TAMPA, Fla. -- A year after narrowly losing in the national title game, Clemson got its revenge on Monday, handing Alabama its first loss of the season in a thrilling 35-31 decision that saw the Tigers trail all game until the final minutes. It's Clemson's second national championship, their only other coming in 1981.

Clemson took its first lead of the game off a Wayne Gallman touchdown run with 4:38 remaining.

The Crimson Tide defeated the Tigers, 45-40, in last year's national title game.

Deshaun Watson, this season's Heisman runner-up who had a historic performance in last year's title game loss, finished with 418 passing yards and three touchdowns.