- FINAL SCORE: NO. 1 CLEMSON 37, NO. 4 OKLAHOMA 17
MIAMI, FL, Sporting Alert – Wayne Gallman ran for 150 yards and two touchdowns and Deshaun Watson ran for 145 yards and a score and passed for another touchdown to lead No. 1 Clemson to a 37-17 victory over No. 4 Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff semifinal matchup at the Capital One Orange Bowl. Box Score
Trailing 17-16 at halftime, the Tigers (14-0) roared back to outscore the Sooners 21-0 in the second half to pick up the win and advanced to the College Football Playoff national championship.
The ACC champions were advancing to their second-ever national championship.
Watson was 16 of 31 on completed passes for 187 yards and was intercepted one time. He accounted for 332 yards in the pass/rush combo.
“Our team has shown hearts and guts all year long,” said Clemson coach Dabo Swinney. “I told them (the team), ‘You ain’t favored to win the damn game, but we ain’t no underdog.'”
ESPN’s Skip Bayless, who revealed earlier this year that he doesn’t trust Sooners coach Bob Stoops in championship games, had more words to say on his official Twitter account.
Bob Stoops, worst big-game motivator in college football, sent out a defense tonight that wasn’t ready to match Clemson’s intensity. Bob Stoops: Great recruiter, lifeless motivator. Not a dab of Dabo in him. Unrecruited Baker Mayfield motivated/saved this team.
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield completed 26 of 41 passes for 311 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted twice.
Samaje Perine ran for a score and 58 yards, while Mark Andrews took a catch for a touchdown and Sterling Shepard caught the ball seven times for 87 yards for the Sooners (11-2) who came into the game as the favorites to win the match.
“As I said before this game, I was mystified how Oklahoma was favored,” Bayless said.
He also added that the Sooners needed to make a change.
He wrote: “I’ve said this for 2 years and I’ll say it again: Stoops and OU both need fresh starts – OU with another coach, Stoops with another job.”
Clemson was able to shut down the Oklahoma running game, while out-rushing the Sooners 312-67 on the night. The men from Norman were suffering consecutive bowl losses by 20 points or more for the first time in program history.
They were also hammered by 34 points in the Russell Athletic Bowl last season by Clemson as well.
The Tigers, who remain the only undefeated FBS team this season, have now won 14 straight games and 17 successive, dating back to last year.
The College Football Playoff championship game will be in Arizona, on January 11.
NOTES ESPN STATS AND INFO:
- Clemson has won its last two bowl games by 54 combined points, and according to ESPN Stats & Info, this is the largest margin in consecutive bowl games in program history.
- Clemson is the 6th team to start 14-0 since major classification began in 1937. No team has seen a 15-0 record next to its name since Penn in 1897.
- Both of Oklahoma’s losses have come by 17 points this year. Loss to Texas in October.