In a re-match from last year’s national championship game Clemson got it’s revenge and beat Alabama 35-31, clinching the win and taking the lead with one second left on the clock. The Tigers, down early, came back to win their first national championship since 1981.
SportsGurus share their excitement for Clemson and the two-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow that sealed the victory.
It was all Alabama in the first quarter and in the second, the Crimson Tide were up 14-0 before Clemson got on the scoreboard. Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson led the Tigers with 420 passing yards, 43 rushing yards and four total touchdowns. Watson was 36-of-56 and no interceptions. He was calm and collected, he made great reads being patient when he needed to, did not to get caught by Tide pass rushers, and chipped away at Alabama’s lead until the Tigers finally led with 4:38 remaining in the game.
Alabama, too seasoned to panic, ran a play that had teammates switch positions. Freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts made a backward pass to Tide wide receiver ArDarius Stewart who made a 24-yard pass to O.J. Howard. Stewart was 1-of-1 for the evening.
Hurts went 13-of-31 for 131 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Hurts had trouble connecting on his looks downfield.
The more experienced quarterback walked away with the victory in the 2017 national championship as was the case in the 2016 national championship. Former Alabama quarterback Jake Coker was a senior when he led Alabama to the national title, and Watson was just a sophomore. Coker went undrafted in the 2016 NFL draft and signed with the Arizona Cardinals, he is currently a free agent.
It’s not all on the quarterback, things could have been different if Bama sophomore running back Bo Scarbrough hadn’t been injured and forced to leave the game in the third quarter. Before he left he ran for 93 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. According to Bleacher Report Scarbrough suffered a fracture to his right lower leg, but he won’t require surgery and is expected to make a full recovery. Charlie Potter from BamaOnline confirmed that Scarbrough broke his fibula.
The two teams matched up January 2016 for the championship game and the Tide beat the Tigers 45-40. This was Nick Saban’s first loss in a college football championship game and his first loss in any SEC, BCS or CFP since the 2008 SEC championship game.