Da'Ron Payne celebrates after the win. Rusty Costanza/PA Images
roll tide

Alabama threw a huge touchdown pass to a 310lb defender to reach National Championship Game

They’ll face Georgia in the decider after the Bulldogs’ epic double-overtime win over Oklahoma.

ALABAMA IS GOING back to the College Football National Championship Game, and they can thank 310-pound defensive lineman Da’Ron Payne and some creative play-calling.

Late in the third quarter, the semifinal matchup in the Sugar Bowl was still close, with Alabama holding a 10-6 lead and Clemson driving with the ball. That drive was stopped with an interception by Payne near midfield.

Seven plays later, Bama had the ball near the goal line and lined Payne up in the backfield with another defensive lineman. Payne ran a route into the flat and caught an easy touchdown pass from Jalen Hurts.

Every lineman’s dream.

On the very next play, Alabama intercepted a Clemson pass and returned it for a touchdown, making it 24-6. That turned out to be the final score.

In the night’s other semi-final — the Rose Bowl — Georgia beat Oklahoma 54-48 in double-overtime to join Alabama in next week’s National Championship Game.

The entire game was a back-and-forth affair, with both teams showing off their explosive offenses and scoring on big plays.

After Oklahoma hit a field goal to tie the game at 48-48 to force a second overtime, Heisman Trophy-winner Baker Mayfield and co. went down the field on the first possession in the second overtime, but could not get into the end zone.

Oklahoma kicker Austin Seibert attempted the go-ahead 33-yard field goal, but Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter (#7) reached out and blocked the field goal with an incredible effort play.

Gregory Bull / PA Images Gregory Bull / PA Images / PA Images

Only needing a field goal to secure the win, Georgia turned the ball over to their high-powered run game and it took only one play before running back Sony Michel took off for the end zone.

- Scott Davis & Cork Gaines, Business Insider

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