USA TODAY Sports’ Dan Wolken breaks down Alabama’s win over Clemson in the College Football Playoff championship..
After tying Clemson at 24-24 with 10:30 left in the fourth quarter of the national championship game, Alabama attempted and recovered an onside kick to retain possession and keep Clemson’s offense on the sidelines.
Two plays later, quarterback Jake Coker found tight end O.J. Howard down the left side for a 51-yard touchdown, pushing the Crimson Tide into the lead with 9:45 remaining.
After the Crimson Tide recovered the kick, the television broadcast caught Alabama Coach Nick Saban smiling, clearly aware that his massive gamble had paid off.
Clemson had held momentum for much of the second half. The recovery seemed to rejuvenate Alabama, while the touchdown caused an eruption along the Crimson Tide sideline.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: CLEMSON VS. ALABAMA