Clemson Surges Back And Upsets Alabama In The National Championship
Well, at first it looked like the Crimson Tide had control of the National Championship Game in Tampa Bay Monday night. Alabama had a controlling 14-7 lead at the half, and the Tide defense making Clemson QB DeShaun Watson look uncomfortable, the Tide looked like they had a small handle on the Tigers. Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough had two huge touchdown runs in the first half (25 yd TD, 37 yd TD) before he exited the game during the fourth quarter with an right knee injury. Scarborough had 93 yards and two touchdowns.
If you watched Alabama freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts play Monday night you saw a poised eighteen year old kid making some smart plays but if you look at his stats this game was one of his worst statistically. Hurts went 13-31,131 yards, and 1 touchdown also ran for 63 yards and a touchdown. Did Bama suffer from Lane Kiffin leaving the program a game early for his new head coaching gig at FAU? Well, you could say that but, new OC Steve Sarkisian had the Alabama offense looking like its usual self even with a trick play late in the game, wide out Ardarius Stewert threw a twenty four yard pass to tight end OJ Howard, Bama had a great game running ball with 221 yards on the ground.
When did the game turn around to give Clemson a chance to comeback? Clemson showed some swagger at the end of the third quarter with a quick passing touchdown from Watson to Mike Williams a minute into the fourth to make it 24-21. Clemson then forced Alabama to punt and then capped the next drive with a one yard touchdown run by Wayne Gallman to put Clemson up 28-24. Then, Jalen Hurts said "Not so fast my friend" (probably) with a 30 yard touchdown run to go up 31-28. Thats when Deshaun Watson and Mike Williams, who had 8 catches for 94 yards and a TD, started making some magic. Clemson drove down the field 66 yards on 8 plays to get down at the 2 yard line thanks to a few rare Alabama penalties inside the twenty-five yard line. With six seconds left on the clock and Clemson had one timeout left with the ball on the two yard line, Watson gets the ball out of the gun,rolls out of the pockets to a wide open Devin Renfroe in the front corner of the end zone to beat the "Mighty" Alabama and become the 2017 College Football Champions.
I'm not sure if I am crossing the line but this game was the best National Championship game since the 2006 Rose Bowl between Texas and USC. If you look at both of those games the winning team had a great quarterback lead their team against "The Greatest Team Of The Decade" and won on the final few seconds to upset the defending champions. Well, lets hope next year is just as good as this one.