Alabama running back Damien Harris (34) carries as offensive lineman Jedrick Wills Jr. (74) blocks Clemson defensive end Austin Bryant (7) in the first half of the Sugar Bowl. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)

Alabama clearly emphasized getting the ball to the tailbacks early in the Sugar Bowl, especially Damien Harris.

Four tailbacks combined for 25 touches to help stake the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide to a 10-3 halftime lead over No. 1 Clemson.

Harris, Bo Scarbrough and Josh Jacobs had just six carries apiece in the Crimson Tide’s 26-14 loss to Auburn in the regular-season finale.

Harris was certainly a bigger factor in the gameplan in the Sugar Bowl against Clemson. He had eight runs in the first quarter and carried 12 times for 55 yards by halftime. Scarbrough ran seven times. All three and freshman Najee Harris also had catches in the half.

Damien Harris has been one of the Southeastern Conference’s most effective backs, averaging 8.2 yards on just 110 carries. That’s the fourth-highest average nationally.

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