Up until the fourth quarter of the 2017 College Football National Championship the game was all Alabama. To start off the game both teams went on scoreless drives which included a 4 and 1 stop by Alabama which set up a 25 yard touchdown run by Bo Scarbrough early in the first quarter. Early in the second, Bo Scarbrough broke away for another touchdown, this time from 37 yards out. It would not be until around 7 minutes left in the first half that Clemson would be able to put together a drive down field which allowed Clemson QB Deshaun Watson to run the ball into the end zone for Clemson’s first points of the game. The score would be 14 to 7 going into the half.
Coming out of the first half Clemson fumbled in Alabama territory that lead to a field goal by Alabama’s extremely reliable kicker, Adam Griffith. Score now is 17-7 Alabama. Unfortunately, Alabama’s star running back and main source of offense, Bo Scarbrough, left the game with a lower left leg injury and would not return to the game. Two drives later Clemson would finally capitalize on a bad punt by Alabama and score 4 plays later on a 24 yard strike from Deshaun Watson. With around two minutes left in the third Alabama would regain their 10 point lead. The next drive Clemson would drive down the field to score on a four yard toss to Mike Williams to start of one of the greatest 4th quarter performances College Football has ever seen. With 6:30 left on the clock Clemson went on a drive that included a unbelievable catch by Mike Williams from Deshaun Watson for 26 yards with an additional 15 yards tacked on to the catch because of a unsportsmanlike conduct on Alabama’s defense. This set up a touchdown that gave Clemson their first lead of the game. Alabama answered exactly how people expected them too. Jalen Hurts put together a 68 yard drive with 4 minutes left which was capped off by a 30 yard scramble for a touchdown, which gave Alabama the 31-28 lead. What happened next will be remembered by every Clemson fan forever. Heisman runner-up, Deshaun Watson methodically drove down the field on what is considered one of the best defenses of this era. Down on Alabama’s 9 yard line Deshaun Watson lobbed a pass in the left corner of the end zone and because of a pass interference call Clemson now had the ball on the two yard line with 9 seconds left on the clock.
Clemson lines up with 3 wide receivers in the spread formation. Deshaun Watson snaps the ball runs to his right and throws the game winning touchdown to the most unlikely of receiver. Hunter Renfrow. Hunter Renfrow went from being a walk-on at one of the top football programs in the country to being the hero that brought Clemson University their first national title in over 30 years.
By Conner Furu