The 5 hour odyssey that was the fictional Diet Dr. Pepper vendor Larry Culpepper show featuring a little bit of football known as the College Football Playoff National Championship game, took place Monday night. This was a close game that ended by the score of Clemson 35 – Alabama 31 but saw a lot of sloppy offense. The game could have gone either way and I think if Alabama took more time off the clock before scoring late in the fourth quarter to go up 28 – 31, they would have won.
I normally don’t root for teams but I wanted Alabama to win this game for two reasons; first to prevent the tsunami of the impact of the early Kiffin departure discussion and second, because I hate Dabo Swinney.
I don’t have a lot to say about the game. Alabama lost Scarbrough in the second half to an injury and Hurts was sporadic but still made big plays keeping Alabama in the game offensively. Mike Williams, the best receiver on Clemson was rattled early with a helmet to helmet hit that was called by the refs, but came back in the game to make some significant catches in the final minutes of the game. Deshaun Watson didn’t play at his normal level in the first half and was hampered slightly by a helicopter hit after a run that saw him land awkwardly on his leg. In the final seconds of the game, Alabama was hoping to keep Clemson out of the end zone to force them to tie the game with a field goal. They were unsuccessful in doing so and Watson threw the game winning touchdown to the small “hard working, gym rat, great locker room guy, everyone told him he was too small” Hunter Renfro who was wide open due to an illegal pick by Clemson. Most of the time I agree with the refs being loose with the rules late in the game, but that was a clear and obvious pick to me that should have been called.
Deshaun Watson finished the game with 420 yards, 3 touchdowns all on 36 completions out of 56 attempts.
Jalen Hurts had a much worse game throwing for 131 yards with 1 touchdown on 13 completions out of 31 attempts.He also had a rushing touchdown on 10 carries for 63 yards.
Bo Scarbrough finished the game early due to a broken bone in his lower leg but still had two rushing touchdowns on 16 carries and 93 yards.
Four receivers for Clemson had great games; Mike Williams (8 catches, 94 yards, 1 touchdown), Jordan Leggett (7 catches, 95 yards), Deon Cain (5 catches, 95 yards), and Hunter Renfro (10 catches, 92 yards, 2 touchdowns).
O.J. Howard, the skilled tight end for Alabama had 4 catches for 101 yards and one touchdown. One of those 4 catches was meant for running back Damien Harris while Howard was supposed to block for him on 3rd down, forcing Alabama to punt.
Clemson turned the ball over twice with two fumbles, both of which were recovered by Alabama’s Ryan Anderson.
One of the more shocking stats is that Clemson had 511 total yards of offense compared to Alabama’s 376. Also Clemson converted 31 first downs compared to Alabama’s 16, proof positive that Clemson’s offense over came Alabama’s great defense despite 2 turnovers.
After a weird onside/squib kick to end the game, I shut my phone down and went to bed as it was well past midnight. This morning I saw Dabo in his full rah rah glory after the game claiming “only God can do this.” He also gave Sam Ponder and ESPN the corny soundbite “the difference in the game is gonna be love…we are going to win it because we love each other.” First, if the God that Dabo believes in really does exist, he undermines the power and meaning of that God by implying that he cares about a stupid football game. Second, I am going to be forced to listen and watch that pukey love clip for the rest of my life when watching college football.
Oh, and head ref Mike Defee did his best Ed Hochuli impression flexing his buff muscles while announcing penalties.
That’s a wrap, the 2016 college season is over. I know I should feel more pumped up and excited after a close game that came down to the final second, but I am not. The 5 hour game combined with a snow storm in my hometown, the early week bullshit of office life, and dislike for Dabo has dampened all of the excitement. Lots of people made money last night except for the players who played in it, many of which won’t have career’s in the NFL. College Football has really become a sham and taking it really seriously feels dirty. I still enjoy the sport but it doesn’t have the prestige and dignity that many still believe it has.