ALABAMA CLAIMS FOURTH NATIONAL TITLE IN SEVEN SEASONS
They “brought their own guts,” as their head coach likes to say, but Clemson University’s national championship dreams came up just short.
Still, Clemson and Alabama staged a college football classic before a sold-out University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona – fighting down to the wire for the second trophy of the NCAA Division I-A playoff era.
Head coach Dabo Swinney‘s Tigers – seeking to become the first 15-0 team in major college football history – were undone by their own special teams’ miscues in the fourth quarter of this thrilling national title tilt. As a result, the program’s 17-game winning streak came to an end – as did its streak of 51 straight victories when taking a lead into the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile Alabama (14-1, 7-1 SEC) claimed its fourth national championship in seven years under head coach Nick Saban – who had to roll the dice to pull out this win. And who then cracked a rare sideline smile when his big gamble paid off …
Clemson (14-1, 8-0 ACC) appeared to be en route to its second national championship – leading the Crimson Tide 24-21 as the third stanza drew to a close. Alabama quarterback Jake Coker was clearly rattled by the Tigers’ punishing pass rush – and the Tide’s Heisman Trophy-winning running back Derrick Henry had been effectively bottled up during the second half by Clemson’s stultifying rushing defense.
On its previous three drives, Alabama’s offense had managed just 26 yards.
But facing a critical third-and-eleven with 11:35 left to play from its own 44-yard-line, Coker – under heavy pressure – heaved up a prayer down the right sideline. The ball was miraculously caught by a twisting, turning ArDarius Stewart – a thirty-eight yard reception that gave coordinator Lane Kiffin‘s squad the yardage it needed to kick a game-tying field goal.
What happened next will haunt Tiger fans for years to come …
Recognizing a vulnerability in the Tigers’ kickoff return coverage, Alabama called for an onside kick – one that was perfectly executed by placekicker Adam Griffith. Two plays later, the much-maligned Coker hit tight end O.J. Howard for a go-ahead 51-yard scoring strike.
Here’s the sequence …
(Click to play)
“The onside kick was huge,” Saban said after the game. “It was a great kick by Griff. I think that changed the momentum of the game.”
Clemson gathered its composure and answered the Tide touchdown with a field goal drive – cutting the Alabama margin to 31-27 – but then special teams’ disaster struck again for the Tigers. Senior running back Kenyon Drake took the ensuing kickoff and ran it back ninety-six yards for a touchdown – covering the last five years with a diving leap past Tigers’ safety T.J. Green.
Take a look …
(Click to play)
Now trailing 38-27, Clemson showed its resolve once again. Quarterback Deshaun Watson – who carried his team on his shoulders all night – led the Tigers down the field on an eight-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Artavis Scott.
Watson came up two yards short on the two-point conversion attempt, but his heroics cut the lead to 38-33 with 4:40 remaining.
Now all Clemson needed was a stop …
Unfortunately for Tiger fans, they didn’t get it. Instead, Coker hit Scott for a 63-yard strike that set up the Crimson Tide with a first down at the Clemson fourteen-yard line. Three plays later Coker – not known for his mobility – picked up a gutsy first down on the ground (enabling Kiffen’s offense to run precious seconds off of the clock). With just over a minute left Henry scored his third touchdown of the night to give Alabama a 45-33 advantage.
Still refusing to quit, Watson again marched Clemson down the field for another answering touchdown – but by the time the Tigers struck pay dirt only twelve seconds remained on the clock. Once Clemson’s own onside kick attempt sailed out of bounds – the celebration was on in Tuscaloosa.
Watson played a spectacular game – completing 30 of 47 passes for 405 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for 73 yards on 20 carries. Coker completed 16 of 25 passes for 335 yards and two touchdowns. His top target? Howard, who caught five passes for a career-high 208 yards and two touchdowns.
Henry finished with 158 yards on 36 carries – becoming the first running back in SEC history to eclipse the 2,000-yard mark in a season.
we want danny back
lol…he had the best player on the field and couldn’t coach a lick….DAT A BOY!!!
he gone. dabo that is.
