Clemson claims national championship with blowout victory over Alabama
Clemson has won its second national championship in three years after blowing out Alabama in the College Football Playoff title game on Monday night, 44-16.
The Tigers set the tone early in the game, as A.J. Terrell intercepted Tua Tagovailoa and returned it to the end zone to give Clemson an early 7-0 lead. It was the start of what would end up being an onslaught in Santa Clara.
After jumping out to an early lead, Clemson did find itself trailing early in the second quarter, as a Joseph Bulovas 25-yard field goal sailed through the uprights and gave the Tide a 16-14 lead. But that was the last time Nick Saban’s team tasted the lead.
Clemson added two touchdowns — both from Travis Etienne — and a field goal to its total in the second quarter, taking a 31-16 lead into halftime.
On Clemson’s first drive of the second half, Trevor Lawrence connected with Justyn Ross for a 74-yard touchdown pass to give the Tigers a three-touchdown lead in the third quarter. Clemson then added a little more insurance on the next drive, when Lawrence found Tee Higgins in the end zone for another touchdown.
Lawrence finished the day completing 20-of-32 passes for 347 yards and three touchdowns. Travis Etienne had 86 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries while Justyn Ross caught six passes for 153 yards and a touchdown.
Alabama was able to move the football but wasn’t able to turn big drives into points. The Crimson Tide totaled 443 yards of offense but converted on just one of four red zone visits.
Clemson claimed its third national championship in program history with the win. The previous two were won in 1981 and 2016.