With six seconds left in the game, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson rolls out to the right and hits wide receiver Hunter Renfrow on a short out route for a touchdown to win the 2017 College Football National Championship.
In one of the classic championship games following up the classic that took place between the two teams last year, the Clemson Tigers dethroned the undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide to win their second national championship in school history.
This game, much like last year, was an affair that Alabama had control of through the first three quarters, but when the fourth quarter hit, the teams traded blows and took leads back and forth. Unlike last season, where Alabama had the last blow, Clemson came out on top this time around and delivered the final blow on that pass from Watson to Renfrow.
For the game to end up with a score of 35-31 is a true testament to not only the explosiveness of Watson and the Tiger offense, but also to the talent and poise of Alabama true Freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts who had a good game himself.
Although Hurts finished the game 13/31 throwing the ball for 131 yards, as the game wore on, he got better with two key late touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) in the fourth quarter to put his defense in a position to protect the lead. But unlike the season up to this point, the defense couldn’t hold off the opposing offense, and with a couple of huge throws and catches from Watson to receivers Mike Williams and Renfrow for the final score, the Tigers pierced the vaunted Alabama defense one final time in the game and pierced a huge hole in their dream season.
Time after time, each quarterback delivered for their respective teams with big time passes and the ability to use their legs to create yardage and score points as both had a rushing touchdown in the game. It was Watson though, who for a second year in a row, accumulated over 450 yards of total offense and proved why he is the most talented and winningest quarterback in the history of Clemson football.
Watson’s ability to run came into play in a huge way this game as the Crimson Tide defensive rush wore down because of his ability to break containment and the secondary became vulnerable to the mix of big and quick receivers that Clemson lines out wide every play. A series of jump ball catches by Williams and short intermediate catches for first downs and touchdowns by Renfrow put the nail in the coffin for Alabama, who for the first time has been outplayed this season. The Clemson offense ran a total of 98 plays and scored 21 fourth quarter points which showed how their upbeat tempo slowed a defense down who are now for their ability to fly around and hold teams to three and outs.
Amidst all of the media coverage of Lane Kiffin’s departure and ranking Alabama’s defense amongst the greatest of all time, Clemson fell under the radar as many expected Alabama to roll.
They are no longer under the radar, and in fact, they will now always be looked at as one of the greatest teams to play college football accompanied by one of the best perform was in national championship history.
There are not many teams in the history of college football who could have beaten this 2016 Alabama squad, but the Tigers proved that no one is unbeatable and on any given night, anyone can be beaten.
Last night, the best team won, and they deserve all of the credit and praise coming their way.
Did you expect Clemson to beat Alabama for the National Title? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3