`Bama does enough but defense breaks down

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Steve Sarkisian (sahr-KEE’-zee-en) dialed up a timely trick play, a pass that worked to perfection and plenty of hand-offs to Bo Scarbrough.

The combination nearly added up to a triumphant debut for Sarkisian as Alabama’s offensive coordinator — on the biggest stage in college football.


Eight days after jumping into the job, his offense struggled mightily in the second half but produced a go-ahead touchdown with 2:07 left that wasn’t quite enough in the Crimson Tide’s 35-31 loss to Clemson in the national championship game. Sarkisian replaced Lane Kiffen, who departed a week before the game to start his duties as Florida Atlantic’s new coach.

For a change, the nation’s top defense couldn’t overcome the Tide’s offensive deficiencies. Deshaun Watson hit Hunter Renfrow for the winning 2-yard touchdown with 1 second left.

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