Tampa, FL (WBRC) - Only one team managed to beat Alabama this year. Unfortunately for the Crimson Tide, it came in the game that mattered the most.
Last year, the Crimson Tide managed to hold off the Tigers' comeback. This year, the Tigers finally got over the hump. A strong second half gave No. 2 Clemson a 35-31 win over No. 1 Alabama.
The win gives Clemson its first national title since 1981 and the second in school history.
Running back Bo Scarbrough maintained his playoff form. He put Bama up 14-0 when he ran for touchdowns on gains of 25 and 37 yards.
Clemson finally had an answer in the second quarter when Deshaun Watson scored on an eight-yard run.
Bama took a 14-7 lead into the locker room at the half. The Tide stretched that lead to 17-7 when Adam Griffith drilled a 27-yard to start the third quarter.
But Clemson answered with a 24-yard pass from Watson to Hunter Renfrow.
Even so, Bama ended the third quarter with a play that led them to a title last year. Clemson blew its coverage on O.J. Howard and he hauled in a 68-yard pass from Jalen Hurts for a score.
Howard's touchdown put Bama up 24-14 after three-quarters.
Bama's breathing room was short-lived. Clemson drew closer when Mike Williams caught Watson's four-yard pass for a score to open the fourth quarter.
Later in the quarter, Clemson took its first lead of the night on Wayne Gallman's one-yard run.
Two minutes later, Hurts answered with a 30-yard touchdown run to give the Tide a 31-28 lead.
But Watson led the Tigers on a nine-play 68-yard touchdown drive capped off by his two-yard pass to Renfroe. The score put Clemson over the top for good and the Tigers rushed the field to celebrate as kings of the college football world.
Watson threw for 420 yards and completed 36-of-56 passes. He ran for 43 yards on 21 carries
Scarbrough finished with 93 yards on 16 carries. He might have managed more but he left the game in the third quarter with a lower-body injury.
Hurts passed for 131 yards and completed 13-of-31 passes.