Alabama and Clemson have faced off in the title game in three of the five years since the CFP (College Football Playoff) structure replaced the old BCS (Bowl Championship Series) format. Clemson achieved that Monday night with a poised performance from true freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who stole the spotlight from Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa with his strong, accurate arm and led the Tigers to a 31-16 halftime lead.
On third down alone, he was 8-for-10 for 240 yards.
Subscribers will be offered 17 different ways to watch the game from Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara in a production setting a network record for the number of cameras used during a live broadcast.
The Tide came in scoring 48 points per game, but were shut out over the final 44 minutes by an opportunistic Clemson defense that stiffened in key spots.
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"That doesn't mean as much as being able to be a part of this team", Lawrence said. Alabama couldn't match Clemson's offense, and the Crimson Tide failed to score in the second half.
"Good is not good enough, " Tagovailoa said.
"I feel like it's not really up for debate", Clemson cornerback Trayvon Mullen said.
With a chance to stamp itself as the best team in Saban's remarkable 12 seasons at Alabama, the Crimson Tide played maybe the worst half of the coach's tenure. Clemson's defense needs to get stops and get off the field. Three plays later, Lawrence faced down a pass rush and slung a pass to Ross, who was alone after Alabama defensive back Savion Smith went down with an apparent leg injury.