We all know by now that the Alabama Crimson Tide won the National Championship thanks to a 45-40 score over Clemson. It certainly stung for the Tigers and for coach Dabo Swinney who is an Alabama alum. While his team might have lost on the field, Swinney believes that they still took away some sort of win from the game.
In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated’s Thayer Evans, Swinney reaffirmed his belief that the Tigers played well enough to win the national championship, but fell just a few plays short. Here’s his entire answer to the question about it:
Campus Rush: Now that you’ve had some time, what’s your takeaway from just how close you were to beating your alma mater, Alabama, in the College Football Playoff championship?
Dabo Swinney: Everything in life is how you respond to it. If everything went perfect all the time—you never lost a game, you got to the championship every time, you always won, you always got the top recruit, you always made the A—you really wouldn’t truly appreciate all that goes into it. Our guys have responded well. As I’ve said many times, it’s one thing to dream about something, it’s another thing to experience it. It’s one thing to think you’re good enough, it’s another thing to know you’re good enough. We didn’t win the game obviously, but I think our brand won. I don’t know how to explain that other than Alabama has been kind of the standard. When you consider we out-rushed, out-passed, out-gained, out-sacked, out-tackled-for-loss them, we really played great, outside of four plays defensively. Physically, we matched up. We had a lot of things validated for our program.
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The Tigers had 550 yards of total offense against the Alabama defense, including 405 yards passing and four touchdowns from quarterback Deshaun Watson. Clemson will actually play another team of Tigers when they head to Auburn for the first game of the season and they’ll be able to see how they stack up against the SEC from the beginning of the season.
[h/t SEC Country]