Clemson was a five-point underdog and surprised Alabama with big plays and great defense to win the National Championship 44-16.

Dabo Swinney and Clemson have traded wins with Alabama in the College Football Playoff the last four seasons. Alabama won the championship game in 2015. Clemson won in 2016. Alabama won a semi-final game a year ago. And the Tigers get their second title in three years this season.

Clemson started the scoring with a pick-six. Tua Tagovailoa had his pass intercepted in the first quarter to give Clemson the 7-0 lead.

The rest of the first quarter went back and forth with big plays, and Alabama started the second quarter with a field goal for a 16-14 lead. But it was all Clemson after that. Trevor Lawrence with three touchdown passes as the true freshman was 20 of 32 for 347 yards against the Crimson Tide.

"I've never been a part of anything like this," said Lawrence. "It makes it easier when everyone out there is giving 100 percent."

"I'm so proud of our guys," Swinney said.

Clemson is the first 15-0 team in major college football history.

"For our guys to come out here tonight and perform like they did," said Swinney, "I felt like we had the better team."