How Clemson Won the National Championship, Drive by Drive


Clemson bought the ball first however the Tigers went completely nowhere, gaining Three yards earlier than settling for a punt. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson’s freshman quarterback, threw a pair of incompletions on the drive, along with his try and Hunter Renfrow on Third-and-7 crusing effectively out of the broad receiver’s attain.

Alabama now takes over seeking to get one thing began.

In a stunning flip of occasions, Alabama seemed to be shifting the ball early in its first drive however A.J. Terrell stepped in entrance of Tua Tagovailoa’s third go of the sport, intercepting and returning it 44 yards for a landing.

Earlier than the interception, Tagovailoa had began the sport 2 for two for 20 yards with a picture-perfect 12-yard go to DeVonta Smith that had gotten the Crimson Tide a primary down.

Tua Tagovailoa didn’t present any sick results of his pick-six on the earlier drive, connecting with Jerry Jeudy for an exhilarating 62-yard landing go with almost 50 of it coming within the air on an ideal go from the Heisman Trophy runner-up.

With the extra-point, the sport is now tied 7-7, with only one:15 of clock time elapsing between the 2 scores.

Damien Harris bought the drive began with a Three-yard run after which picked up a primary down with a 10-yard scamper.

With the run established, Tagovailoa dropped again and let one rip to his sophomore broad receiver who had 1,176 yards and 13 touchdowns this season.

In a wild begin to this recreation, Clemson answered Alabama’s rating with a 75-yard drive that took simply 4 performs and 1 minutes 30 seconds, with Travis Etienne punching the ball into the top zone from 17 yards out, operating proper by way of Alabama’s vaunted protection.

The Tigers now lead, 14-7.

Clemson began its second offensive drive with Trevor Lawrence’s third incompletion of the sport. On second down he linked with Justin Ross, however had that completion wiped away by a tripping penalty on John Simpson, an offensive lineman.

An Eight-yard go to Trevion Thompson served as Lawrence’s first official completion of the day, nevertheless it was the follow-up that confirmed how particular Lawrence might be. On Third-and-14, with a punt seeming possible, Lawrence discovered Tee Higgins for a 62-yard catch-and-run that put Alabama squarely on its heels.

On the following play Etienne, who completed seventh in Heisman voting, bought his workforce the lead, speeding to his left and bowling his approach into the top zone.

Najee Harris put Alabama on the purpose line and Tua Tagovailoa executed a pleasant play-action pretend to arrange a 1-yard landing go to Hale Hentges.

Sadly for the Crimson Tide, who’ve struggled with extra-points all season, Joseph Bulovas had his try hit the upright and fall again onto the sphere, which left Alabama trailing 14-13.

Alabama had began its drive with a 7-yard run by Josh Jacobs after which misplaced a yard on a display go to Irv Smith because of a terrific deal with by Okay’von Wallace.

As soon as once more, Tagovailoa responded effectively to strain, along with his third down go to DeVonta Smith connecting for 15 yards and a primary down.

An 11-yard go to DeVonta Smith gave Alabama one other first down and that permit Tagovailoa be aggressive, throwing deep to Irv Smith for a 21-yard acquire.

Alabama gave the ball to Najee Harris, a sophomore who averaged 6.7 yards a carry this season, and let the speedster take them 20 yards on three runs, with the third one initially being dominated a landing earlier than it was decided that he was down on the one-half-yard line.

Tagovailoa then faked a handoff and located Hentges wide-open in the long run zone for the rating.

Marc Tracy: Clemson’s Dabo Swinney ran approach out onto the sphere yelling for a holding name on that 9-yard Alabama run that arrange the landing, after which stored yelling on the sideline decide nearest him. He’s a passionate man however we not often see him that irate.

A drive lastly ended with none scoring.

Trevor Lawrence had his first go of the drive damaged up with a pleasant defensive play, after which Travis Etienne, on a run up the center, was wrapped up by a pack led by Quinnen Williams for a Four-yard loss.

One other go try and Hunter Renfrow fell incomplete and Clemson was compelled to punt.

Simply 42 seconds into the second quarter, Alabama took a 16-14 lead with a 25-yard subject purpose from Joseph Bulovas.

Alabama had began the drive by itself 48-yard line and instantly started choosing up yardage in enormous chunks.

