Deshaun Watson led his teammates on Clemson to a national championship on Monday night when the Tigers defeated Alabama 35-31.
Clemson scored 21 points during a frantic final quarter, and scored with just 1 second remaining to beat Alabama avenging last year’s 45-40 loss to the Crimson Tide in the national championship game.
It was the first time that any team has beaten Alabama in a national title game since Nick Saban took over as the Tide’s head coach 10 seasons ago.
The title was the first for Clemson in 35 years. The win by Clemson denied Alabama winning its unprecedented fifth national championship in the past eight seasons.
Dabo Swinney the head coach for Clemson called the game one of the greatest of all time and few would argue.
Swinney said his team’s win was not an upset, even though odds makers had his Tigers as 6-point underdogs entering the game.
During the fourth quarter alone, the lead changed hands on three occasions, but Watson and his Tigers offensive unit were able to have the ball last and that was the difference.
Watson ended the game with 420 yards passing and 3 touchdowns. In his two career games versus Alabama, Watson passed for 825 yards and rushed or passed for a combined 8 touchdowns.
Entering the fourth quarter, Alabama led 24-14. However, Clemson scored one minute into the final quarter to cut the lead to 24-21.
Clemson then took its first lead of the game 28-24 with just 4:38 remaining on the clock.
The offense for Alabama, which went dormant most of the third and fourth quarters, came up big in its final drive. The Tide scored with just over two minutes remaining to take the lead 31-28.
Watson then marched his team down the field and threw the winning touchdown pass with just 1 second left on the clock breaking the hearts of Alabama fans and sending Clemson supporters into a frenzy.
Alabama had been 4-0 in its national championship games since Saban became head coach and was 106-6 in games after leading at the half. The Tide was also 96-0 when holding a lead of double digits at the start of the fourth quarter.
However, those odds that on paper look nearly insurmountable were overcome by the Tigers to win the national championship Monday night.