By Benjamin Rodriguez
On Monday January 11, the Alabama Crimson Tide took on the Clemson Tigers in the second annual College Football Playoff National Championship. The number one-ranked Tigers, lead by dual threat quarterback Deshaun Watson, were the seven point underdogs, despite finishing the season with a number one ranking. The seven point favorite, Alabama, lead by their Heisman winning running back Derrick Henry, came into the game ranked number two.
Alabama struck first, scoring on a fifty yard rush by Derrick Henry; the first of three by Henry on the day. The quarter ended 14-7 Clemson, after two Watson touchdown passes to Hunter Renfrow.
The second quarter was a slow, low scoring quarter. The only score of the quarter was a one yard touchdown run by Alabama’s Derrick Henry.
The third quarter scoring started on a 53 yard touchdown pass from Jake Coker to O.J Howard, putting the Crimson Tide up 21-14. Clemson answered with a 37 yard field goal by kicker Greg Huegel making the score 21-17 Alabama. Clemson then took the lead 24-21, on a one yard touchdown run by Wayne Gallman.
The fourth quarter scoring started with an Alabama field goal tying the game up at 24-24. Once again Alabama scored. This time on a 51 yard touchdown pass from Jake Coker to O.J Howard, putting the Crimson Tide up 31-24. Clemson then got their first fourth quarter points on a 31 yard field goal, making the score 31-27. However, the Tide kept rolling. On the kick off Kenyan Drake ran 95 yards for a touchdown extending the Tide lead to 38-27. Clemson, looked down for the count, but the Tigers were not giving up. Deshaun Watson threw a 15 yard touchdown pass to Artavis Scott making the score 38 -33; followed by a missed two point conversion. But the Clemson defense could not catch a break giving up another touchdown to Derrick Henry on a one yard touchdown run putting the Tide up 45-33. The Tigers would not give up scoring in the last 30 seconds of the game making the final score 45-40.
This title win gave Alabama four titles in seven seasons. The only other team to do the same was the 1943-1949 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The players who received the award honors were Alabama’s O.J. Howard and Eddie Jackson. Howard won the offensive player of the game racking up 208 receiving yards on just 5 receptions, also adding two touchdowns to that total. Eddie Jackson won defensive player of the game with only three tackles, but had a key interception in the game.