Clemson reigns with dramatic CFP championship over Alabama
The National Championship game promised to be a good one as the Alabama Crimson Tide (14-1) and the Clemson Tigers (14-1) went head to head in a rematch of last year’s national championship, where Alabama outlasted Clemson 45-40. This year, however the tables turned, and it was Clemson who ended up on top, 35-31.
During the first half, it looked like it would be all Alabama. Though the Tide only scored a touchdown in the first quarter, they looked stronger than the Clemson offense. Both defenses held each other off of the scoreboard for most of the half. Clemson finally got on the board with six minutes to go in the half, and it ended 14-7 with Alabama leading.
In the second half, the Clemson defense kept Alabama’s first possession to a field goal, and their next offensive possession scored a touchdown off pass from Deshaun Watson to Hunter Renfrow. The Tide scored after with a huge 68 yard pass to O.J. Howard, officially ending the third quarter 24-14.
The Tigers won the game in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Tide 21-7 and outplaying the Tide in the final minutes of the game. In the first minute of the quarter, Clemson scored a four yard touchdown pass from Watson to Mike Williams. After a ten minute scoring drought, Clemson scored another touchdown to take the lead. Alabama answered two minutes later with a 30 yard run from their quarterback Jalen Hurts, making it 31-28 with two minutes to go. But it would be Clemson in the final second of the game, to score the winning touchdown with a pass from Watson to Hunter Renfrow.
Watson threw for 428 yards, threw for three touchdowns, and ran one in himself, was awarded the game’s Offensive MVP. While Ben Boulware, the Tigers’ linebacker and emotional leader of the team, won the Defensive MVP.
This is Clemson’s first national championship since 1981.