Alabama/Clemson Win, Will Meet In National Championship
For the second-consecutive year, the College Football Playoff National Championship will feature the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers.
Top-ranked Alabama earned a right to play for their second-straight national title, and their fifth in the last eight years, after defeating the fourth-ranked Washington Huskies, 24-7, in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia in one College Football Playoff semifinal game.
In the other, the second-ranked Clemson Tigers rolled past the third-ranked Ohio St. Buckeyes, 31-0, in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona, to earn their way into the championship game for the second-straight year.
Alabama defeated Clemson, 45-40, in last year's title game.
This year's national championship match-up will be played on Monday night, January 9, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, beginning at 7 pm (cdt).
In the Peach Bowl, Washington scored the first points of the game, on their second possession of the contest, when Jake Browning connected with Dante Pettis on a 16-yard touchdown pass, giving them a 7-0 lead at the 8:01 mark of the first quarter.
After that, it was all Alabama however, as the Crimson Tide scored the final 24 points of the game.
Alabama tied it on their very next possession, when Bo Scarbrough ran in an 18-yard touchdown, to make it 7-7 at the 5:01 mark of the first frame.
The Crimson Tide grabbed a 10-7 advantage on the first play of the second quarter, when Adam Griffith nailed a 41-yard field goal, capping off a 6-play, 17-yard drive.
The Alabama defense, which forced three turnovers, came up huge right before the half, when Ryan Anderson intercepted an errant Browning pass, and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown, giving them a 17-7 lead as the two teams went to their respective locker rooms for halftime.
Scarbrough was responsible for the only points of the second half, courtesy of a 68-yard touchdown run at the 11:56 mark of the fourth quarter, extending the Alabama lead to 24-7.
The Crimson Tide defense made sure that score held up, helping Bama to the 17-point victory, and a spot in the national title game.
Alabama, who was held to only 57 passing yards, was led by Scarbrough, who rushed for 180 yards, to go along with two touchdowns, on 19 carries.
The Crimson Tide outgained the Huskies, in terms of total yards, 326-194, while holding Washington to only 44 rushing yards on 29 attempts.
Alabama, the SEC champs, moved to 14-0 on the year with the win, while Washington dropped to 12-2 with the loss.
In the Fiesta Bowl, it was all Clemson from the outset, as they took a 17-0 lead into the halftime break.
The first score for the Tigers came on a 45-yard field goal by Greg Huegel at the 9:16 mark of the first quarter, followed by two DeShaun Watson touchdowns, one on a 1-yard run at the 2:16 mark of the first quarter, and the other on a 30-yard scoring strike to C.J. Fuller with 2:21 left in the half, to vault them to the big halftime advantage.
Clemson scored the only points of the third quarter, when Watson scored on his touchdown run, this one from 7 yards out, completing a 5-play, 40-yard drive, to widen their lead to 24-0 at the 2:06 mark of the third quarter.
The Tigers put things completely out of reach at the 8:51 mark of the final period, when Wayne Gallman scored on a touchdown run, giving them 31-unanswered point, and a commanding 31-0 lead.
That's the way the scoring ended, as Clemson cruised to the 31-point shutout victory.
The Tigers outgained the Buckeyes, in terms of total yards, 470-215, including a 205-88 advantage in rushing yards.
Watson led the way for Clemson, throwing for 259 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for another 57 yards and two scores.
Clemson, the ACC champs, improved to 13-1 with the triumph, while Ohio St. ended their season with an overall record of 11-2.