In the 2nd year of the college football playoff format, the University of Alabama won their 15th national title and their 5th under head coach Nick Saban. After the Clemson Tigers defeated the University of Oklahoma, the team fans thought may be the best in the first round of the playoffs, everyone assumed they would win this game without much of a problem, but that wasn’t the case as they beat Clemson 45-40 in Glendale, Arizona.
Starting out, this was your typical national championship… Players excited, a bit nervous, some discipline problems because of those two things, but one thing noticed was the maturity of both quarterbacks. Deshaun Watson and Jake Coker came to play tonight and did what a quarterback is supposed to do in big games like these, and that’s to lead. They didn’t seem to get to rattled or excited, they just played the game just like they played every other game this season. Considering this is Coker’s last try at a national championship after a long, hard college career, he probably had a chip on his shoulder. However, Deshaun Watson is just a 20-year old sophomore with an immense amount of natural talent that will probably be right back on this same stage next year and provided he stays for his final season, probably the next two years. He looked like the best player on the field tonight.
Enough about the quarterbacks… Lets talk about the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, Derrick Henry.
Did he have a good game?
Well how does 36 carries for 158 yards sound? Oh yeah, add 3 touchdowns to that. Being from Oklahoma, I haven’t been able to see him play a lot because he’s in the SEC which is apparently an outlawed conference in Oklahoma. With that being said, I didn’t know what to expect from him. After today I saw that he’s the perfect mix of power, speed and elusiveness. There were multiple occasions where he powered his way through the middle, stayed on his feet and hit a spin move or juke on a linebacker, then outran the defensive backs in the open field. This guy is the real deal and… HE IS HUGE. The most dynamic running back coming out of college since Adrian Peterson.
Lets get back to one of the quarterbacks for a second… Before the game, if you would’ve said Deshaun Watson would throw 30-of-47 for 405 yards, 4 touchdowns and only 1 interception you may not be surprised, but you for sure would assume Clemson won the game. That’s just a tribute to how great Alabama is and it shows just how dynamic this Alabama team is. It’s like they can beat you in every aspect of the game. If one thing doesn’t work, something else will. This time it was special teams. After the loss to Ole Miss the talk was that Alabama wasn’t that great and some even questioned their playoff ranking but this game shows that Alabama doesn’t JUST live and die by Derrick Henry.
Actually, the turning part of this game was the unexpected onside kick recovery by Alabama after a score. From that point on, they played with a focus and a certain determination that some professional teams would have had a hard time stopping. Jake Coker, the player with the storybook type of college career from Mobile, AL had a great game as well. The senior quarterback finished throwing 16-of-25 for 335 yards and 2 touchdowns. Per completion, this guy averaged 13.4 yards, which is first down yardage per completion.
In the end, continuity, mental toughness, coaching and the Heisman trophy winner won the game for the Alabama Crimson Tide and put Nick Saban right in the middle of the argument as the best college football coach of all time with his 5th championship only behind all-time great and former Alabama head coach Bear Bryant who had 6.