For the 2018 University of Alabama football season, The Tuscaloosa News’ Terrin Waack has provided select stellar stats, obscure facts and notable quotes from the most recent game to show how the Crimson Tide uses “The Process” against its opponents.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — No. 1 Alabama was defeated by No. 2 Clemson 44-16 at Levi’s Sadium Stadium on Monday in the College Football Playoff’s National Championship game with 74,814 people in attendance.
• Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence ended up with the highest quarterback rating ever in a CFP national championship game — 184.5. He became the first true freshman to beat Nick Saban since Mississippi State’s Wesley Carroll in 2007 and the second to win a national title. The other was Oklahoma’s Jamelle Holieway in 1985.
• The Tigers’ 28-point margin of victory was the largest ever over the Crimson Tide during the Saban era. It was Clemson’s 13th win by more than 20 points this season.
• Tigers defensive back A.J. Terrell’s 44-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter marked not only the longest pick-six in a CFP national championship game. It was Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s second pick-six of his career (Tennessee, 2017).
• Looking at Clemson’s 347 receiving yards, 190 came after the catch. Alabama picked up 80 yards afterward, with 295 total.
• It was the first time this season the Crimson Tide didn’t make a single sack. There weren’t any quarterback hurries recorded either, but the Crimson Tide also didn’t have any against The Citadel.
• Both of Clemson’s players who wear the No. 8 scored a touchdown. Wide receiver Justyn Ross had a 74-yard reception. Terrell had the interception return.
• Alabama had allowed just one 60-yard pass play before Monday’s game. Clemson completed passes of 62 and 74 yards.
• Between last season’s national championship game and this season’s, there were just three rushing touchdowns (two this year). The three title games before saw 14.
• The Tigers scored the most points in the first half (31) and in second half (17) in CFP national championship history.
• Lawrence was perfect up the middle. He 5-for-5 through center field for 52 yards and two touchdowns.
OddSharks.com had Alabama as a five-point favorite over Clemson. The Crimson Tide did not cover. It lost by 28 points. Alabama finished 8-7 against the spread this season.
Quoting Nick Saban
On the failed fake field goal in the third quarter…
“I think it was a poor decision on my part not to kick the field goal, the first drive of the second half. We thought we had a really, really good fake, and somebody didn’t block the guy they were supposed to block, so it didn’t work. So, it was a bad call.”
Quoting the Crimson Tide
Alabama linebacker Christian Miller, who is also a senior team captain, on not playing because of a hamstring injury…
“As a leader, I feel like it falls on me. I take the blame. I just hope people understand this team fought it tail off all season, week in and week out. All the guys on the team always came to work. I’m proud as hell of them.”
Quoting the opponent
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney on his immediate reaction after the game…
“There hasn’t ever been a 15-0 team, and I know we’re not supposed to be here. We’re just little old Clemson, and I’m not supposed to be here. But here we are and I am. How about them Tigers.”
Top 3 rushers
1. CU: Travis Etienne, 14 carries for 86 yards and two touchdowns
2. UA: Najee Harris, nine carries for 59 yards
3. UA: Damien Harris, 11 carries for 57 yards
Top 3 receivers
1. CU: Justyn Ross, six receptions for 153 yards and a touchdown
2. UA: Jerry Jeudy, five receptions for 139 yards and a touchdown
3. CU: Tee Higgins, three receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown
Top 3 passers
1. CU: Trevor Lawrence, 20-32-0 for 347 yards and three touchdowns
2. UA: Tua Tagovailoa, 22-34-2 for 295 yards and two touchdowns (sacked once)
3. UA: Jalen Hurts, 0-2-2 for no yards (sacked once)
Top 3 defenders
1. CU: Isaiah Simmons, nine total tackles
2. CU: A.J. Terrell, eight total tackles (an interception)
3. UA: Xavier McKinney, seven total tackles (a pass breakup)
That’s it for Alabama’s 2018-19 season. The 2019-20 edition begins Aug. 31 against Duke in Atlanta. Then, “The Process” starts all over.
Reach Terrin Waack at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0229.