by Jett Gonzales – Staff Reporter
Every year the college football playoffs give us two weeks of mind blowing plays, heartbreaking endings and great football. This year was no different, the Clemson Tigers, Alabama Crimson Tide, Washington Huskies and Ohio State Buckeyes laid it all on the line to show who’s the best team in the nation.
The playoffs kicked off with the Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl. The Washington Huskies, who were ranked 4th in the country played the number 1 ranked team in country and defending champions, Alabama Crimson Tide. The Washington Huskies started off strong, driving down the field and scoring on the number 1 defense in the nation in the first quarter. But this is all the Huskies would get. The Alabama defense and powerful running game dominated the Huskies. The Crimson Tide ended with 326 total yards of offense, 269 of those yards were gained on the ground. Bo Scarbrough, running back for Alabama, ran for 180 yards and two scores, one of which was a 68-yard touchdown, this earned him offensive MVP honors. Alabama’s defense held the explosive Washington offense to just 194 yards including a pick six at the end of the first half. Alabama made a statement, winning the game 24 – 7. They were here to add another national championship to their trophy case.
Later that day, the number 2 ranked Clemson Tigers and number 3 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes played in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl. The game was expected to be a back and forth game, but it wasn’t even close. The Clemson Tigers dominated the Buckeyes, the Tigers shut out Ohio to win the Fiesta bowl. They won every exchange in commanding fashion. Clemson put up 31 points and held Ohio state to nothing. Clemson’s offense gained a total of 470 yards, while holding the Buckeyes to just 215. Deshaun Watson, starting quarterback and Heisman trophy runner up, passed for 259 yards, ran for 57 and scored 3 touchdowns. The dominance that Clemson showed gave them another shot at the Crimson Tide. The stage was set, a rematch for the College Football National Championship. The Alabama Crimson Tide vs. The Clemson Tigers.
The National Championship game was everything the fans asked for and more. Early on, it looked like Alabama was going to run away with this one, going up 14 – 7 at the half and 24 – 14 going into the 4th quarter. But Clemson was not going to go down that easily. The Tigers, led by quarterback Deshaun Watson and star receiver Mike Williams, came storming back in the fourth quarter scoring two touchdowns in quick succession, giving them their first lead, going up 28 – 24 with four minutes left in the game. But the Crimson Tide answered back with a 30-yard touchdown run by their quarterback, Jalen Hurts. At the time, down 31 – 28, it all came down to Deshaun Watson to lead his team down the field and either tie the game, or win it all. The game was decided in the last six seconds; Clemson was 2 yards away from a national championship. With one quick pass, Deshaun Watson threw the game winning touchdown, ending the 35-year title drought for Clemson.
The championship game was one to be remembered. It was a game that kept fans on the edge of their seats. Overall, this year’s playoffs gave us two weeks of unforgettable plays and crazy endings. There were tears of joy and tears of sadness. But no one can wait to see how their teams will stack up to this year’s champs, the Clemson Tigers.