Here is a look at the last four meetings between Clemson and Alabama. The Crimson Tide holds a 14-4 overall lead in the series, which dates to 1900.
Aug. 30, 2008
Result: Alabama 34, Clemson 10
Summary: Expectations were high for No. 9 Clemson and the Tigers seemed poised for a breakout year. Instead, the 2008 season opener was a coming out party for No. 24 Alabama, which ground out 239 rushing yards and held Clemson to zero rushing yards and 216 total yards. The game was also the debut of highly-touted Alabama freshman Julio Jones, who made four catches for 28 yards with a touchdown. Mark Ingram and Glenn Coffee each had 90-plus rushing yards and John Parker Wilson tossed two touchdown passes. It was a disastrous start to the season for Clemson and coach Tommy Bowden, who later resigned six games into the season. Tiger assistant Dabo Swinney, a former Crimson Tide player and assistant coach, took over as interim head coach. For Alabama, the win propelled it into the national spotlight and into a legitimate contender.
Jan. 11, 2016
Site: Glendale, Arizona (CFP championship)
Result: Alabama 45, Clemson 40
Summary: Alabama was favored to win in its first appearance in the College Football Championship game. With Deshaun Watson at the helm for the No. 2 Tigers it was anything but easy. Derrick Henry, Alabama’s Heisman Trophy running back, got loose for a 50-yard touchdown run to start the scoring. Watson puts Clemson ahead 14-7 with a pair of touchdown passes to Hunter Renfrow, a player who would play the role of villain for Crimson Tide fans for the next few years. A 1-yard run from Henry tied it in the second quarter O.J. Howard, a one-man Tiger wrecking crew, got open for a 53-yard touchdown reception early in the third quarter to make it 21-14. A field goal and touchdown gave Clemson a 24-21 lead and Alabama bounced back with a field goal to tie it. Then, Alabama pulled off the play of the game, recovering an onside kick to give it possession in Clemson territory. Two plays later, Howard was wide open again and caught a 51-yard pass to give UA the lead. After a Clemson field goal it was Kenyan Drake’s turn to come up big. He returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown to extend the Crimson Tide lead 38-27. Later, Howard delivered again after a Clemson TD with a 63-yard reception to set up a game-clinching touchdown from Henry, who finished with 158 yards and three TDs. Howard had five catches for 208 yards and Jake Coker passed for 335 yards.
Jan. 9, 2017
Site: Tampa, Florida (CFP Championship)
Result: Clemson 35, Alabama 31
Summary: Just as he did in the previous CFP title game against Alabama, Deshaun Watson delivered, only this time he came away with Clemson’s first national championship. Watson, the Heisman Trophy runner-up, was spectacular, passing for 420 yards and three touchdowns. Alabama seemed poised to get its second straight title and 17th overall championship after bolting out to a 14-0 lead on touchdown runs by Bo Scarbrough. Watson and Clemson were unfazed as Watson later scored on a run to make it 14-7. In the third quarter, UA added a field goal and the Crimson Tide’s old nemesis Hunter Renfrow got Clemson back into the game with a touchdown catch to make it 17-14. Then Clemson’s nemesis, O.J. Howard, was left wide open and he raced to the end zone on a 68-yard touchdown pass from Jalen Hurts to extend Alabama’s lead to 24-14. Alabama was dealt a big blow when Scarbrough, who had 93 yards, left the game in the third quarter with a broken leg. Clemson scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns and took a 28-24 lead with under five minutes to play. Huts took control and led Alabama down the field and broke loose on a quarterback keeper for a 30-yard touchdown to put UA back on top with 2:07 to play. Watson and Clemson went to work, moving the ball down the field against a gassed Alabama defense. Watson hit Renfrow on a 2-yard pass with one second left on the clock to punctuate Clemson’s victory and dethrone defending champ Alabama.
Jan. 1, 2018
Site: New Orleans (Sugar Bowl, CFP semifinal)
Result: Alabama 24, Clemson 6
Summary: The third straight meeting in the CFP between the Tigers and Crimson Tide was not for a national title this time around. Alabama was voted into the playoff ahead of Ohio State to earn the No. 4 seed and met No. 1 Clemson for a trip to the title game on the line. Unlike the two previous meetings full of offensive fireworks, Round III between the two teams featured big plays from the defense, particularly Alabama’s. A field goal and a Calvin Ridley touchdown put Alabama ahead 10-0 and Clemson cut into the lead with a field goal in the second quarter for a 10-3 score. Clemson took advantage of a fumble on Alabama’s first play of the third quarter and cut the lead to 10-6 with another field goal. Then Alabama’s defense took control. After an Alabama three-and-out, Clemson was putting together a drive for a potential go-ahead score. But UA defensive lineman Da’Ron Payne picked off a Kelly Bryant pass and returned it to the Clemson 27. A few plays later, Hurts connected with Payne for a 1-yard touchdown pass to make it a 17-6 Alabama lead. On the first play of Clemson’s next possession, Mack Wilson picked off Bryant and ran 18 yards for the pick-six score to put Alabama ahead 24-6. The Alabama defense held Clemson to 12 yards over its next three possessions to derail any chance of a comeback.
Nov. 29, 1900, Clemson 35, Alabama 0
Oct. 8, 1904, Clemson 18, Alabama 0
Oct. 25, 1905, Clemson 25, Alabama 0
Oct. 16, 1909, Alabama 3, Clemson 0
Oct. 11, 1913, Alabama 20, Clemson 0
Nov. 14, 1931, Alabama 74, Clemson 7
Nov. 10, 1934, Alabama 40, Clemson 0
Nov. 9, 1935, Alabama 33, Clemson 0
Oct. 3, 1936, Alabama 32, Clemson 0
Oct. 8, 1966, Alabama 26, Clemson 0
Oct. 28, 1967, Alabama 13, Clemson 10
Oct. 26, 1968, Alabama 21, Clemson 14
Oct. 25, 1969, Alabama 38, Clemson 13
Sept. 20, 1975, Alabama 56, Clemson 0
Aug. 30, 2008, Alabama 34, Clemson 10
Jan. 11, 2016, Alabama 45, Clemson 40
Jan. 9, 2017, Clemson 35, Alabama 31
Jan. 1, 2018, Alabama 24, Clemson 6