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The Cold Hard Truth: On Sports

Clemson Wins First National Title in 35 Years

Clemson Wins First National Title in 35 Years

By James Bell


Raymond James Stadium was a scene of orange and white after 12:30AM as the Clemson Tigers defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide 35 to 31 to win their first national title in 35 years. Deshaun Watson was able to get the game winning touchdown to Hunter Renfrow with one second left on the clock, and then the Tigers recovered an onside kick to seal the win against a team that was trying to repeat as national champions and be the first team in the College Football Playoff era to finish the season undefeated. Clemson came back from a 14-0 deficit in the 2nd quarter to beat the #1 team in the country who had been that since the beginning of the season.

It was almost in doubt for the Tigers as the Crimson Tide drove down the field to score a touchdown to go up 31-28 with a little bit more than 2 minutes left in the game. True freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts was able to get the ball in the end zone with a run to put the Tide ahead and that could have sealed the deal. However, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson had the ball and made plays out there with the addition of big plays by receiver Mike Williams and tight end Jordan Leggett in the final drive. Watson finished the game with 36 completions on 56 attempts for 420 yards and 3 touchdowns. There was a lot of pressure by the talented Alabama defense that got to Watson in the first half, which included a fumble that was recovered by the Tide.

In the second half, Watson was the one who settled down and got to a groove completing 12 of 16 passes to start. At the start of the 4th quarter, the Tigers were near the goal line and they were trailing 24-14. They were able to score a touchdown early and then the defense for Clemson held the Alabama offense by preventing them from converting third downs. After starting the game converting 2 of 3 third down plays, Alabama missed on 11 straight third down attempts to get a first down. By doing that, the Alabama defense was on the field for over 80 plays by the time the game was winding down and that was key as the defensive line was not able to get to Watson like they were in the first half. That ended up being Alabama’s downfall, as Watson was able to make the plays needed to win the game.

Clemson Wins First National Title in 35 Years
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Clemson Wins First National Title in 35 Years

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