After all, he turned momentum in a Super Bowl with one, surprising the Indianapolis Colts with a play called "ambush" that helped spark a 31-17 win in Super Bowl XLIV. So, few could have appreciated Alabama's bold move in the College Football Playoff championship game quite like Payton. The Crimson Tide pulled off a successful onside kick against Clemson on Monday night in its 45-40 title-game win.
With the game tied at 24, Alabama kicker Adam Griffith popped a short kick toward the right sideline, away from the strong side of the kickoff formation. Marlon Humphrey, the son of former Denver Broncos first-round pick Bobby Humphrey, caught the perfectly placed pooch kick over his shoulder uncontested by a Clemson return unit that was too far out of position to disrupt the play:
"The difference, holy cow, it was well executed. Easy to see," Payton said. "Ours collisioned off somebody and was in a pile for about eight minutes."
Alabama, of course, scored the go-ahead touchdown off the extra possession. And special teams coaches everywhere made a mental note: Be ready for the ambush play.