Unfortunately the season is over. But we got a great game to end it. Clemson never gave up and Alabama used a couple huge plays to gain the edge. What a season of college football it has been. Let’s take a look back at the final game of the season.
Alabama 45 Clemson 40:
Both teams did enough on offense to win this game, but Alabama’s onside kick recovery in the fourth quarter changed the game.
Both teams started the game with punts, but Alabama’s second drive got the scoring going. Derrick Henry accounted for all three plays, the third going 50 yards for a score. Clemson and Deshaun Watson answered with a 31-yard strike to Hunter Renfrow. Alabama’s next drive lasted 3 minutes, but ended in a missed 44-yard FG while Clemson’s next drive ended up with another TD pass from Watson to Renfrow as the first quarter expired.
Alabama punted on their first drive of the second quarter but Eddie Jackson picked off Watson and the Tide was able to string together a drive that ended in another Henry TD to tie the game at 14. Neither offense could get going for the rest of the quarter and the two traded punts and Clemson’s Greg Huegel had a 44-yard FG blocked with 5 seconds remaining in the half.
Clemson got the ball to start the second half but had to punt. Once again, Alabama needed just 3 plays to score. This time Jake Coker hit OJ Howard for a 53-yard TD. Clemson answered with a field goal, then forced ‘Bama into a 3-and-out. Clemson then drove 60 yards in 9 plays capped by a 1-yard TD run by Wayne Gallman. Each team punted twice to end the 3rd quarter and start the 4th.
With 10:34 remaining, Alabama hit a FG to tie the game. This drive was saved by an amazing 38-yard throw and catch from Jake Coker to ArDarius Stewart. What followed was a perfectly executed onside kick that Marlon Humphrey caught for the Tide. On the second play after recovering the kick, Coker and Howard connected again, this time for a 51-yard score to take the lead back. Clemson hit another FG to get within 5 points. Then Kenyan Drake ran back a kick 95 yards for a TD to give Alabama the 11-point lead. Clemson then drove 75 yards in 8 plays for another TD, this time a pass from Watson to Artavis Scott but were unable to get the two-point conversion. Next came the biggest drive of the game for Alabama. They also went 75 yards in 8 plays in 3:33. Derrick Henry reached to extend the ball over the goal line. But before that OJ Howard had another big catch, this one for 63 yards. Henry’s TD turned out to be extremely important because Clemson was able to score one more time. The Tigers drove 68 yards in 6 plays and 55 seconds and Deshaun Watson hit Jordan Leggett for a 24-yard TD with 12 seconds left to make it a 5-point game. The ensuing onside kick went out of bounds meaning all Alabama had to do was take a knee to win.
Jake Coker ended up going 16/25 for 335 yards and 2TDs. OJ Howard ended up for 5 catches for 208 yards and 2TDs and Derrick Henry carried the ball 36 times for 158 yards and 3TDs. Deshaun Watson was 30/47 for 405 yards, 4TDs, and an INT. Wayne Gallman rushed for a TD, Hunter Renfrow had 2 TD receptions, and Jordan Leggett and Artavis Scott each caught TDs as well. Kicker Greg Huegel was 2/3 on FGs for the Tigers.
With this win, Alabama lifted the National Championship trophy 4 of the last 7 seasons and has given the SEC 8 of the last 10 years.
This has been an amazing season of college football and it ended with one of the best games of the season. Thank you so much for reading my blog!