No. 2 Clemson Beats No. 1 Alabama 44-16 In CFP National Championship For Second Title In 3 Years [VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS]
The win gave Clemson their second title in three years, and marked Alabama’s most lopsided loss in a national championship game since head coach Nick Saban took over the program in 2007.
According to CBS Sports, Clemson is now the first college football team in the polling era — in other words, since 1936 — to end the season 15-0, and the first one to accomplish this feat since Penn did it in 1897.
With their National Championship victory, Clemson becomes the first team in the Poll Era (since 1936) to go 15-0 in a single season. pic.twitter.com/k6VDqy2XxO
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) January 8, 2019
The Tigers finished with 482 offensive yards on Monday, with freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence throwing for a whopping 347 yards.
Clemson previously won a national tile under head coach Dabo Swinney in 2017, when now-Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson led the team to a 35-31 victory over Alabama. Both the Tigers and the Tide finished 14-1 that season.
This year, it was Lawrence and another freshman, wide receiver Justyn Ross, who shone for Clemson: Ross made two incredible catches, including a jaw-dropping, one-handed reception late in the third quarter.
JUSTYN ROSS IS A GROWN MAN pic.twitter.com/658c9uspno
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 8, 2019
The Tigers also got a strong boost from another pair of underclassmen: running back Travis Etienne — the ACC’s leading rusher — and wideout Tee Higgins, (who logged 81 yards and one touchdown against the Tide) both sophomores.
Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa — who was outstanding in the team’s 26-23 overtime victory over Georgia in last year’s CFP national title game — struggled this time around. He threw two interceptions and was tackled seven times for a loss.
Things became so bad for the Tide by the fourth quarter of Monday’s game that Jalen Hurts replaced Tagovailoa, the Heisman Trophy runner-up.
Other signs of Alabama’s poor performance included six penalties and two fumbles. Another interesting fact to note is that the last coach who defeated the Tide by 16 points or more was Saban back when he led LSU’s football program. (crazy, right?)
Monday night’s game was thus clearly evidence of the fall of one powerhouse team and the comeback of another. We can only hope for a closer, less lopsided CFP national championship game in 2020.
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