The Year of The Tiger

Clemson Dethrones a Dynasty

Alan McGonigle, Co-Editor

Clemson and Alabama rematched last night in the CFP National Championship in a bowl that was driven by revenge. Last season, it was the same scenario, Clemson and Alabama playing for the national title, except Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide prevailed, with Saban pulling a fifth national championship under his belt, the feat to repeat as national champions looked bright and likely.

Instead of the tide rolling that night, it was tears rolling down the faces of Alabama fans across the country.

But, this night was different and rather magical; it felt too good to be true. Clemson beat Alabama to win the national title. It was a beautiful moment to see Saban’s Crimson Tide leave a championship game without the title.

In the first quarter, Alabama dominated the run game. Alabama’s Bo Scarbrough took a 25-yard run to the house to put the Crimson Tide up with 9:23 left in the opening quarter.

In the second quarter, not much changed. Scarbrough took another run into the end zone to increase the Tide’s margin to 14 points, it looked more and more that Alabama was going to repeat as the national champions. Later in the second, vintage Deshaun Watson broke out and began to dominate on offense, storming up the field with small passes. Then, Watson ran the ball 9 yards to get the Clemson Tigers on the board for their first touchdown of the game.

The first half of the ball game showed which side could hold up defensively, and both sides made their respective cases. Notables include Alabama’s Reuben Foster, who kept piling on hit after hit, constantly giving the Tigers trouble throughout the night. For Clemson, it was Ben Boulware who made aggressive plays that pressured the Tide and avoided them extending the play.

In the second half, both teams became aggressive and desperate to put this game to rest.

The third quarter consisted of Alabama coming within 3 points on a Hunter Renfrow touchdown pass. But, Alabama responded with a 68 yard Jalen Hurts to O.J. Howard connection to bring Alabama’s margin back to 10 points.

The fourth quarter defined both teams, it was clearly a Clemson dominated quarter and Clemson stepped up when the time was right. In the fourth, back to back Clemson touchdown’s gave Clemson their first lead of the night, a four point lead that would not hold long. Alabama QB Jalen Hurts took a thirty yard run into the end zone to give the Tide the lead with 2:07 left on the clock.

It was Deshaun Watson time with a little over two minutes left in the game, and Watson showed why he is the best QB in the nation. The Crimson Tide self-destructed and gave up a touchdown with 1 second left in the game to seal the victory and the national championship for the Clemson Tigers.

This win was Clemson’s second national championship title, and was an immense upset victory against the juggernauts of college football.