Tigers topple No. 1 'Bama 44-16 for national title

Tanya Simon
January 10, 2019

Just one night ago, Clemson football fans were tuning into ESPN with hopes that the Tigers could find a way to beat Alabama in the National Championship. The 2018 Tigers accomplished a feat 121 years in the making, becoming the first FBS football team to go 15-0 or 16-0 since Penn in 1897. "We were never in that conversation, but tonight there's no doubt".

Clemson is the first opponent to beat the Tide by more than 14 points since Saban became coach in 2007. "But just in my first year, it's just been fantastic, definitely made the right choice coming to Clemson".

Alabama coach Nick Saban and the Tide (14-1) were looking for a sixth national championship in 10 years, trying to add to an already unprecedented run in the sport. "There was a lot of talk about best ever, all year long".

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The 6-foot-4, 350-pounder recorded 37 tackles, including 7.5 for a loss, and 1.5 sacks in 13 games this season.

Midway through the second quarter, with Clemson leading 21-16 and Alabama moving down the field again, Tagovailoa attempted another deep pass but missed badly, getting intercepted by junior defensive back Trayvon Mullen, who returned the ball 47 yards to set up another Clemson touchdown, putting the Tigers up 28-16.

Swinney, a former Alabama wide receiver, took over the Clemson program in 2008 and has taken the Tigers to the pinnacle of the college football world.

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