For the second time in as many years, the NCAA Championship game featured two football powerhouse teams: University of Alabama and Clemson University.
After Alabama won the championship last season, it was Clemson’s turn to hoist the trophy. The national championship was the first for Clemson since 1981. The Tigers won the game with a final score of 35–31.
With the drama of the game and the tenacity by both teams, this game is already being discussed as one of the greatest games of the last decade. The star of the game was Clemson’s senior quarterback Deshaun Watson, a man of many talents on the football field.
Watson spent this season as a Heisman Trophy hopeful and the potential top pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. It was a matchup of star players on both sides for the first half of the game.
At the end of the first quarter, Alabama led 7–0 with the touchdown coming from redshirt sophomore running back Bo Scarbrough.
The Crimson Tide shot out to a 14–0 lead in the second quarter of the game after another touchdown run by Scarbrough, this time for 37 yards.
Before the end of the quarter, Clemson was able to get on the board with a touchdown run by Watson. In the third quarter, the game began its slow turn to legendary status.
It was in the third quarter that disaster struck for the Crimson Tide. On a five yard run, Scarbrough suffered a broken leg, ending his game and his season.
After an Alabama field goal, it was a touchdown pass from Watson to walk-on Hunter Renfrow that brought the game to a one-score difference.
In last season’s championship game, Renfrow made a name for himself, catching two touchdowns before the team fell to Alabama. Back on offense, Alabama broke out another of their big name weapons.
Tight end O.J. Howard is one of the best players in the country at his position and a likely first-round pick in the draft. The final score of the third quarter was a 68-yard touchdown reception by Howard.
The score was now 24–14 in favor of Alabama heading into the fourth quarter. Back-to-back touchdowns by Clemson superstar receiver Mike Williams and running back Wayne Gallman gave Clemson their first lead of the game with under five minutes left.
It only took two and a half minutes for Alabama to mount a touchdown drive of their own, eventually executing a 30-yard run by freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts.
The remaining two minutes were all Watson needed to march his team down into the red zone with seconds on the clock. From the two-yard line with six seconds on the clock, Watson rolled to his right and threw the championship-winning touchdown to Renfrow, his second of the game.
Watson finished the game with 420 passing yards and three touchdowns being named MVP along with senior linebacker Ben Boulware.
One of the most memorable games in years has brought a national championship back to the state of South Carolina.