The Clemson Tigers may have been picked as the No. 2 underdog in the College Football Playoff final against the No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, but they played like the top dog throughout the game, routing their opponents 44-16 to win their second national title in three seasons.
Clemson is the first team in the Associated Press poll era, dating back to 1936, to finish 15-0.
It was the Crimson Tide’s biggest loss under head coach Nick Saban since he joined the team in 2007.
In front of a sold-out crowd at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California and with a national television audience watching, Clemson wasted no time proving who was in charge.
Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa threw two crucial interceptions in the first half, the first returned 44 yards for a touchdown by A.J. Terrell to put Clemson up 7-0.
The much-hyped shootout turned into a blowout as Clemson led 31-16 at the half.
Alabama couldn’t do anything after halftime as the Tigers went on to score 13 more unanswered points in the third quarter.
“We beat Notre Dame and Alabama. We walk off this field tonight as the first 15-0 team in college football. All of the credit and all of the glory goes to the good Lord number one,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney told EPSN. “Number 2 these young people. When you get a group of people who believe, who sacrifice, who love each other, who are committed to a single purpose — you better look out because great things are going to happen and that’s what you saw tonight.”
“You can’t write a Hollywood script like this. Only God can do this and that’s a fact,” Swinney said. “And people may think I’m crazy or a quack or whatever, but only God can orchestrate this. But I’m just telling you if I can do it, and those Clemson Tigers can do it, anybody can do it if you just have a belief in yourself and what you are doing and you surround yourself with great young people that are passionate about winning.”
Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence who passed for 347 yards and three touchdowns told ESPN: “It’s been an awesome journey. It’s really unbelievable.”