In Glendale, Arizona, the number-two ranked Alabama Crimson Tide faced off against the number-one Clemson Tigers in the second ever College Football Playoffs National Championship game.
To get to this game, Clemson knocked off the number four ranked Iowa and Alabama dealt with number three Oklahoma.
Alabama won the game 45-40 in a spectacular 4th quarter. In that quarter alone, Alabama put up 24 points compared to Clemson’s 16 points. Surprisingly, both teams held onto the football well; Alabama had zero turnovers while Clemson had only one. Clemson had 13 more first downs and the time of possession was nearly even.
Alabama running back Derrick Henry had a spectacular night with over 150 rushing yards and three touchdowns, including a 50 yard rushing touchdown in the opening drive. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson had a spot on game with 405 yards, four touchdowns and only one interception. Alabama quarterback Jay Cocker had a total of 355 yards, two touchdowns and no turnovers.
The game was definitely one for the books.Tthe entire game was close and definitely gained momentum in the 4th quarter, when both teams began to pick up the pace. Sophomore Hays Hooten commented on the game, “I was very nervous the whole game, it was always such a close game but I loved to see Alabama get the title at the end.”
Sophomore Stephen Wilson was not so excited about the outcome.
“I am a diehard Clemson fan so I was very upset about how the game played out. We looked really good the entire time but we just could not finish,” Wilson said.
Without a doubt, the 4th quarter proved to be the most interesting. The action started early in the 4th with a 51 yard TD pass to put Alabama ahead. Clemson settled for a midrange field goal but Alabama returned immediately with a 95 yard kickoff return for a touchdown to really assert their lead. Deshaun Watson led his team down the field for an easy touchdown, but a desperate bid for a two point conversion failed making the score 38-33 Alabama.
With a minute left Derrick Henry scored and Clemson was able to score again too but it was too late. The game was over and Alabama emerged victorious 45-40. This was Alabama’s 4th title in the past seven seasons, truly proving their dominance year in and year out.
Even though Clemson had Alabama in nearly every single statistic, it came down to coaching. Alabama’s coaching staff made some crucial calls that led there team to victory in a spectacular fashion.