As expected, Clemson and Alabama took care of business and will meet in the National Championship Game. In the Goodyear Cotton Bowl, Clemson dominated Notre Dame from start to finish. Alabama began the Capital One Orange Bowl by running all over Oklahoma. For Clemson, they used their smothering defense to hold the Fighting Irish to an FG in the first quarter. After the first quarter, the game was dead even at 3 and it looked like we were headed to a defensive battle. The beginning of the 2nd quarter was when the Tigers began to start rolling. Trevor Lawrence hit Justyn Ross with a 52 yard TD within three minutes into the quarter. In the final two minutes of the quarter, Lawrence hit Ross again and Tee Higgins for TD passes. The Tigers were up 23-3 at halftime and the Fighting Irish looked depleted.
The game was put away towards the end of the 3rd quarter by Travis Etienne with a 62-yard TD run. Clemson dominated on defense, forcing 2 turnovers and below 250 total yards. All of this without their star defensive lineman, Dexter Lawrence who was suspended for the game. Trevor Lawrence was very efficient tossing 3 TDs, 327 yards and a little below 70% completion percentage. Clemson finished the Fighting Irish 30-3 and advance to the National Championship Game. As far as Alabama goes, they began the 2nd quarter with a Josh Jacobs 27 yard TD pass from Tua to go up 28-0. Honestly, I started watching the Hawks/Cavs game because I thought things were going to get uglier. While getting notifications on my phone, Oklahoma fought back, and the score was 28-10. Alabama kicked an FG at the end of the half and extended their lead to 31-10.
Going into the 4th quarter, Oklahoma cut the score down to a 31-20 game. Oklahoma and Alabama traded scores in the 4th quarter and the Tide won 45-34 to advance to play Clemson. Tua set a record for completion percentage in the Orange Bowl that was held by Andrew Luck. Tua tossed 4 TDs on 24-27 for over 300 yards and almost 89% completion percentage. Kyler Murray finished 19-37 for 308 yards, 2TDs, 109 yards rushing on 17 carries and another TD. On January 7th, #1 Alabama will take on #2 Clemson in Santa Clara for the Championship. This will make their 4th meeting in a row in the playoffs with the Tide winning two of three. Alabama won in the Championship Game in 2015, Clemson won in 2016 and Alabama beat them in the semifinals last season. Alabama will open as a 6.5 point favorite.