BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE
The Greenville Standard
Alabama entered the game 14-0 and Clemson was 14-0 also. The winner would set a record by winning 15 games in a season.
This is the fourth year in a row, the two played in the playoffs. Alabama lead 2-1 the last three games. This was the third time, they played in the championship game.
Alabama deferred till the second half. The first quarter was wild. On the third play of the game, Clemson returned a pick six 44 yards for a touchdown.
It was Clemson 7-0. In three plays, Alabama scored on a 62-yard pass from Tua Tagovailoa to Jerry Jeudy and it was 7-7.
On third and 14, a 62-yard pass by Clemson to Alabama’s 17 set up a Clemson 17- yard run to go up 14-7.
Alabama then went 75 yards in 10 plays to score on 1-yard pass but missed the extra point.
Alabama then forced Clemson to punt, and then scored on a 25-yard field goal attempt go up 16-14.
In the second quarter the game changed. Clemson took seven plays to score. Alabama’s kickoff went out of bounds. Clemson had the ball on the 35-yard line, then a pass interference call put it at the 50.
Then a 26-yard pass to the Bama 24. Five plays later, Clemson scores on 1-yard run to go up 21-16.
Alabama had the ball for seven plays which resulted in an interception that was returned for 46 yards to the Alabama 47. After an eight play drive with a big pass play from Lawrence to Rogers 26 yards to the Alabama 5.
Two plays later pass from Lawrence to Etienne touchdown 28-13. Alabama punted on their next possession. Clemson scored on a 36- yard field goal and it was 31-16 at the half.
Alabama had the ball for 13 plays to the Clemson 22. A fake field goal by Alabama backfired. The score would have helped the cause.
Clemson then scored on a 74-yard pass. The extra point kicked was missed and it was 37-16.
Alabama drove the ball to the Clemson 11-yard line and went for it on fourth down. They were short by a yard.
Next, Clemson had a 12-play drive set up by a Lawrence to Ross for 37 yards. Then a Lawrence to Huggins 5-yard pass was the next score and it was 44-16.
Alabama drives it to the Clemson 2-yard line, set up by a 48- yard pass from Tagovailoa to Jeudy. On fourth down Tagovailoa was sacked for a 7-yard loss.
Clemson was forced to punt. Alabama was then forced to punt, 55-yard punt to the Clemson 1- yard line.
Clemson ate up the clock with a long driver which ended up at the Alabama 5-yard line.
Mistakes and penalties did damage to the Tide.