“he gone”, at least you speak like an Alabama blue gum.
To the insane asylum?
i busted out my 81 nat’l championship tee for this. i couldnt fit in it then.
at least they covered
Dumbo Swhiney will whine!
Says a 3-9 fairweather fan… and they’re already talking “wait ’til next year”. I don’t think fans of a team who didn’t even make a 3rd tier bowl game have much to crow about, The two best teams in the country were on the field tonight, and the losers were sitting at home on their couches.
I have been hearing “Wait ’til next year” every year since 1981 from Clemson fans. Its actually a motto for them after they pull a Clemson. #Clemsoning.
If Clemsoning means playing for a national title, then I’m all for it.
On a side note, winners celebrate their accomplishments. Losers chastise their rival taking silver instead of gold. Gamecock football can only dream of doing what we did this year.
Right now the Gamecock basketball teams are having a fantastic season. Winners would focus on that. Do you think that Kentucky cares that they are the whipping boy of SEC football?
“On a side note, winners celebrate their accomplishments. Losers chastise their rival taking silver instead of gold”
Like the idiots that laughed when Arizona won in the CWS? It was in fact after 2 straight years of being champions while idiot Tater fans tried to deflect much like you are doing now. I’m sure you were the 1st person to say good job to USC when the won right? Hypocrites like you suck ass. And not one person in the country not in tater nation thinks clemsoning means anything other than having such high hopes and failing year after year
Ok, I’ll bite. Actually, Clemsoning means losing to someone you were not supposed to inexplicably. Might help if you knew the actual definition of the words you are using.
We all know college football is king, especially in the south. College basketball is secondary, but still huge. In some parts of the country, college hoops is king.
College baseball, ehh… not so much. Here’s the whole argument: Baseball as a whole is on the decline in this country. I mean, college baseball is a very narrow in the scope of its fan base. What I’m saying is: not a whole lot of people care about baseball, especially college baseball. I include myself in that demographic. However, I challenge you to find a college baseball fan in this state prior to 2009. Perhaps the 2 CWS wins (congrats on that btw) kick started the whole college baseball fan base in SC. I won’t even mention the B word.
A similar example is: Clemson had a damn good soccer team this past season. Did it get much press? No. I bet you didn’t even know that they were in the finals. You know why? Because no one really cares about soccer in this state. Can you wrap your mind around this concept? I know it’s really difficult for someone of your mental capacity.
Side note: You don’t have to quote me when replying to me. I know what I typed.
Actually I am from this state and have been a fan of SC baseball since June Raines was the coach and took or team to the finals back then. Im 54 years old and remember years when teams like Wichita St would win the whole thing and the very next year come to Sarge Fry field and lose to USC. We have always had a good program and many fans. By the way June Raines got USC to the finals twice on his own sorry I am blanking on the exact years but it was the mid 70’s We also played Texas in the finals when we had Steve Pierce at third coached by Tanner. I think it was 2002 or 2003 but Im not stopping to research the exact year but I promise it was one of those two. You also know we have had the nations #1 player in 2000 with Kip Bouknight (Clemson also did with Kahil Greens but only true baseball fans would know shit like that, So I guess I am one even though you claim no one was before the back to back run. All of my family and friends have all been fans and again went to many games and guess what the stadium was sold out a hell of lot of times so there are and have been many fans for many years since you dared me to find a fan pre-2009, but I guess we choose to see only what we want. Yes I know Clemson was in the soccer finals (by the was SC made it to the finals once too). The reason I didn’t hear much about Clemson soccer is to hell with Clemson soccer and I didn’t want to hear about it. It has nothing to do with no fans as they have a stadium and fans go to those game just as the do USC’s. You may not but that doesn’t mean no one likes it, I didn’t care about the finals in soccer this year because it was fucking Clemson. I understand your tiny brain cant handle the concept that other people might care about things you don’t.
