Clemson pulled off what seemed like the impossible on Monday night by engineering a double-digit comeback in the fourth quarter against undefeated Alabama to avenge last season's loss in a 35-31 Tigers victory and an instant classic College Football Playoff National Championship.
That comeback, capped off by a Deshaun Watson touchdown pass to Austin Renfrow with one second to play, gave Clemson its first national championship since 1981 and was an extremely emotional moment for both Watson and coach Dabo Swinney, who came so close to a title in last season's 45-40 loss to Alabama.
Both Swinney and Watson were understandably overcome with emotion on the sidelines after the win and shared a special moment on the field.
Clemson...YOU BEAT BAMA!! pic.twitter.com/JxAGJKVqkM— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) January 10, 2017
Deshaun Watson overcome with emotion. pic.twitter.com/wr2FgWAr2b— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 10, 2017
It was the second successive year that Watson had a phenomenal performance against Alabama in the CFP championship game, this time posting 463 total yards (420 passing) and four total touchdowns (three passing). The difference? This one resulted in a national championship.
For Swinney, the triumph proved he has truly built Clemson into one of the nation's elite programs.
With Watson almost assuredly headed to the NFL Draft this spring, this was the best possible final moment for the two to share together on the football field.