Clemson, the No. 2 seed in the College Football Playoff, is taking it right to the No. 1 Crimson Tide at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
Lawrence threw TD passes to Travis Etienne, Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross to help undefeated Clemson become the first team in the AP poll era starting in 1936 to win 15 games in a season. And in a second-half defensive performance that will go down in Clemson lore. He finished the game 22-of-34 passing for 295 yards and two touchdowns. Until Monday night, a 31-17 loss in the 2009 Sugar Bowl to Utah, a 35-21 loss to SC in 2010 and a 45-31 loss to Oklahoma in the 2014 Sugar Bowl stood as the largest losses of Saban's Alabama tenure.
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa struggled in the losing effort.
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.
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Tagovailoa, the sophomore who came off the bench to win the championship game a year ago for the Crimson Tide, went 22 for 34 for 295 yards and two touchdowns. Clemson's defense registered the game's first score and limited Alabama to four yards per carry.
Alabama seemed panicked in the third quarter, running a fake field goal into a waiting Clemson defense instead of kicking from 40.
5 - Clemson scored on five straight drives from midway through the second quarter through the end of the third period to put the game out of reach.