Saturday, December 31, 2016
(AP) -- Clemson is getting another crack at Alabama in college football's national championship game, one year after the Crimson Tide earned a 45-40 win over the Tigers for the title.
DeShaun Watson ran for two touchdowns and threw for another as Clemson blasted Ohio State, 31-0. Watson was 23 of 36 for 259 yards and two interceptions before taking a seat on the bench with five minutes left in the fourth quarter. He also had 57 yards rushing for the Tigers, who scored in each quarter and held the Buckeyes to 215 total yards and nine first downs.
The Tigers had a 275-88 advantage in total yards by halftime, with Watson throwing for 197 yards. The Buckeyes had just nine yards rushing on 10 carries by the half and remained scoreless after Tyler Durbin missed a pair of 47-yard field goals.
Clemson improved to 13-1 and dropped the Buckeyes to 11-2. Ohio State was seeking its second national title in three years. It was the first time Urban Meyer has been shut out in his 194 games as head coach. OSU hadn't been blanked since a 1993 loss to Michigan.
The top-ranked and unbeaten Crimson Tide are 14-0 after scoring 10 points off turnovers in a 24-7 win over No. 4 Washington in the Peach Bowl. Ryan Anderson returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown to put Alabama ahead 17-7 with 1:13 left in the first half. It came after Anthony Averett forced a fumble that set up Adam Griffith's tiebreaking, 41-yard field goal.
Bo Scarborough carried the Tide's offense by running for 180 yards and two touchdowns to earn game MVP honors. He capped the scoring by rumbling 68 yards for a TD with 11:56 remaining.
Scarborough almost outgained the entire Huskies offense, which was held to 194 yards and didn't score after Jake Browning's 16-yard TD pass midway through the first quarter. Browning was 20 of 38 for just 150 yards and two interceptions for the 12-2 Huskies.
The national championship game is slated for Jan. 9 at Tampa, Fla. at 8 p.m.