College football fans are in for a treat as Alabama and Clemson get ready to square off in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Monday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Fla.
Keep it right here with our live blog for score updates, analysis, highlights and reaction from the National Championship game between the Crimson Tide and Tigers.
FINAL, Clemson wins 35-31
The Tigers avenge last year’s national championship game loss to the Crimson Tide. It’s their first national title in 35 years.
Fourth quarter, 0:01, 35-31 Clemson: Watson throws a 2-yard touchdown to Renfrow, his second TD reception of the game.
Fourth quarter, 0:06, 31-28 Alabama: A pass interference penalty on Alabama puts the ball on the 2-yard line.
Fourth quarter, 0:14, 31-28 Alabama: Watson throws to Jordan Leggett down to the Alabama 6-yard line. Timeout taken by Clemson.
Fourth quarter, 1:05, 31-28 Alabama: Williams makes another huge catch at the Alabama 42-yard line.
Fourth quarter, 2:07, 31-28 Alabama: The Crimson Tide retake the lead on a 30-yard run by Hurts. Wow!
Fourth quarter, 4:38, 28-24 Clemson: Clemson has its first lead of the game. Tigers running back Wayne Gallman runs up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown.
Fourth quarter, 5:07, 24-21 Alabama: Watson runs 15 yards down to the 1-yard line. 1st-and-goal for Clemson coming up.
Fourth quarter, 5:19, 24-21 Alabama: A 17-yard pass play to wide receiver Mike Williams and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Alabama puts Clemson on the Crimson Tide 16-yard line.
Fourth quarter, 6:33, 24-21 Alabama: The Crimson Tide surprisingly pass on two of their first three plays on the drive and punt the ball away to the Clemson 12-yard line.
Fourth quarter, 7:36, 24-21 Alabama: The Tigers can’t convert on another 3rd-and-7 and punt the ball to the Alabama 29-yard line.
Fourth quarter, 8:20, 24-21 Alabama: Clemson picks up a much-needed first down on 3rd-and-7. The Watson-to-Renfrow connection strikes again.
Fourth quarter, 9:00, 24-21 Alabama: The Crimson Tide squander another offensive possession and punt the ball down to the Clemson 21-yard line.
Fourth quarter, 10:30, 24-21 Alabama: Clemson punts to the Alabama 41-yard line.
Fourth quarter, 12:14, 24-21 Alabama: Clemson forces a 3-and-out, and it has yet another opportunity to take its first lead of the game.
Fourth quarter, 14:00, 24-21 Alabama: Watson fires a 4-yard pass to Mike Williams for another Tigers touchdown.
Watson is closing in on a record, too.
Third quarter, 1:53, 24-14 Alabama: A blown coverage by the Clemson defense allows O.J. Howard to catch an easy 68-yard touchdown pass.
Third quarter, 2:03, 17-14 Alabama: Scarbrough was a bit shaken up after picking up a first down. He walked off the field under his own power, though.
Third quarter, 2:54, 17-14 Alabama: Watson took a massive hit on a third-down run and comes up just short of the first-down marker. Clemson punted the ball away.
Third quarter, 6:07, 17-14 Alabama: Clemson’s defense forces a 3-and-out, and now its offense will take over with a chance to take its first lead of the game.
Third quarter, 7:10, 17-14 Alabama: Watson throws a 24-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow to trim Alabama’s lead to just three points. Renfrow now has seven receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown.
Third quarter, 8:13, 17-7 Alabama: Crimson Tide punter JK Scott kicks the ball just 30 yards to the Alabama 42-yard line. This is the Tigers’ best starting position on any drive this game.
Third quarter, 9:15, 17-7 Alabama: Watson punted the ball (yes, you read that right) down to the Alabama 5-yard line on 4th down. This is the worst starting position of any Crimson Tide drive in this game.
Third quarter, 12:25, 17-7 Alabama: Crimson Tide kicker Adam Griffith connects on a 27-yard field goal to extend Bama’s lead to double digits.
Third quarter, 13:54, 14-7 Alabama: Clemson fumbles on its first possession of the second half. Hurts and the Alabama offense take over on the Tigers’ 16-yard line.
