Well, college football fans, you couldn’t have hoped for much more excitement from this year’s BCS National Championship. The undefeated Clemson Tigers took on the Alabama Crimson Tide out in Arizona, and what a game it turned out to be!
|The Crimson Tide won an instant classic of a title game.
Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry
kicked off the scoring with a 50-yard touchdown run about halfway through the first quarter. Superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson
responded with a 31-yard wheel route touchdown to Hunter Renfrow
, tying the game at 7. The two connected for another score at the end of the first quarter, with Watson hitting Renfrew in the back of the end zone and Renfrew going to the turf to make a nice grab.
In the second quarter, the Crimson Tide defense picked off Watson and Henry scored again, this time on a one-yard plunge. The game was tied once again, and the show was just getting started! Henry was already over 100 yards rushing as of the second quarter, but he wouldn’t be the only star of the game. Alabama’s senior quarterback Jake Coker
struggled early, taking sacks and not finding open receivers; they went three-and-out with under a minute left in the half, and Watson drove his team into field goal range with seconds to go. There was some controversy, as the clock appeared to continue running after Clemson got a first down in the red zone, and Alabama blocked a field goal attempt. The game went to halftime, with the score tied at 14.
Coker picked his game up in the second half, and so did Alabama’s tight end O.J. Howard
. Howard leaked up the sideline for his first touchdown since 2013–a 53-yarder–and the score was 21-14. Howard was far from done, but we’ll get to that. Greg Huegel
kicked a field goal to close the gap, then Wayne Gallman
caught a pass to get Clemson into the red zone. He came up limping, and would go in and out of the trainer’s room for much of the rest of the game; but he came back in to run it in from a yard out, and give Clemson a 24-21 lead they would take into the fourth quarter. Going into the game, Clemson had won the last 51 games
in which they had started the fourth quarter with a lead!
|Renfrew had a great night, with Clemson’s first two scores.
tied the game with a field goal early in the fourth quarter. And then Alabama recovered an onside kick with 10:34 to go! And then Howard got into the act again, this time with a 51-yard bomb up the seam on a blown coverage! Huegel closed it to 31-27 with another field goal…and Alabama answered in striking fashion. Kenyan Drake
took the ensuing kickoff, and ran it all the way to the house, 95 yards to put the Tide up 38-27 with seven and a half to go. If you thought that was that, it was time to think again. Gallman started catching passes from the backfield and making something from nothing, fueling an impressive drive back to the red zone. Artavis Scott
got into the act, with a 15-yard touchdown pass with 4:40 to go. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, and this thriller of a title game stood at 38-33. The Alabama offense struggled to open their next drive–until Howard caught an innocuous looking pass headed toward the sideline. He turned the corner and took it all the way to the red zone! This reception put him at a whopping 208 receiving yards for the night, and Alabama was poised to try and put the game away. On third and goal, Henry used a third-effort spin move to punch it in from a yard out–and with 1:07 to go, it was 45-33. Alabama fans thought they could relax–but alas, Watson led an electrifying march down the field. He hit tight end Jordan Leggett
from 24 yards out, on a perfectly thrown bullet past outstretched arms…and with 12 seconds left, the game was 45-40. Clemson refused to go away easily! They tried an onside kick to no avail, and after an instant classic, it was time for Coker and Henry and company to celebrate. Howard was rewarded for his breakout performance by winning the Offensive MVP of the game.
|Tight end OJ Howard was the game’s offensive MVP.
Where does this game rank on your list of all-time great national championships? Who was the player of the game? Hit us up @Brackethead on Twitter and tell us what you think. If you really want to show your stuff and win stuff while you support your favorite teams, head to www.gofancheer.com and download the app to Play, Shout and Win!
May the brackets always bust in your favor,
Brackethead & the folks at FanCheer