© Matthew Emmons - USA Today Sports

Clemson Rolls Alabama 44-16 in College Football Championship

January 08, 2019 - 7:51 am
Categories: 

By Joe Schiller

If there’s been one weakness to Nick Saban’s incredible coaching career at the University of Alabama, it’s Dabo Swinney.

What many considered to be an unbeatable Crimson Tide team – potentially one of the best in college football history – met their match against a familiar opponent on Monday night in Santa Clara.

True freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns, Travis Etienne found the end zone three times and Clemson’s defense smothered Tua Tagovailoa and the Crimson Tide en route to a 44-16 win.

The Tigers captured their second title in three years.

Through the first quarter, the game had the makings of a shootout. Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell capitalized on a rare mistake from Tagovailoa and took the sophomore quarterback’s pass 44 yards the opposite way for a pick-six, jumping Clemson out to an early 7-0 lead.

But the Tide would answer only three plays later.

Tagovailoa unleashed a 62-yard strike to Jerry Jeudy – a throw that will have many NFL scouts labeling him as the top quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Etienne scored from 17 yards out, Tagovailoa tossed a 1-yard touchdown, and Clemson took a slim 14-13 lead following a thrilling first quarter.

Joseph Bulovas tacked on a 25-yard field goal early in the second quarter but it would be the only points Alabama would score the rest of the game. Despite losing in time of possession, Swinney’s team dominated the final three quarters.

Clemson scored 30 unanswered points and their young talent shined on the biggest stage.

Lawrence, who took over early in the season for Kelly Bryant, linked up with Etienne (Sophomore), Justyn Ross (True Freshman) and Tee Higgins (Sophomore) in the second half.

The 5-star quarterback out of Cartersville, Georgia never let the moment shine too big. And less than one year after graduating high school, he lifted up the College Football National Championship trophy in front of millions of people.

Swinney and the Tigers are beginning to cement their own legacy as a college football dynasty. With the talent they have returning next season, Clemson will be considered a favorite to hoist the trophy yet again in 2019.