Alabama defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne stole the show in the third quarter of Monday’s Sugar Bowl against Clemson.
First, Payne picked off Tigers quarterback Kelly Bryant when a hit forced a weak throw. He returned it 21 yards and drew a 15-yard penalty when he was brought down by a horsecollar tackle.
Seven plays later, on second-and-goal from the 1, Payne lined up in the offensive backfield and ran a route in the flat to the corner of the end zone. Jalen Hurts found him with a pass and Payne tapped his toes for the score.
Subsequent camera angles showed a blatant offensive pass interference penalty committed by Alabama that went uncalled.
The touchdown made it a two-possession game and the Tide gained more breathing room on the first play after the ensuing kickoff with a pick six.