The Clemson Tigers were able to avenge last years defeat and dethrone Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide with a 35-31 victory to become National Champions.
Alabama running back, Bo Scarbrough started the game fast giving his team an early with this 25-yard touchdown run with 9 minutes remaining in the first quarter:
Scarbrough later extended the Crimson Tide’s lead with a 37-yard touchdown run with 10 minutes left in the first half. Scarbrough would later leave the game with an apparent leg injury and finished with 16 carries for 93 yards and 2 touchdowns and his absence played a pivotal role in the rest of the game.
Alabama’s quarterback Jalen Hurts struggles throughout the evening and finished the game going 13 of 31 passing for 131 yards and 1 touchdown and his struggles shifted the momentum towards the Tigers. Deshaun Watson was able to cut the lead in half before halftime by caping off an 87-yard drive with an 8-yard touchdown and head into the break with some momentum.
Clemson’s Wayne Gallman fumbled on their own 34-yard line to start the half and Alabama was able to turn that into a field goal to extend their lead to 17-7.
The Tigers had to find a way to get some new life and Hunter Renfrow did just that when he caught a 24-yard touchdown reception to bring the score to 17-14. Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, after having a huge impact on last years National Championship, was reliable again in this game and broke through the Clemson secondary for this 68-yard touchdown reception:
With 14 minutes left in the game, Clemson’s star wide receiver Mike Williams answered back with a 4 yard touchdown reception to bring the Tigers back to within 3 points again. From this point on, Alabama’s offense grounded to a stand still and with Scarbrough unavailable and Hurts struggling, Clemson was able to take advantage. Gallman was able to push it in from a yard out to give the Tigers their first lead of the night with a score of 28-24.
Jalen Hurts then seemingly made up for his forgettable performance and broke loose for an impressive 30-yard touchdown run to put the Tide back on top.
The Tigers then faced the most important drive of their season and Deshaun Watson, who finished the game with 420 passing yards and 3 touchdowns on 36 of 56 passing, led the Clemson offense to a 68-yard drive to set up this game winning touchdown to Hunter Renfrow with 1 second on the clock:
Watson couldn’t have written a better ending to his college career as he enters the NFL draft. Dabo Swinney believed in his players to make the big plays at the right time and let his quarterback lead the way as he proved he is the best player in the country. Deshaun Watson and the Clemson Tigers shocked the world and knocked off the seemingly unbeatable Alabama Crimson Tide in a story book National Championship game.