Teams that have turned the ball over two or more times against Nick Saban’s Alabama teams are 2-64. That’s not a good omen for Clemson.
Alabama is feeling pretty confident right now.
Halftime, 14-7 Alabama
Second quarter, 0:45, 14-7 Alabama: Watson picks up a first down with a 19-yard pass on 3rd-and-6.
Second quarter, 1:04, 14-7 Alabama: The Crimson Tide executed another perfect punt that Clemson fair caught at the 2-yard line.
Second quarter, 4:24, 14-7 Alabama: Clemson’s defense forces a 3-and-out to give its offense the ball back. The Tigers will start their next drive at their own 20-yard line.
Second quarter, 6:09, 14-7 Alabama: Watson runs into the end zone from eight yards out for Clemson’s first touchdown to cap off an 87-yard drive.
Second quarter, 8:40, 14-0 Alabama: Here’s a look at Scarbrough’s second score.
Second quarter, 9:22, 14-0 Alabama: The Crimson Tide defense forces another 3-and-out.
Second quarter, 10:42, 14-0 Alabama: Scarbrough runs for his second touchdown of the game from 37 yards out.
Second quarter, 12:15, 7-0 Alabama: Watson overthrows his receiver on 3rd-and-8 and Clemson is forced to punt again.
Second quarter, 12:22, 7-0 Alabama: A few notes from the first quarter.
Second quarter, 14:48, 7-0 Alabama: Clemson picks up a much-needed first down on 3rd-and-1 to begin the second quarter.
First quarter, 1:07, 7-0 Alabama: The Crimson Tide downed the punt at the Clemson 1-yard line. It was a perfectly executed special teams play.
First quarter, 1:16, 7-0 Alabama: The Clemson pass rush forces Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts to throw the ball away on 3rd-and-17 to force a punt. A huge defensive stand by the Tigers after the turnover.
First quarter, 1:50, 7-0 Alabama: Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson couldn’t handle a low snap on 3rd-and-5 and Alabama recovered the fumble on the Tigers’ 35-yard line. It’s the first turnover of the game.
First quarter, 3:30, 7-0 Alabama: After allowing two first downs on 3rd-and-long, the Clemson defense made a stop with a batted pass on 3rd-and-13.
Clemson partially blocked the ensuing punt and will begin its next drive on its own 37-yard line.
First quarter, 8:45, 7-0 Alabama: A great return on the ensuing kickoff by Clemson is negated by a dumb penalty. The Tigers start their next drive inside their own 30-yard line instead of the 40-yard line.
First quarter, 9:23, 7-0 Alabama: A 15-yard roughing the passer penalty, a 20-yard run by quarterback Jalen Hurts and a 25-yard run by running back Bo Scarbrough gives Alabama an early 7-0 lead.
First quarter, 10:27, 0-0: Clemson went for it on 4th-and-1 from the Alabama 41-yard line and the Tide defense made the stop on an option run.
First quarter, 13:35, 0-0: Clemson’s defense forced a 3-and-out, then its offense picked up a first down on its first play of the game (a 10-yard run).
First quarter, 15:00, 0-0: Clemson won the coin toss and deferred to the second half.
8:13 p.m.: This is what they’re playing for (the old crystal ball trophy is better).
8:12 p.m.: The teams have taken the field. Kickoff is coming up in just a few minutes.
8:10 p.m.: NBA legend Bill Walton looks ready for tonight’s game.
7:35 p.m.: An interesting betting stat.
7:13 p.m.: Expect a packed house in Tampa Bay tonight.
6:58 p.m.: Odds for Clemson bettors have been generous throughout the week.
6:56 p.m.: The Crimson Tide have arrived at the stadium.
6:10 p.m.: According to the ESPN2 broadcast, Clemson is getting on its bus and heading toward the stadium.
6:05 p.m.: Alabama head coach Nick Saban is 5-0 in national championship games (1-0 with LSU, 4-0 with Alabama).
6 p.m.: A surprising prediction from an SEC guy.
5 p.m. ET: Here are some links to prepare you for Monday’s national title game clash.
Thumbnail photo via Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports Images
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