Raymond James Stadium was the stage for the 2016 National Collegiate Football Championship. The Alabama Crimson Tide and The Clemson Tigers were primed for a big rematch. The Tide captured the national title last year when they held the Tigers off by five points (45-40).
Will Alabama’s talented defense be able to contain the Deshaun Watson? Will Bama’s freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts have a huge game and lead his team to their second consecutive national title? These were the two big questions circulating in everyone’s mind before the game.
It is imperative to point out that Nick Saban, Alabama’s Head Coach, dismissed his offensive coordinator several days before the game. Steve Sarkisian took over the offensive play calling responsibilities after Lane Kiffin was released. Some collegiate football insiders felt that move would have a huge impact on Bama’s offense.
It was vital for Alabama’s defense to hold Clemson to a low scoring game. Many felt that Hurts did not have enough experience to propel his team to a win if the game turned into a shootout. It is not unusual for inexperienced collegiate quarterbacks to succumb to pressure in big games.
Alabama took an early lead, but Clemson managed to get back into the game. The game resembled the classic boxing match that took place between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Both teams kept slugging it out until the end.
With only a few second left in the game, Deshaun Watson connected with Hunter Renfrow for the game winning touchdown. This completed pass put the exclamation point on one of the best national championship games in the history of the NCAA. Clemson was the underdog, but their poise and confidence helped them end Nick Saban’s winning streak in national championship games.