Tigers win the National Championship with heroics

Congratulations to the Clemson Tigers: 2017 National Champions.  Congratulations to the Alabama Crimson Tide on a phenomenal season in their own right.  It was a hard fought battle between both sides, but ultimately the Crimson Tide ended up victorious.

Bo Scarbrough lead the Alabama offense throughout the first half.  Coming off his monster game against Washington in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Scarbrough lit up the Tiger defense in the first half.  

By halftime, Bo Scarbrough had found the end zone twice.  Once from 25 yards out and the other from 37 yards out.  Scarbrough was also averaging 6.33 yards per carry in the first half.  

Deshaun Watson also scrambled for an 8-yard touchdown run to put Clemson on the board in the 2nd quarter.

At halftime, Alabama lead Clemson 14-7.  Through the first thirty minutes, Clemson outgained Alabama 203-183.  The Tiger defense help Alabama star QB Jalen Hurts to just 40 passing yards in the first half.  Deshaun Watson lead the Clemson offense while throwing for 153 yards in the first half, including a 46 yard bomb to Deon Cain.  On the flip side, Alabama outgained Clemson on the ground 143-50

Adam Griffith got Alabama on the scoreboard first in the second half with a 27 yard field goal.

Deshaun Watson answered with a 24 yard touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow.  Following the strike, Clemson cut the Alabama lead to just 3 with the score at 17-14.  Renfrow was a former walk-on for Clemson and now has 3 touchdown receptions in 2 national championship games for the Tigers.  

Hunter Renfrow's bio from the Clemson media guide

The National Championship was full of big hits.  Example 1: this hit from Minkah Fitzpatrick on Deshaun Watson.

O.J. Howard hauled in a huge 68 yard pass from Jalen Hurts and took it all the way to the end zone.  Howard was also last years National Championship game offensive MVP for his 208 receiving yards on 5 catches.

Mike Williams got the Tigers right back within 3 after hauling in a 4 yard touchdown pass from Watson.  Every time Alabama begins to extend their lead, Clemson has fought right back and cut the lead right back.

Alabama's Bo Scarborough left the game in the third quarter with a leg injury.

Clemson's defense played extremely well throughout the game.  The Crimson Tide punted 11 times on the night.  The previous high under Nick Saban was 10 against Florida State in 2007.

With the Alabama offense struggling, the Tigers had a chance to take advantage and take the lead.  Mike Williams hauled in an unbelievable grab

Another great effort by Deshaun Watson comes up just short of the goal line.

Gallman capped off the Clemson scoring drive with a 1 yard touchdown run to take the lead for the first time in the National Championship.  Following the score, Clemson takes a 28-24 lead over Alabama.

Jalen Hurts answers right back for the Tide with a 30 yard touchdown.  Alabama has retaken the lead at 31-28 and this game has turned into an instant classic.

Clemson turned this into a story for the ages with just 1 second left in the ballgame.  Deshaun Watson found Hunter Renfrow for a 2 yard touchdown to take a 35-31 lead over Alabama.  

For the National Championship, a record 74,512 people were packed inside.  This surpassed the totals from Super Bowls XXXV and XLIII which held 71,921 and 70,774 respectively.  

What an unbelievable end to an unbelivable season of college football.  I'm beyond excited for the 2017 season.

Congrats again to the Clemson TIgers

-Jon Opiela, @jonopiela24