The University of Alabama has taken home its 4th College Football National Championship in the last 7 years. In the game that represents the climax of the college football season, the perennial SEC powerhouse outlasted the Clemson Tigers 45-40 to claim the second championship of the College Football Playoff era.
As expected, stars ruled the night as both the Heisman trophy winner (Derrick Henry) and Heisman finalist, Deshaun Watson lit up the night and the scoreboard with a combined 7 touchdowns and over 700 yards of total offense.
Watson broke Vince Young’s 2005 record for yards of total offense in a National Championship game with 478 yards from scrimmage, while Henry broke Shaun Alexander’s career rushing record (3,565) at the University of Alabama after a short run during the 3rd quarter.
The turning point in the contest came during the fourth quarter, while the game stood deadlocked at 24. Nick Saban, who has become universally known as one of the greatest college football coaches of all-time, lived up to his reputation once again Monday night. Saban, who’s team had been unable to contain the Clemson offense led by Deshaun Watson, dialed up an onside kick that caught even his own coaching staff by surprise. The Crimson Tide recovered the onside kick, drove down to take the lead on the ensuing possession and never looked back.
Saban, who won his 5th National title (4 at Alabama and 1 at LSU) brought himself 1 shy of the legend Paul”Bear” Bryant who claims 5 National titles all during his tenure as University of Alabama head football coach.
The tide were aided by a pair of unsung heroes in their title game victory march, as the Crimson Tide tight-end OJ Howard finished the game with over 200 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns while Kenyan Drake ran back a kick off 95 yards for a touchdown that would prove to be the nail in the Tiger’s coffin. For a little perspective, Howard had only 210 receiving yards in 9 SEC games this season and Drake had been plagued with major injuries throughout his collegiate career.
Overall the game had a fantastic atmosphere and lived up to the hype from an individual matchup standpoint. Many of Monday nights impact players will find themselves on a 53 man NFL roster around this time next year while both the University of Alabama and the Clemson Tigers will undoubtedly reload for runs at next years National title.
We enjoyed the rollercoaster of a season this proved to be and look forward to the first weekend of September 2016 to do it all again. Now we shift our focus to the NFL playoffs, NBA and Summer Olympics to quench our sports thirst and congratulate both Crimson Tide and Clemson Tiger fans for great seasons.
Until next season college football!