And for the record the Jesse Palmer reference to #Clemsoning I was talking about was exactly what I said it was as he said it on live TV. “Constantly having high expectations and not living up to them”, but you said it is losing to a lower ranked team. I seem to remember Clemson was #1 going into the last game so in reality every other team was ranked lower and by losing to even mighty Alabama you still lost to a lower ranked team and in fact pulled a Clemson. But thanks for helping to prove that, I know you didn’t mean to as it would have taken you knowing what you were doing and we all know that isn’t going happen.
Ok, old man you’re clearly senile. Bama was favored in that game by 7 but continue to spout whatever rhetoric that fits your argument.
And dude… when you Jessie Palmer as a reference, you lose. #Citadel
Bama was favored, but I keep hearing Clemson jackasses say Clemson was #1. If they are #1 they must be the better team right, or else why would they be #1.
How the fuck are you going to rank an undefeated team below a 1 loss team you retarded geriatric limp dick bastard.
Enjoy being a dumpster fire this coming season. Clemson is going to absolutely ass rape your team in DV in November.
1st That’s no way to speak to your father, your mother had no trouble getting it up for me. 2nd So you are saying Clemson should not have been the #1. 3rd I thank you for, wait what was it you said losers do ? ….” Losers chastise their rival taking silver instead of gold” So what you mean is losers laugh when the other team doesn’t do well and then say its going to be a ‘dumpster fire” sounds like you just called yourself a loser. Sonny I hope your mom raised you better than that while I was gone.
1) That’s so funny the last time I heard that I laughed so hard I fell off my dinosaur. Figured you old guys would have a better repertoire of insults and comebacks since you’ve seen/heard more.
2) Your reading comprehension sucks. Have your hospice nurse read it to you and explain.
3) No, I’m laughing at the fact that a fan of a 3-9 team is talking shit. The same team that the friggin’ FCS Citadel took to the woodshed. And it’s as if you’re in loser denial. You think Muschamp is going to get it done when 2 legends couldn’t? Gimme a friggin break.
Mark this down, if you live long enough to see it: In 2016 the Gamecocks will be 5-7 at best, more likely 4-8.
Proud of my alma mater. The best team in this state has been and always will be Clemson. Just watched them knock off Duke. :)
not in this debate, but before Iowa lost they were still ranked behind 1 loss teams, so….
Also making up the definition in the middle of talking about it to try to help you makes you stupid. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peBx6A3DfNw.
I thought I might be more upset by our loss, but our players played their hearts out and even though we didn’t win they never let us down. We left nothing on the field and did our best.
Props to Alabama. To win the natty you have to play perfectly and they did that more or less. I don’t think they had any turnovers and they executed well on just about everything. Even though they are from the SEC…I am proud to lose to them and the best man won tonight but it was a great title fight. I hope we’ll back next year for the rematch.
Clemson proved they were over rated.Gave up 45 more points last night against a pathetic Alabama offense.
Jethroe Bodine Verdad erneba • Last week
Alabama is WAY over hyped.Clemson should be favored.
and to think…after the Miss State game the press had written Alabama’s season off.
So proud of my Tigers. What a fun ride this season was. Congrats to Bama.
You were proud of that lunatic stalking the sidelines last night? Dabo is crazy like his brother.
Lunatic? Oh, you mean that Smeagol looking fellow with the Ohio State shirt on trying to steal the BCS trophy? And when they caught him he started laughing and screaming about Obama and Boz and Ervin until they managed to sedate him?
That was Gollum.
noted; the whole duality thing is tricky
Obama and Boz and Ervin ….ADD DAT A BOY and you have Loserville,USA.
I’m flip and this is a lifetime appointment!
Special teams. Clemson’s is filled with underclassmen, 2 star and 2nd string players. Alabama’s is filled with players who could play first string offense or defense on any other team.
Clemson will get there, eventually.
DAT A BOY!!!! Out played,coached and Dabo made a damn fool of himself all night!
If they couldm’t beat that over hyped,flawed Alabama team they will never be back.
