Dabo Swinney -- This Clemson Tigers team among all-time best

Lynette Rowe
January 8, 2019

Clemson Tigers coach Dabo Swinney's victory speech after the College Football Playoff National Championship game made sure to mention God. The Tigers won the game by 28 points, with a score of 44-16.

Clemson's Travis Etienne celebrates after the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Alabama, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. Clemson beat Alabama 44-16.

When Dabo took the trophy, he didn't even have to think about where it would sit in Clemson's facilities.

Swinney has been known for showing off his dance moves. We shot ourselves in the foot by me throwing that interception for a touchdown, and then not finishing drives the way we wanted to. It was the fourth time that Clemson has faced the Tide in the playoff era, and the second time they defeated Nick Saban. The Tigers still lead by one because of a missed extra point.

"Just these seniors, just taking me in, and they kind of dragged me along until I got my feet under me, and they just - they're awesome people as well as players", said Lawrence, the first freshman starting quarterback to lead his team to a national title since Oklahoma's Jamelle Holieway in 1985.

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Alabama gained 224 yards in the first quarter but just 42 in the second as Clemson took control on both sides.

"I feel like it's not really up for debate", Clemson cornerback Trayvon Mullen said.

Speaking on the field to ESPN, Coach Swinney - clearly exultant in the jubilant moment after his team dominated what analysts had been discussing as a near-unbeatable Nick Saban-coached Crimson Tide team, statistically one of the best teams of all time during the regular season - launched into an unscripted "sermon" on the power of God, faith, passion and objective.

He humbled Alabama's all-star defense, completing 20 of 32 passes with three touchdowns, including a precision 5-yard pass into the end zone to Tee Higgins to push the lead to 44-16 late in the third quarter.

Nearly as shocking as Clemson, a program that promoted an obscure receivers coach to lead the program 10 years ago, climbing over the traditional powers to the top of college football. The national championship is just a byproduct of that. "But on Friday, we're gonna have another team meeting and we're gonna get locked in on next year".

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