Clemson Stuns Alabama in Blowout National Championship Win


SB Nation

They're G-G-Great: Clemson celebrates a recent win in the national championship against Alabama 45-40.

On Monday, Jan. 7, college football’s final two teams met in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., to decide who would be crowned national champions of the 2018-19 season. The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide faced off the against number two ranked Clemson Tigers for their fourth consecutive postseason matchup since 2016. Both teams had mostly cruised through the regular season, sporting undefeated records. Alabama was a five point favorite and most experts expected them to win. What happened next stunned the whole country.

Under legendary coach Nick Saban, Alabama has never lost a game by more than 14 points. They’ve been a model of dominance ever since Saban first took the job. However, Bama got off to a horrible start right off the bat in the championship when usually brilliant quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown on just the game’s third play. Tagovailoa would throw another interception later in the game, ending up with two interceptions, after having only thrown four the entire season prior to this game. Also, kicker Joseph Bulovas missed an extra point in the first quarter that would have tied the game at 14. Alabama entered this game looking sluggish, and would leave it that way as well. A disastrous fake field goal attempt in the third quarter sums up Alabama’s performance in this game pretty well.

Another notable part of this game was the excellence of true freshman Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence, a 19 year old from Cartersville threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns in the win over the Tide. One of these touchdowns was a 74 yarder to fellow freshman Justyn Ross that put Clemson up 21 and dashed all hopes of an Alabama comeback. Ross had a standout game as well, highlighted by an acrobatic one-handed catch in the third quarter that would have made the likes of Odell Beckham or DeAndre Hopkins jealous. Clemson running back Travis Etienne also had a nice game, rushing for 86 yards and two touchdowns. However it was the Clemson defense, that allowed only 16 points to the top ranked offense in the country and shut down a quarterback who many felt deserved the Heisman trophy, that truly won them this game. Clemson would wind up destroying Alabama 44 to 16, the Tide’s worst loss since 1998. With their freshman quarterback playing like he’s in the NFL right now, and a great coach surrounded by talent, Clemson looks like it could win many more games in the future. For once the Tide did not roll and it was the Tigers who wound up pouncing on the Natty.