The only thing worse than a sore loser is a douche bag winner
Oh he’s a sore loser. He can’t admit that Ohio State got owned by Michigan State, who went on to get owned by Alabama. No invite to the national championships but he still calls them the real champs. He’s off his rocker.
Ohio State would have destroyed both of those teams.
You have to be a top team to play in the BCS, sorry.
DAT A BOY!!!! What a loser!!!! The apple sure didn’t fall far from the tree in that family.
Alabama and Clemson was a real match up, a good game, a battle between two powerhouses.
Hope Ohio State enjoyed their easy bowl game.
Brian Kelly at ND played both Clemson and OSU.He said OSU was by far a better football team.
Urban the mouth.
Last week you were saying –
Jethroe Bodine Verdad – Alabama is WAY over hyped.Clemson should be favored.
He is risen! He is risen indeed!
He was correct.Clemson had the best player on the field and got out coached.Alabama has a pathetic offense and scored 45 points.
Dang buddy, stick around for awhile.
It was just a matter of time before our special teams cost us big. Still, it was a helluva game. Congrats to Bama (and all those living vicariously through Bama). Hard not to be excited about the future.
Woulda, coulda,, shoulda……yada, yada, yada. The bottom line is the best team won. Given the sustained dominance of the SEC and relative parity in the power 5 conferences, it is not a given that Clemson will “eventually” play for much less win a national championship.
Instead of making petty excuses, just celebrate the magical season Clemson had
Not sure BT is making excuses. Just stating facts. Special teams were the killer for us last night. Congrats on the win.
I posted 2016 recruiting from 24/7 yesterday.Clemson is not even in the Top 10.This was a ONE shot deal for Clemson.
Saban can coach-DAT A BOY is NUTZ.
Clemson will retain plenty of their talent going into next year. Maybe if Ohio State can stay in the top four they’ll have a chance to lose to Clemson again.
DAT A BOY!!! LMAO!!! Wonder if Dabo’s brother watched the game? God punished Dabo for throwing his bro under the bus.
Did you buy a ticket to the game last night to watch the teams better than OSU play against each other?
I actually officiated a basketball game,picked up a pizza and watched the game on my 120 inch tv.I discussed the game with my buddy Thumper.
I do like Renfrow.Dabo is just out of his league and Clemson lacks depth on special teams.Urban plays starters on special teams.
10 12″ televisions doesn’t count as a 120″ television.
Clemson should be pre season #1 and could, possibly, get a bye, like Bama, and make the playoffs with one loss.
Clemson was outcoached.
The guy is NUTZ-out of control.Can you imagine if they would have lost a game earlier in the year.He may have held hostages.
Thanks and congratulations on your season and for playing a helluva game.
Right back atcha. Maybe we can have a rematch next January :)
One and done! DAT A BOY!
Still got to the BCS. Where’s the Buckeyes?
Very likely as both programs are built for sustained success!!!…..be well, mamatiger.
Here we go with that SEC crutch, again.
well with out the conference crutch you fall on your face, Clemson did,
…as long as they hold on to Watson they can do well. He’s a freaking machine.
You’re not listening to the President?
I’m working in the study at home…he’s on the flat screen, annoying me from over my right shoulder.
Hey in the end we still got as much of a national title as USCe did. That would be none. 15-0 did at least happen in basketball,…… For them!
Nice try. Did USCe coaches hand out participation rings again this year?
Clemson got one too
You know, you’re right… I guess inbred hillbillies in South Carolina just sucks at football.
DAT A BOY ALERT: Florida Highway Patrol reports 1990 orange Gremlin with ‘DAT A BOY 100’ tags streaking toward Pensacola on I-10.Stopping at rest stops asking patrons for time outs and what an on side kick is.
Goes by the name Flip.
What a great game! Both teams played their hearts out and showed the best in College ball. Takeaway 3 plays from Bama and things would have been the other way. Clemson’s defense was especially impressive, they dug deep.
