This was Alabama's first Sugar Bowl win of the Nick Saban era. This was also their first win in a Sugar bowl since 1993 against Miami. The Tide had lost games in the 2008–2009, 2013–2014, and 2014–2015 football/bowl seasons. This was also the first win for the Southeastern Conference in the Sugar Bowl since 2010 (Ole Miss has to vacate a win over Oklahoma State), including losses to Louisville, Oklahoma (twice) and Ohio State (twice).
The Crimson Tide immediately took a 10–3 lead at halftime. Alex Spence was the only player to score for the Clemson Tigers with just two field goals. Alabama's defense was a huge factor in the game holding the Tigers to only six points. This matchup was a rematch of the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship in which the Tigers won with quarterbackDeshaun Watson leading the team as the game's MVP. The Tigers were not able to perform without Watson and with Kelly Bryant.