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Tuesday, January 10, 2017
"Revenge", CLEMSON style
TAMPA, Fla.—Deshaun Watson's third touchdown pass of the game, a 2-yard toss to Hunter Renfrow with one second remaining in the game, lifted Clemson to a 35-31 win over Alabama in a classic national championship game Monday night.
The Tigers avenged a 45-40 loss to the Crimson Tide in last year's final at Glendale, Ariz.
Watson completed 36 of 56 passes for 420 yards. Four players—Jordan Leggett, Mike Williams, Deon Cain and Renfrow—topped 90 receiving yards for Clemson (14-1).
Quarterback Jalen Hurts gave Alabama (14-1) a 31-28 lead with 2:07 remaining on a 30-yard touchdown run. However, Watson guided the Tigers on a nine-play, 68-yard drive for the win.
Earlier in the fourth quarter, Clemson, starting from its 12-yard line, got a 17-yard pass to Leggett and then a 26-yarder to Williams, with a 15-yard penalty tacked on to put the Tigers at the Alabama 16. Watson ran 15 yards to the 1, and Wayne Gallman dived in from 1 yard for a 28-24 lead with 4:38 to play.
Down 24-14 to start the fourth quarter, Clemson got back within three on a 4-yard touchdown from Watson to Williams with 14:00 left.
Twice before, the Tigers had the ball down three in the fourth quarter, but they couldn't get beyond their own 35-yard line each time.
Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, who scored two long touchdowns in last year's championship win against Clemson, came through again Monday, catching a 68-yard touchdown in the third quarter to give the Tide a 24-14 lead.