Outside of the one big play, they did a pretty good job keeping Henry in check.
too bad they forgot about the TE, the other RB doing kick returns, and the kicker for the onside kick
Finally Clemson played a good SEC team…and lost!
At least they were on the field, instead of at home sulking over being manhandled at home by The Citadel and their drunk coach quitting in the middle of the season because football was conflicting with his golf game and drinking.
wow, someone is still crying in his cornflakes.
Damn, you can hate the Gamecocks all you want but they had nothing to do with your loss. Suck it up buttercup.
“but they had nothing to do with your loss”
They sure are celebrating like they did, though.
Only the douchebag fans. Every team has them, USC has more than average I’ll give you that, but most of the Carolina fans I know were hoping Clemson would win.
And, we appreciate it. Sorry we didn’t oblige :)
Quit whining.Clemson was a better team and had the best player on the field. Alabama was pathetic on offense and Clemson should have put this game away.
Saban took DAT A BOY to the woodshed.
MSU vs. OSU: 17-14
MSU vs. Alabama: 0-38
But you still whine about no BCS trophy for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State would have beaten MSU 99-100 times.
Ohio State 42 Notre Dame 24
Clemson 24 Notre Dame 22 (AT HOME)
Brian Kelley said OSU best team in country.
OSU destroyed Alabama.
Alabama > OSUck
Clemson > OSUck
Michigan State > OSUck
Glad you managed to beat Neuter Dame though.
Ohio State was the UNDISPUTED CHAMPIONS last year.They were the BEST team this year-the 15 NFL picks-7 in the 1st round will prove that.
Yawnnnnnnn – 120 inch TV – trying to compensate?
Ohio State blows. Next up, they’ll get creamed in Lax all Spring.
Leave the football speak to me.I can tell you were a non-athlete.My guess is you were on the checker team in school-the school weirdo.
Aw – wittle fwip want to insult people again. Wittle fwippy big twawker, but team loser. Aw – let’s have pwity pwarty for wittle fwippy.
Defensive Tackle, Full Back. Third Base. Sucks to be you!!!!!
LMAO!!! I read your posts about sports.You don’t even know the ‘language’. My guess is the only sports you and Boz competed in were who could wash the team uniforms the fastest.
Nice try fwippy. Nice try. Hey, you know when your 6-3 and 230 pounds, that’s not good on the heart. You probably need to get down to like 190 – ain’t like you’re playing line backer for OSU. They probably already cancelled your tickets for next year. Doubt you use them – long drive from Florence to those games.
Well good for you, you can continue to annoy us for years to come. Can’t speak for Boz, but I’m not that short. Still, 6-5 – must be hard getting into that Versa. Don’t go Dabo again.
Not really, unless mental health is not included.
I think Boz is 5’9 350lb? My guess is you two are twins.
You a sports writer too? Don’t answer, we know you fancy yourself that too.
Best player on the field – sure I’ll give you that. Best team? Nope. Not at all. Alabama scored as a team. Henry, Coker, the return. They had a pick. Clemson was one demensional. Kids a great QB, no doubt, but you can’t win with just one great player, no matter how good your defense is. Even Ohio State knows that.
That will certainly help Clemson’s recruiting. Not many can say that they lost to Bama in a championship game but, then, not many can say they lost to El Cid, either.
Props to the Tiggers for a great season but “thank you, hallelujah” that they didn’t run the tables. Can you imagine having to listen to “…perfect season, national champs…” for the rest of your lives?
SEC – Superior to Every Conference
SEC was WEAK this year.Michigan destroyed SEC runner up-Florida.
