Not surprisingly, the two marquee players for both Alabama and Clemson are having a significant impact on the College Football Playoff championship game.
With the first two quarters of the second title game of the playoff era in the books, the Tide and Tigers are all knotted up at 14-all at University of Phoenix Stadium. ‘Bama scored first and last in the half, while Clemson was the two-touchdown meat in that scoring sandwich.
And, all four of those touchdowns came courtesy of the two Heisman finalists involved in the contest.
Heisman winner Derrick Henry scored on runs of 50 and one yard, finishing the half with 128 yards on 20 carries. Heisman finalist Deshaun Watson, meanwhile completed 12-of-18 passes for 161 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. Watson also hurt the Tide with his legs, rushing for a team-high 45 yards on nine carries; six of those carries resulted in first downs.
The Tigers actually had the opportunity to go into halftime with the lead, but a 44-yard field goal attempt was partially blocked and fell short of its mark. The Tide, ironically enough, also missed a 44-yard field goal earlier in the contest.
As the score would indicate, it’s a statistically-even game as well, with Clemson holding a 218-195 edge in total offense, and a 13-10 edge in first downs. The only turnover of the game was seemingly Watson’s lone bad play of the game as the sophomore threw an interception early in the second quarter. That pick proved costly as, seven plays later, Henry cashed in on the shorter field to to tie the score at 14 with 9:35 left in the second.
Clemson will get the ball on offense to start the second half.