Alabama’s Surprise Onside Kick vs. Clemson Proved Nick Saban Has Guts
Screenshot from YouTube

Alabama football head coach Nick Saban is calm, cool and collected on the sidelines.

Until he chews out assistant coaches and players or destroys his headset after a penalty.

Whatever the mood, Saban isn’t know for a lot of razzle dazzle. He sticks to what his team does best and executes it to perfection.

That’s why in the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game Saban shocked us all by taking a huge risk.

Alabama’s Surprise Onside Kick vs. Clemson

RELATED: Derrick Henry?s Best Stiff-Arms Turn Defenders Into Pee Wee Players

Alabama Crimson Tide kicker Adam Griffith nailed a field goal to tie the game at 24 against the Clemson Tigers with 10:34 left in the fourth quarter.

The score had been close throughout the contest, with no team achieving a lead greater than seven.

Saban knew he needed something to change the game. He took a play out of New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton‘s playbook.

Griffith lined up for the kickoff. Everybody was already thinking about how Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson would answer.

The Crimson Tide kicker approached the ball, then pivoted and booted perhaps the most perfect onside kick I’ve ever seen. The ball bounced on a beautiful line to his teammate on the outside.

Possession Tide.

That gutsy call completely shifted the momentum. Two plays later, Alabama QB Jake Coker hit tight end O.J. Howard on a 51-yard touchdown pass.


Bama wouldn’t relinquish the lead again, claiming the fourth national title of the Saban era with a 45-40 win.

There are two main things I take away from this play:


One, Adam Griffith is a special teams wizard. His foot is one with the ball, and he can direct where it goes at will.

Two, Nick Saban aka Nick “Big Cajones” Saban proved he is willing to roll the dice. Had the plan backfired, Clemson would’ve had great field position.

These are the kind of play calls that win championships and keep dynasties alive.

MORE: Amari Cooper?s 99-Yard Catch Historically Embarrassed Auburn

Joe Grobeck About the author:
Joe is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and lives in Austin, Texas. He believes Ndaumkong Suh should've won the 2009 Heisman and is an avid basketball fan.
View More Articles

Stories You Might Like