Strong performances by Derrick Henry, Deshaun Watson highlight title game

Deshaun Watson

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson runs the ball in the third quarter.

(Christian Petersen / Getty Images)

Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry rushed for three touchdowns and became Alabama’s all-time leading rusher in the Crimson Tide’s 45-40 victory over Clemson in the College Football Playoff championship game Monday night at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Henry, a junior, rushed for 158 yards in 36 carries. He scored on runs of 50, one and one yard.

Henry finished the season with 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns.

He has rushed for 3,692 yards and 42 touchdowns, surpassing Shaun Alexander on the all-time list.


Henry became the 15th player to win the Heisman while playing for a national championship team. Former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was the most recent in 2013. Among the others were Auburn quarterback Cam Newton (2010), Alabama running back Mark Ingram (2009) and USC quarterback Matt Leinart (2004).

Henry is expected to make himself available for the NFL draft.

Tigers’ Watson finishes strong

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, who finished third in Heisman balloting behind Henry and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, passed for 405 yards and four touchdowns, with an interception, and rushed for 73 yards.


Watson finished the season with 4,104 yards passing and 35 touchdowns.

He had 1,105 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns.

Coker is productive

Alabama quarterback Jake Coker followed up his outstanding performance in the Cotton Bowl with another productive night in his final game for the Crimson Tide.

Coker completed 16 of 25 passes for 335 yards and two touchdowns.

“This is something I’ve dreamed of since I was little,” he said in a television interview, “and the fact that this team was able to overcome what we’ve overcome … it’s awesome.”

Colbert analyzes


Lane Kiffin was not the only former USC personality working for Alabama.

Former Trojans receiver Keary Colbert works as an offensive analyst for Alabama.

“I took this opportunity to kind of grow in the profession of coaching and learn from the best with Coach [Nick] Saban, and coach Kiffin and all the coaches that are here,” Colbert said at media day.

“It’s kind of been a process.”

Colbert, 33, played at USC from 2000 to 2003 and is fourth on the Trojans’ all-time receptions list with 207 catches, 19 for touchdowns. He played six seasons in the NFL and was a receivers coach at Georgia State in 2013 before joining the Alabama staff before the 2014 season.

Quick hits

Ingram, Julio Jones, Alexander, C.J. Mosley and Amari Cooper were among former Alabama players on the sideline. ... USC President Max Nikias was named chairman of the College Football Playoff Board of Managers. He succeeds Harvey Perlman. The Board of Managers governs the College Football Playoff business, property and affairs.

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