The first team in college football history to win 15 games is the Clemson Tigers (15-0), who thrashed the Alabama Crimson Tide (14-1) 44-16 in 2019 CFP National Championship in the Bay.
It was the Clemson defense that set the tone right from the start with cornerback A.J. Terrell 44-yard interception return for a touchdown to take a quick 7-0 lead with 13:20 in first quarter.
This defense held Alabama scoreless in the second half after allowing on 16 points in the first.
Pressure, is just a word when you have played in the three of the last four National Championships Game, even with a true freshman quarterback at the helm.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence #16, who was named the offensive MVP, threw for 347 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
“You just give them a chance, and they’ll come down with it.” said Lawrence, “Just amazing players and really just so proud.”
When Clemson needed a big-play, receiver freshman Justyn Ross #8 was there to move the chains. He finished the game with 153 yards receiving and a touchdown. Alongside him was receiver Tee Higgins #5, with 81 yards on 3 catches and a touchdown.
“We knew he’d (#8) be a tough match-up not just for Alabama, for anybody we played,” said Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, “The catches that you saw him make tonight, those are routine for him.”
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was the hero last year when these two teams met with ‘Bama coming out on top. Not the case this year when the defense had time to prepare and have film on the lefty.
Tagovailoa threw two interceptions, two touchdowns but beside the two long pass he never really go the offense humming as before. He was only sacked once but the pressure from Clemson front seven was in his face all night.
The games defensive MVP was Clemson corner Trayvon Mullen, who had six solo tackles and lone sack on Tagovailoa.
“The whole defense to play, the whole team, all three phases,” said Mullen, “We bent a little bit, but never broke.”
With Clemson taking down the great Alabama, who ran the table this year holding the No 1 spot till when it mattered most. Does this loss by coach Nick Saban signal changing of the guards?
“It’s just the grace of God to have the opportunity to experience something like this once in a lifetime, and to have a chance now to do it two times in the past three years is just amazing.” said Swinney.