Tua Tagovailoa linked with Jerry Jeudy for a 12-yard reception, Najee Harris raced up the center for 13 yards after which Tagovailoa discovered Jeudy once more, as soon as once more for 12 yards.

Damien Harris ran 3 times for 9 yards, after which on 4th-and-1 from Clemson’s 6-yard line, Alabama rolled the cube by having Joshua Jacobs are available in at operating again. Their high landing scorer on the bottom plowed his approach to the 2-yard line.

Williams then returned, operating it up the center, however was swallowed up on the 1-yard line.

A false-start penalty backed the Crimson Tide as much as the 6-yard line, and whereas Tagovailoa bought them again to the three with a brief go to Henry Ruggs, a shovel go to Williams proved fruitless when Clemson sniffed it out instantly, with Austin Bryant wrapping Williams up for a loss.

That despatched out Bulovas for the sphere purpose try and his kick, which was low and to the suitable, did simply make it by way of the uprights, serving to make up for his failed further level.

Clemson wanted simply six performs to take the lead again, with Travis Etienne operating the ball in from the 1-yard line.

Clemson began the drive by getting a fast 15 yards because of a pass-interference name in opposition to Alabama’s Saivion Smith.

A display go to Tavien Feaster appeared prefer it may go for unfavourable yardage, however Feaster made a number of good strikes after which raced for a 26-yard acquire.

Trevor Lawrence tried to scramble on first down and whereas he bought 1 yard, he paid for it by being wrenched awkwardly to the bottom by his shoulders and head.

Feaster ran the ball for Four yards after which Lawrence recovered properly from the large hit with a 14-yard reference to Tee Higgins.

With a 1st-and-goal from Alabama’s 5-yard line, Etienne bought the Tigers to the 1 with a pleasant second-effort on a run by which he used a second effort to just about energy his approach by way of a crowd and into the top zone.

Etienne’s subsequent run was nowhere close to as dramatic — he ran the ball in with out being touched.

Alabama was rewarded for boldness on a 4th down run, however a deep go by Tua Tagovailoa later within the drive proved too massive of a danger, because the quarterback threw his second interception of the day.

Alabama’s offense had began issues off with three runs by Josh Jacobs for a mixed 9 yards, with the large operating again simply barely falling shy of choosing up a primary down. Regardless of being at their very own 35-yard line, the Crimson Tide went for it on 4th-and-1 and Jacobs fought his approach by way of the road for a Three-yard acquire and a primary down.

Jacobs ran two extra occasions for a mixed 19 yards, and the brand new set of downs might have emboldened Tagovailoa, who threw deep, however effectively past the attain of any of his receivers, with the ball settling simply into Trayvon Mullen’s arms for the interception.

The Tigers took benefit of Tua Tagovailoa’s mistake, marching 47 yards on eight performs, with Travis Etienne scoring a 5-yard landing on a shovel go from Trevor Lawrence, which together with the additional level has Clemson up 28-16.

Clemson began small, with a brief run by Etienne, a number of brief passes from Lawrence to Hunter Renfrow after which a Three-yard go from Lawrence to Tavien Feaster.

Lawrence then opened issues up with a go to a streaking Amari Rodgers, who managed a 26-yard catch-and-run that bought Clemson all the best way to Alabama’s 5-yard line.

A primary-down run by Etienne went nowhere, however Lawrence executed a pleasant pretend, trying like he was dropping again to go earlier than flipping the ball ahead to Etienne who dove into the top zone.

Etienne is as much as three touchdowns (two speeding, one receiving).

Marc Tracy: If this rating holds, Alabama will enter halftime with a 12-point deficit. In final 12 months’s title recreation, they entered halftime with a 13-point deficit — prompting Nick Saban to modify quarterbacks. Might we presumably see that once more?

Clemson had gotten the ball again shortly because of Alabama’s offensive possession being short-circuited on a Third-and-6 play on the Crimson Tide’s 45-yard line by which Clemson’s Trayvon Mullen, who had intercepted Tua Tagovailoa on the earlier drive, raced in on a blitz and sacked Tagovailoa for an 11-yard loss.

That defensive play, by which Mullen punched the ball out of Tagovailoa’s arms — Alabama recovered — resulted within the Crimson Tide punting.

