The National Championship rematch between Alabama and Clemson was just as fraught and close as 2016's all-time classic, but unlike last year, it ended with Alabama getting their hearts ripped out and Clemson wining their first title since 1981.
Deshaun Watson and Clemson drove 68 yards in just over two minutes to score the game-winning touchdown with just one second left, on a short pass to a wide-open Hunter Renfrow.
Clemson got off to a jittery start, turning it over twice and conceding two easy Bo Scarbrough touchdown runs before Deshaun Watson managed to punch in Clemson’s opening score with six minutes left in the second quarter. Clemson kept getting pressure in Jalen Hurts’s face, but Alabama kept grinding their front seven into dust with Scarborough.
Watson and Wayne Gallman eventually wore down Alabama’s defense, and they took a 28-24 lead with under five minutes remaining. It was Alabama’s first fourth-quarter deficit of the season, but they roared back and went 54 yards on two plays to score what looked like the clincher.
But Alabama scored so quickly that Watson had plenty of time to work, and Clemson put together a very efficient drive, with Watson going 6-for-7 and the team only ending up in a third down once.
As for Nick Saban, at least he can get back to recruiting.