3. O.J. Howard’s 200-yard receiving game
O.J. Howard was largely left out of offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin’s plans in 2015. Howard’s last touchdown reception came in 2013, but on the biggest stage in college football, the Alabama tight end shined the brightest for the Tide’s offense.
Howard had five receptions for 208 yards and two touchdowns in the Alabama Crimson Tide’s 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship. He had three receptions over 50 yards against the Clemson secondary: a 53-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter, a 51-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter, and another catch totaling 63 yards through the air.
Howard became an unstoppable receiving force for the Crimson Tide almost immediately after Clemson star cornerback Mackensie Alexander went down with a game-ending hamstring injury in the second quarter. His first touchdown reception on the night got Kiffin to celebrate before Howard even caught the ball he was that wide open.
While starting quarterback Jake Coker had his best night as the starting quarterback for Alabama slinging the pigskin, Howard accounted for both of Coker’s touchdown passes, five of his 16 completions, and 208 of his 335 passing yards. Needless to say, Alabama does not win this game without Howard’s crucial involvement in the passing game.
Next: 2. Kenyan Drake's kick return for a touchdown