By Andrea Adelson
TAMPA, Fla. — The game clock showed 2:01. Deshaun Watson gathered his teammates and told them simply, “We’re going to get this touchdown. We’re going to win this national championship.”
Nobody on that sideline doubted. Not with Watson under center. Everybody wearing orange and purple firmly believed they had the best player in the country on their side, Heisman or no Heisman. They reminded everybody: Heismans are voted on; championships are won.
This would be it for him, on the last drive, in his last game.
“I’d seen the two minutes and one second on the clock, and I just smiled and I just knew,” Watson said after Monday’s title game. “I told myself, ‘They left too much time on the clock.'”
First play, pass complete. Second play, pass complete. Down the field they went, a march toward inevitability. When Watson arrived at Clemson in January 2013, he tweeted, “Me. In a National Championship Game. I’m just waiting on that moment.”
It came on first-and-goal at the Alabama 2. The play call came in: Crush. Watson would roll out and go to receiver Hunter Renfrow in the flat.
“We knew that play was going to work,” Clemson receiver Mike Williams said. “When you want it the most, you go out with your best call. We knew that was our best call.”
The play call was brilliant. So was its execution.
“I saw the whole play develop, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, wide open,'” Tigers defensive lineman Christian Wilkins said. “I’m on field goal unit, so I sprinted right onto the field as Deshaun was throwing it. I knew it was game. One second left. It was beautiful timing.” More…