(WAVE) - Freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence turned in a performance for the ages as #2 Clemson dominated #1 Alabama 44-16 to win the National Championship on Monday night in Santa Clara, California.
Lawrence completed 20-32 for 347 yards and three touchdowns. Fellow freshman Justyn Ross caught six of those passes for 153 yards and a score.
The Tigers struck first when A.J. Terrell picked off a Tua Tagovailoa pass and took it 44 yards for a touchdown just 1:40 into the first quarter.
Alabama did take a brief 16-14 lead when Joseph Bulovas drilled a 25 yard field goal with 14:18 left in the second quarter.
The Tigers responded with a six play, 65 yard drive capped by a Travis Etienne one yard touchdown run. Etienne rushed for 86 yards and two touchdowns and also caught one. Clemson lead 31-16 at halftime. They shut out Alabama in the second half.
“We beat Notre Dame and Alabama and we left no doubt,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “We walk off this field tonight as the first 15-0 team.”
The Crimson Tide finishes up 14-1. Tagovailoa finished 22-34 for 295 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
It is the third National Championship for the Tigers. They also won in 1981 and in 2016. Clemson will visit UofL at Cardinal Stadium in 2019.