Hundreds of thousands tuned in, but Freshman Quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Freshman Wide Receiver Justyn Ross made it look like a pickup game in their backyard. The two freshmen coupled with the defense dominated the game and took their revenge for last year’s crushing loss. Clemson started the game with a pick six off of Tua Tagovailoa, but Alabama recovered and even took the lead in the second quarter 16-14. Alabama established their running game while containing Clemson’s. The Crimson Tide also were dominating time of possession. It was early in the second quarter when Clemson forced a Field Goal at the goal line. They then drove down the field scoring a touchdown and retaking the lead. On the next possession Tua threw his second pick into heavy coverage. Clemson then scored again and again going from down 16-14 to winning 44-16 in the fourth quarter. Jalen Hurts came on late but too much damage had been done. Lawrence had a stat line of 20-32 with 347 yards and 3 TDs and Ross was also impressive with six catches for 153 yards and a TD. Saban came out and played aggressively going for it on 4th down a number of times. His perplexing decision was to go for it on 4th and six with a fake Field Goal run that the kicker was supposed to block for. It hardly mattered because Dabo Swinney and his staff came prepared. They aggressively blitzed and forced mistakes. It was a team effort and Clemson looks set up on offense, but much of their defense will be graduating. That’s a problem for next year’s team. Clemson wins their second title in three years with a score of 44-16.
A few other notes from around the sports world: The Packers announced Matt LaFleur as their next head coach. LaFleur spent this year as Offensive Coordinator for the Titans. He has previously worked for Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan. He replaces Mike McCarthy. It is a bit of a surprising move because the Titans didn’t have an overpowering offense this year by any stretch. It was an ideal Head Coaching vacancy thanks to Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers himself is worth 6 or 7 wins. James Harden had another dominant night as he looks to lock up the mvp. He scored 32 points and dished out 14 assists. It was an incredible performance made better by a dirty crossover he pulled on Jamal Murray.