top receivers in the country this fall. He'll get a crack at the top dog in the title game. Williams is built like a power forward and he's fully capable of embarrassing cornerbacks after the catch because of his power to break tackles. This tape will be a must-watch for scouts evaluating these prospects.

5. One more chance to see Jonathan Allen and Reuben Foster: Allen and Foster are two of the better players at their respective positions (Allen: defensive line; Foster: linebacker) that we've seen in the last five years. Both guys are incredibly consistent and dominant. This will be the last opportunity to watch them compete at the collegiate level. I'd look for them to both put on a show for NFL scouts.
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Old 01-08-2017, 03:42 AM
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Clemson...

That is all you need to know.

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Nominated.
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