The final college football game of the season is underway at Raymond James Stadium and defending national champions Alabama got off to a good start in protecting their crown by jumping out to a 7-0 lead during the first quarter.
The Crimson Tide received the ball to start the game after Clemson won the opening coin toss, but went three-and-out on the first series with new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian.
Things went much on the team’s second drive as they marched 59 yards to pay dirt in just three plays. Peach Bowl MVP Bo Scarbrough scored a touchdown on a run off his left tackle for the game’s first points, barreling into end zone with a few defenders on his back to set the tone early.
Deshaun Watson (5-of-7, 23 yards in the quarter) and the Tigers were able to move the ball on the vaunted Tide defense but stalled on both of their first two drives. They reached midfield on their first possession but failed to convert a 4th-and-short, punted on the second drive and then fumbled with just a few minutes to go before the start of the second quarter.
Given the way the two teams’ defenses are playing early on, it might be safe to say that last year’s 85 point scoreboard explosion isn’t going to repeat itself the second time around down in Tampa.