The Clemson Tigers defeated Alabama Crimson Tide in the NCAA championship game 44-16, and won the second title in the last three years.
They have also tied the score against ‘Bama with whom they have four consecutive playoff clashes over the previous four years.
Tigers became the first team in college since 1936 to go 15-0 making them one of the best generations in the history of college football. Coach Dabo Swinney has the same opinion, and he told that to the reporters after the match.
“There was a lot of talk about ‘best ever’ all year long,” said Swinney. “We were never in that conversation. But tonight, there’s no doubt.
Alabama came in this contest as a slight favorite according to all the experts. The champions were 14-0 and defeating all of their opponents with an average of 31 points difference.
Tua Tagovailoa was restrained, and the Heisman Trophy runner-up threw two interceptions during the first half. A.J. Terrell picked up the first one and returned it for 44 yards, opening the game with a touchdown for 7-0.
Rattled City, Population: Tua Tagovailoapic.twitter.com/8cHIZajya3
— Barstool Sports (@barstooltweetss) January 8, 2019
The Tigers were already up 31-16 at the break.
But the final hit came in the third period when Trevor Lawrence made a 74-yard touchdown pass to Justyn Ross, and completely killed every hope of the reigning champions for back-to-back titles.
He collected 347 yards, 20 of 32, with three TDs and without a single interception. It was his fines game, showing all the qualities and strengths he possesses.
Ross who is also a freshman, had a glorious night, posting one touchdown and amazing 153 receiving yards from only 6 catches. He and Lawrence already clicked together, and if they continue to cooperate like this, there is no doubt that Clemson has a nice future ahead of him.
Justyn Ross is only a freshman 😳😳 pic.twitter.com/rHziZSQGP2
— Abdul Memon (@abdulamemon) January 8, 2019
Travis Etienne carried the ball twice into the end zone and rushed for 86 yards, executing when needed the most. His 17-yard TD rush in the opening quarter immediately brought back the lead to the Tigers, and prevented Tide from getting the positive momentum.
On the other side, ‘Bama’s Tagovailoa had 295 yards, completing 22 of 34 passes, and having two of them into the end zone. One of the best quarterbacks in the country couldn’t find his game, as Tigers defense constantly made pressure on him squeezing his pocket most of the time.
He was pretty disappointed after the game, and didn’t want to talk too much.
“Just five words. Good is not good enough” he said, referring to the season and the last night’s contest.
His favorite target last night was Jerry Jeudy, who had 139 receiving yards from 5 catches, and one score.
Crimson Tide had more rushing yards than the winners, 148-135, but without a single touchdown, which might be the crucial difference in this matchup.
Their coach Nick Saban couldn’t win his sixth title in the last 10 years, while on the other hand Dabo Swinney, Alabama-born became the champion for the second time with the Tigers, who won their third title ever and have a perfect score in the finals.
“We’re gonna enjoy this one. We’ve got a nice spot to put it in our facility, right next to that other one,” Clemson coach said. “We’ve got twins!”
Maybe the Best post-game interview by a college football coach I've ever watched.
— Re2pect✊ (@iLetsPlayBall) January 8, 2019
And to be honest, they have a good reason to enjoy. A generation with such results and a perfect run hasn’t been seen for a long time, and the following years will show their greatness.
With Lawrence on board, and Swinney still in charge, the Tigers have nice prospects of repeating this success and come back to the exact same spot next year.
According to the odds which were published last night, Clemson is the first favorite for the title with +180, while this year’s finalist, Alabama is right behind them with +250.
So, there is also enough room to see these two programmes in chapter five, which would definitely make their rivalry more legendary.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write, read, and bet on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a betting tips writer at WagerBop.