A wild national championship game ended with a Gatorade bath for Alabama coach Nick Saban, who moved to 5-0 in national title games after his Crimson Tide took down Clemson, 45-40, in Glendale, Ariz.
Saban’s Tide overcame a three-point fourth-quarter deficit to thwart Deshaun Watson (478 total yards) and the previously undefeated Tigers.
“We didn’t seem to have the juice like we had against Michigan State,” Saban said after the clock hit 0:00. “But they fought and fought and battled and battled.”
In a game full of memorable moments, the 64-year-old picked out one in particular the meant the most: Adam Griffith’s surprise onside kick in the fourth quarter.
“That was a great kick by Griff,” he said. “I think that changed the momentum of the game, and our guys finished it.”
Eleven days after refusing to smile for reporters after the national semifinal, Saban finally relented.
“You got it, baby,” he said. “You got it.”