The loss for the top-ranked Crimson Tide was their first of the season, as they failed to win their sixth National Championship in the past 10 seasons. After a back and forth start in the first quarter, the Crimson Tide struggled to convert on third downs, which halted them on multiple drives in Clemson territory. They finished the day at just 4-for-13 on third-down conversions, which led to Jalen Hurts taking over for Tua Tagovailoa late in the game. Tagovailoa threw for 295 yards and two touchdowns, but also had two interceptions, including one that was returned 44 yards for the opening score by A.J. Terrell. After putting up 16 points early in the first half, Alabama was shut out over the final 44 minutes in the defeat.
Justyn Ross played the role of Lawrence's top target, catching six passes for 153 yards, including a 74-yard touchdown catch late. This performance for the wideout was coming off a two touchdown day against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the semifinal. Lawrence completed 20 of his 32 passes on the night, but got hot after the first 15 minutes, going 18-for-25 for 277 yards over the final three quarters. The win for the young man makes him just the second freshman quarterback to win the National Championship in college football history. This comes after he took over as the team's starting quarterback four games in to the season.
The Tigers were held to just six points in a loss to the Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl last season, which was the College Football Playoffs semifinal. They were able to avenge that, winning on Monday the way they have all season long. The Tigers cruised through their regular season and ACC schedule, winning games by an average of 31 points per game. The most exciting part of this victory for Clemson is that they have Lawrence for at least two more seasons, by rule, which means they could very well be the next Alabama by the end of the 2021 season, if not further ahead.