Clemson is a mere 15 minutes away from ending a three-decade-long championship drought.
With the two teams knotted up at 14-all at the half, Clemson managed to outscore Alabama 10-7 in the third quarter to take a 24-21 lead into the fourth of the College Football Playoff championship game. The Tide, courtesy of the dictionary definition of a busted coverage, had taken a 21-14 lead early in the quarter on a 53-yard Jake Coker touchdown pass to O.J. Howard, only to see the Tigers score the final 10 points to close out the third.
And, as was the case in the first two quarters, Deshaun Watson is doing most of the damage to the Tide defense.
With the 10th anniversary of the iconic Texas-USC BCS championship game having just passed, Watson is channeling his inner Vince Young, accounting for 308 of the Tigers’ 336 yards of offense. Watson has thrown for 228 yards and ran for another 80, tossing a pair of touchdown passes for good measure.
Watson has frustrated the stout Tide defense all night long… and very much pissed off their head coach on at least one occasion.
The tight end Howard, who has been MIA for most of the last two seasons, leads all players with 94 yards on his three receptions. Teammate and Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry has run for 149, although he was very well contained in the third quarter as he was held to 21 yards on seven carries.
Lineman Kevin Dodd has been an absolute terror defensively for the Tigers as he’s been credited with 4.5 tackles for loss and three sacks.