On the ensuing possession, Clemson was nowhere close to as sharp, with Lawrence throwing a pair of ugly incompletions on the finish, however Huegel’s subject purpose stretched their result in 15 factors.

That was not the begin to the second half that the Crimson Tide wished.

After Alabama’s drive stalled out at Clemson’s 22-yard line, the defending champions lined up for a field-goal, however their ruse, by which they tried to run for it on 4th-and-6, went nowhere, because the Tigers had the pretend pegged from the beginning. Clemson swarmed Mac Jones and knocked him backward for a 2-yard loss and a turnover on downs.

Issues are beginning to get ugly for Alabama.

Clemson’s first two performs of the second half went for a mixed 2 yards, however on Third-and-Eight, Trevor Lawrence discovered a wide-open Justyn Ross, who was in a position to lower round a defender earlier than going off to the races for a 74-yard landing reception.

The landing has stretched Clemson’s result in 37-16.

The thrilling landing by Ross was arrange on the line scrimmage when Alabama’s Saivion Smith had tried to jam the broad receiver however instantly hit the turf with an damage. With Ross largely uncovered there was nothing Alabama may do to gradual him down.

Smith needed to be carted off the sphere, which delayed the extra-point try, which Greg Huegel missed.

Alabama’s offense was as soon as once more stopped in its tracks.

The Tide’s drive as soon as once more began a drive with a Najee Harris run, which went for 11 yards, however taking part in with a 21-point deficit the Tide knew they must go and Tua Tagovailoa threw a pleasant ball up the center for a 23-yard acquire by DeVonta Smith.

Harris was knocked again for no acquire on a run, after which Tagovailoa rolled out to seek out the operating again Josh Jacobs for a 16-yard catch in visitors.

A 6-yard go to Jaylen Waddle, and two incompletions (considered one of which appeared to have a missed go interference name) arrange a 4th-and-14 from Clemson’s 14-yard line, and Tagovailoa, beneath heavy strain, tried to run for a primary down however fell simply brief for a turnover on downs.

Clemson’s offense is uncontrolled.

After Trevor Lawrence hit Tee Higgins in the long run zone for a 5-yard rating, the Tigers are up 44-16 with 21 seconds left within the third quarter.

Clemson’s first few performs of the drive had been pretty conservative, however on Third-and-12, Lawrence opened issues up, throwing deep over the shoulder of Justyn Ross for a 37-yard acquire and a primary down.

It briefly appeared like Alabama had recovered a fumble later within the drive, however a assessment by the officers gave the ball again to Clemson with a Third-and-9 from Alabama’s 37-yard line. Lawrence took full benefit, choosing up a primary down with a pleasant 17-yard go to Ross which the receiver pulled in with simply his proper hand earlier than discovering a approach to get a foot down earlier than falling out of bounds.

Travis Etienne pushed the ball all the best way to Alabama’s 9-yard line with a run up the left sideline, however two subsequent runs went nowhere

Undeterred, Lawrence threw an absolute bullet into the top zone to Higgins, stretching his workforce’s lead.

Marc Tracy: They’re taking part in “Candy House, Alabama” whereas a Crimson Tide video spotlight bundle performs within the stadium proper now. Not optimum timing!

Alabama merely doesn’t have what it takes to compete with Clemson at present.

Tua Tagovailoa repeatedly threw aggressively downfield, and he linked with Jerry Jeudy for a powerful 48-yard completion, and the workforce discovered itself within the crimson zone, however they couldn’t do something with it.

A sequence of runs left them with a 4th-and-goal from the 2-yard line and a deliberate run for Tagovailoa was knocked again for a 7-yard loss and a turnover on downs.

After the quarterback hit the turf, Clemson gamers instantly started celebrating on the sphere, understanding they’ve possible clinched a championship regardless of the sport nonetheless having 12 minutes left to play.

John Department: With a lot fear within the Bay Space over whether or not the sport would promote out (it did, officers stated), nobody may have predicted what the stands at Levi’s Stadium would appear like halfway by way of the fourth quarter. Clemson followers, bedecked in orange, didn’t transfer, cheering and anticipating the trophy presentation. However Alabama followers flooded out, having seen sufficient. They left behind a little bit of a camouflaged disguise, as a result of the seats at Levi’s Stadium are crimson, too.


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