McMurphy: Clemson Dominated Alabama

Dabo Swinney won his second national in three years and handed Nick Saban the worst loss of his Tide tenure

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
January 08, 2019 - 8:14 am

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Well, who saw that coming?

Clemson (15-0) annihilated Alabama (14-1), 44-16, on Monday to win its second national title in three years and hand Nick Saban the worst loss of his Tide tenure.

How did this happen?

“I actually did predict Clemson to win 35-31, so I did call my shot,” Watch Stadium’s Brett McMurphy said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “The main reason was because Alabama’s defense had allowed over 300 yards passing their last two games against Georgia and Oklahoma – and that was the first time that had ever happened for a Nick Saban defense.”

Now it’s happened three games in a row. True freshman Trevor Lawrence carved up Alabama’s secondary, finishing 20-of-32 for 347 yards and three touchdowns.

“Certainly I never would have imagined that Clemson would have that much success offensively with Trevor Lawrence, easily clearing 300 yards throwing the ball,” McMurphy said. “I think probably what surprised me the most were the struggles Alabama for offensively. As good as Clemson’s front seven was, I talked to Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley earlier in the week and I think he felt – and Alabama’s players felt – like they could take advantage of Clemson’s weak spot, which was their back four, their secondary. But the front seven was just so dominant that Tua didn’t have a lot of time.”

Indeed, Tua Tagovailoa threw a pick-six on Alabama’s first possession. He finished 22-of-34 for 295 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and a fumble (recovered), as Alabama scored just three points in the final three quarters.

“It’s weird,” McMurphy said. “You look at the final stats and Clemson only out-gained Alabama by 40 yards, but it was never really a game once we got into the late minutes of the first half. Give Clemson credit. They dominated this game.”