Monday, January 07, 2019

Clemson: 2018 NCAA Division I FBS National Champions

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- With stunning ease -- and a freshman quarterback -- Clemson toppled college football's greatest dynasty again to become the first perfect playoff champion.

Trevor Lawrence passed for 347 yards and three touchdowns and the second-ranked Tigers beat No. 1 Alabama 44-16 on Monday night in the College Football Playoff national championship game.

In the fourth consecutive playoff meeting between the Tigers and Tide, Clemson evened the series and beat `Bama for the national championship for the second time in three seasons. Clemson is the first team in the AP poll era, dating back to 1936, to finish 15-0.

"We're gonna enjoy this one. We've got a nice spot to put it in our facility, right next to that other one," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. "We've got twins!"

Alabama coach Nick Saban and the Tide (14-1) were looking for a sixth national championship in 10 years, trying to add to an already unprecedented run in the sport. Instead, Clemson crushed Alabama, becoming the first opponent to beat the Tide by more than 14 points since Saban became coach in 2007.

Swinney's Tigers sealed their status as a superpower, no longer just 1A to Alabama's 1.

"We're 15-0, we beat the best team ever, nobody's taking that away from us," Clemson All-America defensive tackle Christian Wilkins said.

Two seasons ago it was Deshaun Watson dethroning the Tide with a last-second touchdown pass. Clemson's new star quarterback didn't need the late-game heroics. The long-haired Lawrence cut though Alabama's defense with the help of another fabulous freshman. Justyn Ross made a juggling grab, a one-handed snare and broke a 74-yard touchdown about midway through the third quarter that made it 37-16 and had Swinney high-stepping down the sidelines.

Ross, who scored two touchdowns in the semifinal rout of Notre Dame, had six catches for 153 yards against his home-state team.

Swinney takes a different approach than Saban, running a more fun-loving program than Alabama's all-business organization. But the results have been every bit as good. And on Monday night at Levi's Stadium, in a championship game played more than 2,000 miles away from Clemson's South Carolina campus, the Tigers were way too much for an Alabama team that had spent the season mauling its opposition by an average of 31 points per game.

Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa threw two crucial interceptions in the first half, the first returned 44 yards for a touchdown by A.J. Terrell to put Clemson up 7-0. The Tide came in scoring 48 points per game, but were shut out over the final 44 minutes by an opportunistic Clemson defense that stiffened in key spots.

Tagovailoa, the sophomore who came off the bench to win the championship game last year for the Tide, went 22 for 34 for 295 yards and two touchdowns.

"Good is not good enough," Tagovailoa said.

The Heisman runner-up was also the second-best quarterback on the field in the championship game. Lawrence finished 20 for 32, but went 18 for 25 for 277 yards over the final three quarters.

The teenager who took over as the starter four games into the season raised the Tigers' play, giving them an explosive offense to match a suffocating defense that was led by a star-studded line with All-Americans Clelin Ferrell and Wilkins.

"It's been an awesome journey," Lawrence said. "It's really unbelievable."

Marseille's Recent Plight In France

Come on, we could almost have said that after all, Rudi Garcia did not put this loss on the back of the referee after the match. But even in this exercise, namely the post-match press conference, Olympique de Marseille is out of date. So it was not by the coach of Andrézieux but by that of GSI Pontivy, who faced Paris Saint-Germain and which is logically made out at this stage 1 / 32nd Cup final of France. And who said he hoped for a draw more lenient next year, like that of OM ... Obviously, the joke will become viral and all those who want to make fun of OM will laugh. It's a symbol, but here is where it came back: with this new humiliation, OM is again the target of jokes of all kinds, the " so will have to find something else. A coach for example. Because, not to wait any longer to say it, Rudi Garcia at the head of this team, it is no longer possible. If OM, which was already weak against the strong, also weak against the weakest (remember that Andrézieux competes in National 2), what is left? so will have to find something else. A coach for example. Because, not to wait any longer to say it, Rudi Garcia at the head of this team, it is no longer possible. If OM, which was already weak against the strong, also weak against the weakest (remember that Andrézieux competes in National 2), what is left?

To be fair, at the beginning, at the beginning of this exercise, which was far from keeping its promises, the desire was not to hold the coach accountable for the situation. Some of you have seen it, and have made a direct link with the coming months of the President and the coach on the set of the Talk Show. Sorry to disappoint them but the motivation was elsewhere, in defense of an idea rather than that of men. For living closely the end of Didier Deschamps reign at the club, or even that of Elie Baup, with these players who do nothing to pull the group up because they do not have enough time to play to their taste, the possibility of giving power to the coach, for once, seduced. Yes, the idea of ​​Jacques Henri Eyraud, to remove any ambiguity on the Garcia's future to allow him to navigate more serenely, seemed relevant. But given the state of the ship, we may not have to wait for the arrival to see the damage. Okay, in Marseille, it is an emergency situation permanently and it is difficult to see in the long term. But even Carlo Ancelotti at AC Milan or Arsene Wenger at Arsenal did not experience such phases.

After getting out of his first round of the Coupe de la Ligue and his first round of the Europa League, OM has been out in the first match in of the Coupe de France. By a National 2 side, who did not raise hell for the pros on their pitch surrounded by handrails but the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard. A 2-0 victory that was not difficult. Take the test, show the replay of this game to someone new to football, turn off the sound, and ask him/her if it is the white team or the red team who are professionals... So yes, Marcelo Bielsa also is made out by a team of this level, Grenoble, four years ago. But yes, we could talk about the magic of the cup, with an equalizer at the last minute of the extension and an exit on penalties. On top of that, Marseille, back then, was leader of Ligue 1 with a certain background of the game.

When leaving the press, Jacques-Henri Eyraud assured that Rudi Garcia was not threatened. Of course, he was not going to say off the record that he saw himself finishing the season with someone else. But really, it should be a matter of form, not to offend the susceptibility of Garcia, and have to pay a bigger check to the labor courts. Because we must face the truth, even a series of victories would not revive the machine, the evil runs deep, and the slightest hitch would bring out the demons of the last 13 games (where there are nine defeats, he reminded him).