Jan. 12, 2017
Clemson Dethrones Alabama 35-31
Alabama + Clemson + National Title Rematch = Instant Classic. Two heavyweight teams collided, but only one could come out the champion. Alabama took the crown last year surviving a shootout winning 45 to 40 over the Tigers. This year would be different. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson Served Alabama's defense on a platter last year despite a loss. he accounted for over 400 yards passing and 73 yards rushing.
Both teams came out looking to destroy the opposing teams Quarterback. Alabama received the ball first and could do nothing as they went three and out and lost a yard. Alabama came out on defense looking to send a message to the Clemson Star by blasting him and deliberately taking a roughing the passer penalty which blatantly rattled Watson. That play seemed to stick with Watson for a long time before he finally got himself into a rhythm.
Alabama Took a 14 to 0 lead in the second quarter. Alabama's ground game got going behind Bo Scarbrough who rushed for 2 touchdowns. The Clemson Offense could get nothing going and the deficit felt much larger than 14 to 0. Clemson was able to rally back and score before the half. the score going into the half was 14 to 7. Clemson was still in it but how would the come out to start the second half?
Deshaun Watson might have given himself a confidence boost by running 8 yards for a touchdown to end the first half. He came out a lot more confident and lively in the second half. Clemson was able to score in the third quarter, but Alabama would score 10 in the quarter. Going into the fourth quarter Alabama was up 24 14, but there just seemed to be a different energy entering the fourth quarter than there was the first three.
Going into the fourth quarter Clemson was driving down the field. Clemson was able to score to make it a 24 21 ball game. They would get the ball back and drive down the field to take the lead. Alabama would come right back down the field and steal the lead back. With 2:07 left to play the Crimson Tide were up 31 to 28. Clemson would come out seeming un-rattled and Deshaun Watson and the rest of the Clemson offense would drive back down the field. With 5 seconds left Clemson was at Alabama's two yard line. The ball was Snapped Watson rolled out right and found Hunter Renfrow for the 2 yard touchdown pass. Clemson would go with an onside kick, recover it and win the ball game.
This was Nick Saban's first loss in a National Championship game. Deshaun Watson and the Tigers were able to get revenge from last years loss. Watson finished with over 400 yards passing 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. 4 Clemson receivers had over 90 yards receiving. Dabo Swinney secured Clemson's first national title since the 1980's. The game was arguably one of the best all season. It featured a lot of heightened drama and left plenty of people with their jaws on the floor.