You’re right, the SEC was weak this year. However, consider the following:
National Champs? SEC
20% of the Top 25 – SEC (There are 11 Conferences)
Alabama (14-1, 1,525 points)
Clemson (14-1, 1,464)
Stanford (12-2, 1,360)
Ohio State (12-1, 1,342)
Oklahoma (11-2, 1,270)
Michigan State (12-2, 1,227)
TCU (11-2, 1,098)
Houston (13-1, 1,050)
Iowa (12-2, 981)
Ole Miss (10-3, 975)
Notre Dame (10-3, 953)
Michigan (10-3, 911)
Baylor (10-3, 820)
Florida State (10-3, 630)
North Carolina (11-3, 563)
LSU (9-3, 546)
Utah (10-3, 499)
Navy (11-2, 465)
Oregon (9-4, 391)
Oklahoma State (10-3, 372)
Wisconsin (10-3, 332)
Tennessee (9-4, 260)
Northwestern (10-3, 203)
Western Kentucky (12-2, 128)
Florida (10-4, 126)
The Big 10 had 33% of the Top 12.
You don’t do basic math much do you? 6 of 25 is 24%.
Of course neither does the Big Ten – they have 14 teams in the conference. They did do well as a conference this year but their top ranked team was 6th nationally.
And he claims he was an ed-u-kator.
Upon rereading his claim, he is correct, He specified “Top 12” Interesting break point – ‘course if we use the more common Top Ten – both the SEC and the Big Ten (er 14) have 2 teams in the Top Ten.
I am always right.
Only in your strange little mind.
Hey, a broken watch is right twice a day too.
Except this one; https://www.slow-watches.com/the-product
ha ha..made you look like a fool AGAIN!
Not as foolish as the Col. tooled you stupid.
He just said I was right.Can you read?
What I said was that in your odd way of looking at the numbers you were correct – I mean really “the Top 12” You’d make a great politician cherry picking like that.
Nah, he’d be fair, at best.
I’m feeling generous, had lunch at DiPrato’s…
Nice. I had lunch at my desk. Ugh!!!! And these 7:00 a.m. conference calls overseas are killing me.
Ohio State was #4-NOT 6.Please don’t start lying like Rocky.
Look for yourself.
So much for always being right…
The only people that care about the conference thing is SCar. By the way, Muschump got his first SEC win, as a coot, last night.
is that why Bama fans chanted SEC, SEC, SEC in both the wins over Michigan St and Clemsux?
BAMA is the SEC. The rest are fakes
aww cry about it some more. So I guess the ACC is then FSU and no one else since FSU is the only ACC team to win a NC since 1990 while actually in the ACC. (25 years, or a quarter century, and longer than any player on any team has even been alive)
The ACC had 50% of the top 2! Har!
The Big 10 had 6 teams in the Top 25-SEC had 5.
Can you imagine having to listen to “…perfect season, national champs…” for the rest of your lives?
1981 called. You don’t have to imagine.
The only possible way for it to be worse is if they had the Heisman and the Championship – they’re never shut up.
Wait ’til next year. : )
“The sooner you fall behind, the more time you’ll have to catch up.” Tigers just ran out of time…too many errors. ouch!
DAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTT AAAAAAAAAAAAA BOOOOOOOOOYYYYYYYYY!!!!
Best government-run football ever
There goes Sick Willie and his little boys again, bashing USCe’s daddy. Obviously Clemson was the better team last night, because it always is, and the score doesn’t matter one flip. Clemson is the National Champions of awesomeness!
NE University of Auburn Copy Cats lost to Alabama. Sounds about right.
CLEMSON got flat “Out Coached.”
Dabo’s interview right before the came said the game would be “decided in the Trenches.”
Well he was wrong. Even though Clemson won the trench battle, they lost the coaching battle.
Sabin knew Clemson has under Dabo, one of the worse special teams in NCAA Football. He knew he could onside kick and run back kickoffs for touchdowns all night. Which he did. He also took advantage of Clemson’s “god awful defensive back coaching.” DB’s were lost in space, and had no clue how to play pass defense.
Nope, Clemson players did not lose the game: Dabo Swinney did.
Maybe Dabo learned something from Sabin.
It’s not about one part of the game, it’s about all parts of the game
And, hire somebody else to coach the Special Teams & Defensive Backs.
I see the final poll is out, Clemson drops to #2.
USCe stays in the Top 100 at 100.
They are overrated at 100
Yeah, but “wait ’til next year”.
I heard Clemtech say that