Clemson Takes Round 4 vs. Alabama


David J. Phillip

Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence holding the National Champioship trophy after defeating Alabama 44-16.

Jake Kaufman, Reporter/Broadcasting Director

The College Football Playoff National Championship allows the season’s best two teams in college football to go head to head. Once again, Alabama’s Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers matched up for the fourth time in 5 years. Nobody would have put money on the Clemson Tigers taking Alabama all four quarters. But that’s just what they did proving to everyone watching that they could make it happen.

There was scoring at a premium with Clemson scorching first with sophomore CB AJ Terrell picking off Alabama’s sophomore QB Tua Tagovailoa 44 yards for the opening score. Tagovailoa responded on the next drive by finding fellow sophomore WR Jerry Jeudy 62-yards for a TD to tie the game at 7-7. The Tigers weren’t going to take that and responded with a 17-yard TD run by sophomore RB Travis Etienne to get the lead back at 14-7. The Tide easily responded with a 1-yard TD pass from Tagovailoa to senior TE Hale Hentges. But freshman K Joseph Bulovas missed the extra point attempt and kept the Tigers ahead 14-13.

The Tide opened the second quarter with a 25-yard chip shot FG by Bulovas to give the Tide a 16-14 lead. The Tigers found the end zone on their next drive with a 1-yard run by Etienne to give the Tigers the lead again at 21-16. The Tigers defense stepped up and forced another interception by junior CB Trayvon Mullen. The ensuing drive ended with a 5 yard TD pass from freshman QB Trevor Lawrence to Etienne. The Tigers stopped the Tide offense at every roll allowing them to hit a 36 yard field goal by senior Greg Huegel to make it 31-16 Tigers at the half.

Moving down the field on the opening drive of the second half, the Tide decided to run a fake field goal that was blown up and kept the score right at a standstill. Three plays later Lawrence would find fellow freshman WR Justyn Ross for 74-yards for a TD to put the Tigers up 37-16. The Tide’s offense was stopped once again and the Tigers kept adding to their lead with Lawrence finding sophomore WR Tee Higgins for a 5-yard TD pass to increase the lead to 44-16 at the end of the 3rd quarter. There would be no further scoring for either team in the 4th quarter. The score remained 44-16 when the clock ran out on the Tide.

Lawrence would finish his night completing 20-32 passes for 347 yards resulting in 3 TD’s and being named offensive MVP. He had great support from RB Etienne with 14 carries for 86 yards and 2 TD’s along with another TD thru the air. WR Ross was the top target with 6 catches for 153 yards and 1 TD.