Clemson defeats Alabama in National Championship rematch

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Clemson defeats Alabama in National Championship rematch

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Andrew Menke, Sports Editor

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The Clemson Tigers beat the Alabama Crimson Tide 35-31 on January 9 in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Clemson quarterback, Deshaun Watson, led the way for the Tigers with 463 yards of total offense and four touchdowns, the last which came with one second remaining to win the game.

After beating Clemson 45-40 in last year’s National Championship game, Alabama looked to defend their title despite losing many of their starters to the NFL. They have refilled their lineup with blue chip freshmen and players that have stepped up to continue the Tide’s domination over the rest of the NCAA.  However, the much improved Clemson team has retained much of their talent from last season and had their mind on dethroning Alabama from their pedestal with a high powered offense and solid defense.  

Both teams took similar paths to the championship game, staying close to the top of the rankings the entire season while easily leading their respective divisions.

Alabama earned the number one seed in this years College Football Playoff, and faced off against number four seed Washington in the Peach Bowl.  After a sloppy start, Alabama’s defense salvaged the game to beat the Huskies 24-7 despite freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts throwing for only 57 yards.

The number two seed, Clemson, faced number three seed, Ohio State, in the Fiesta Bowl, rolling over the Buckeyes with a 31-0 victory.  

In the end, Clemson overcame a slow start to beat the Tide, holding them to only 131 yards passing. The Tigers, however, put on a passing clinic, and wide receiver Mike Williams made crucial catches throughout the game to put his team in scoring territory. The win boosted Clemson’s overall record to 14-1, and dropped Alabama to 14-1, earning them the first and second rankings, respectively.  This was Clemson’s first National Championship victory since 1981.