Alabama football brought pain and Clemson got ‘Payne-ed’ in Sugar Bowl

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01: Da'Ron Payne /

Alabama football took down CFB’s No. 1 team with a crushing defensive effort in the Sugar Bowl. For Clemson, the experience was too much ‘Payne.’

Memo to Crimson Tide haters everywhere: Alabama football does not treat disparagement casually. Across the world of college football, there was debate if the Crimson Tide deserved a CFB Playoff selection. Plus, the majority of national CFB pundits predicted a Tide loss to Clemson.

The Alabama football team took all the clamor as an insult. Someone had to pay and Monday night that someone was Clemson. The Crimson Tide defense hit the Sugar Bowl Field with a ferocity akin to championship defenses from its past. The No. 1 team in the land never stood a chance.

After a quarter, Clemson had run 10 plays. The result was a minus seven yards. Alabama football led by seven at halftime, 10-3. An uncharacteristic Jalen Hurts fumble early in the third quarter gave the Tigers hope. In three offensive plays, Clemson lost five yards. The ensuing field goal cut the lead to 10-6.

Clemson thought they had gained momentum. They were wrong. Thanks to the Tide defense, no more points were needed. The Tide offense went three-and-out on the next possession. It did not matter because Da’Ron Payne was about to take over the game.

Anfernee Jennings, who played wonderfully, grabbed Kelly Bryant’s arm in mid-throw. The wounded toss sailed to Da’Ron Payne who gathered it in and returned it 21 yards. For Clemson, tackling Payne required a ‘horsecollar’ so 15 more yards were added to the interception run. Check out the play below.

Tigers experience pain from Payne

Seven plays later, Jalen Hurts threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Da’Ron Payne. In the Alabama football jumbo set, the Tide backfield was Hurts, Damien Harris, Da’Ron Payne and Quinnen Williams. Everyone in the stadium and especially Clemson expected the ball would go to Harris.

Instead, Hurts faked to Harris and passed to a wide-open Da’Ron Payne in the end zone. The resulting 17-6 Tide lead was insurmountable. On aspect of the play was especially satisfying. Quinnen Williams at H-Back ran a clear-out route, taking two defenders out of the play and freeing Payne. Consider it a ‘big boy’ version of the pick plays Clemson used in last year’s game. Check it out below.

Some many Alabama football players performed at a high standard in the Sugar Bowl. Singling out one is not really fair. Still, for the Clemson Tigers to get ‘Payne-ed’ was sweet revenge for last season’s loss.

Next: 30 Greatest Games in Alabama Football History

Bring on the Dawg’s! Kirby and his team achieved a heroic victory. An All-SEC final is a fitting nightmare for SEC haters.