Clemson defeats Alabama in the national championship

Sydney Fessler, Staff

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Clemson defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide in the NCAA national championship football game, with a score of 44-16. Many bets were placed for this rivalry game, as both teams had a fair chance of winning.

 

The game started off great for Clemson as Alabama’s quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, threw a pick 6, and it was recovered by Clemson’s A.J. Terrell. Clemson scored the first touchdown of the game. To redeem himself, Tagovailoa threw for a touchdown to tie the score. With 6 minutes left in the first quarter, Alabama’s Damien Harris ran for a touchdown; The call was then overturned, but Tagovailoa threw for a touchdown from the half-yard line. When attempting to make a field goal, Alabama’s kicker Joseph Bulovas was just shy of the post, making the score 14-13 (Clemson). During the end of the first quarter, the Tide struggled with running the ball to make a touchdown, which then resulted in them kicking a field goal. At the end of the first quarter, the score was 16-14 (Alabama).

 

At the start of the second quarter, Alabama failed to shut Clemson down, with Clemson scoring the first touchdown of the quarter. When the Tide got possession of the ball, Tagovailoa threw his second interception of the night. After going for two touchdowns after Alabama’s failed attempts, Clemson led 28-16 with one minute remaining in the second half. The Tide received two flags while playing defense in the last 2 minutes of the quarter. After failing to get a touchdown, Clemson kicked a field goal, causing the score to be 31-16 (Clemson). At the end of the first half, the score remained the same.

 

The third quarter had a rough start for Alabama as their starting quarterback Tagovailoa and the receivers struggled to work together to complete passes. Once the possession switched to the Tigers, Clemson’s Justyn Ross pushed Bama’s Savion Smith down, causing him to injure himself and leave an open way for Ross to run a touchdown. As Alabama coach Nick Saban promised, the Tide’s mistakes will be fixed at halftime. With Tagovailoa on fire, he threw the ball and ended up taking the team to the 20-yard line – but, all promises can’t be kept. His throws soon turned inaccurate due to a shirt grab on an Alabama receiver from a Clemson player – which should have given them extra yards, but it wasn’t caught on time. Eventually, Clemson got the ball back and drove it down. Clemson freshman Trevor Lawrence has really proven that he should start the games. After the touchdown pass by Lawrence, the score was 44-16 (Clemson).

 

The game comes to a close in the fourth quarter as Alabama tried to come back. After running the ball at the one-yard line, the Tide failed, and the possession was switched over to Clemson, with a failed touchdown attempt. With eleven minutes remaining in the game, Alabama put in second-string quarterback Jaylen Hurts. This didn’t impact their performance too much as passes were still incomplete due to Clemson’s defensive line. Clemson kept their possession and ran out the clock. The final score to the game was 44-16 (Clemson).

 

The results of the game shocked many, even Alabama themselves. No one on their side prepared for the fire and the agony to come by Clemson quarterback, Trevor Lawrence. Many thought this would be a close game, but in the long run, Clemson handled the pressure better than Alabama.

 

Alabama’s star Tua Tagovailoa even said, “I just think we came out, and we were killing ourselves. We shot ourselves in the foot by me throwing that interception for a touchdown and then not finishing drives the way we wanted to. Just didn’t go the way we wanted to.”

 

Coach Nick Saban also had input to say, “I think it was a poor decision on my part not to kick the field goal the first drive of the second half. We thought we had a really, really good fake, and somebody didn’t block the guy they were supposed to block, so it didn’t work, so it was a bad call. It’s always that way,”(The Washington Post)

 

Clemson won their first national championship since 1981 in 2017. The following year, Alabama won the 2018 national championship. Clemson got what they wanted, and that was revenge.  These two rivals have been wanting one thing for decades: a national championship title. Just last night, one team got what they wished for; and it was a great and fair play. Alabama and Clemson put whatever they had into that game, and one team fell short. Clemson’s offense and defense led them to a shocking, and big victory.

 

Every football team in the NCAA better be prepared for these teams in the following season, as they are both a threat. According to SBNATION, Alabama and Clemson are favored to be no.1 and no.2 in the next season. Clemson has talented freshman Trevor Lawrence, Justyn Ross, and other star players. They also won’t be losing anyone that could cause chaos since they receive players, and they still have the same coordinator. Alabama, however, will keep star players and will be receiving even more. “Star player” Tua Tagovailoa, will be playing on the same team as his younger brother, Taulia, who is also a quarterback. One of Alabama’s former coaches Bear Bryant’s great-grandson, Paul Tyson, is committed to play for Alabama next season as a quarterback. Be prepared for next season, and hopefully for this match up once more.

 

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