Crimson Tide beats Fighting Irish 42-14 for another BCS Champion - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

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  • Crimson Tide wins BCS National Championship

Crimson Tide beats Fighting Irish 42-14 for another BCS Championship

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Source: WBRC Source: WBRC
MIAMI, FL (WSFA) -

Football players for the #2 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide ran onto the field at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Monday night and never looked back. The Tide thoroughly dominated their opponent, the #1 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish, in the first half of the game and again in the second, racking up a final score of 42-14. The win means the Crimson Tide now sits at the top of the rankings once again.

It's the defending national champion's second consecutive win and third in just four years under Coach Nick Saban's watch. There's never been a back-to-back BCS Champion, until now.

ANALYSIS: Final Game Statistics

"I couldn't be prouder of our players, our coaches and our entire organization tonight," said Alabama head coach Nick Saban. "I really feel that we played a complete game tonight. We came out and had great tempo on offense and dominated the line of scrimmage and I think that set the tone."

EXTRA: "Column: Saban restless in a way rest of us are not" 

EXTRA: "Column: Bryant was great, Saban is better...so far"

With the win, Alabama's 2012 senior class won a school record 49 games over the past four seasons while losing only five contests. The 48 wins is tied for the second most in college football history and ranks among the best four-year totals in Southeastern Conference history.

The Tide's Orange Bowl win also means another year on top for the state of Alabama. The Coaches' Trophy, a crystal football, has called the state its home for the last four years due to the three Bama wins and a 2010 win by rival Auburn.

The win also extends the BCS Championship reign of the Southeastern Conference with four teams in the conference (Florida, LSU, Auburn and Alabama) bringing home the title for the last seven years.

FIRST HALF

The defending national champions got the ball rolling quickly with an opening kickoff drive of six plays for 82 yards. The Tide's Eddie Lacy was the first to put numbers on the board via a 20 yard play into the end zone.
 
The drive started with a 29 yard pass from McCarron to Kevin Norwood on the second play of the game, the play reaching the Alabama 48. Lacy rushed for 10 yards on the next play to the Irish 42 and a 15-yard face mask penalty against Notre Dame on the play moved the ball to the Irish 27. Notre Dame jumped offside on the next play to advance the Tide to the Irish 22 and T.J. Yeldon rushed for two yards to the 20, setting up Lacy's touchdown run behind good blocking to give Alabama a 7-0 lead following Jeremy Shelley's conversion kick with 12:03 left in the first quarter.
 
Lacy's touchdown was only the third rushing TD the undefeated Notre Dame team has allowed all season. By the end of the half, Lacy would rack up 96 rushing yards, a feat Notre Dame allowed only two other players to do all season.

Lacy's score is also notable in that it was the earliest opening score in the national championship game since Ohio's Ted Ginn returned the opening kickoff for a score playing against Florida in 2007.

EXTRA: "Bama's Lacy romps over Notre Dame defense"

MORE COVERAGE BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SLIDESHOWS AND VIDEO

Notre Dame was forced to punt away its first possession. Alabama then jumped out to a 14-0 over a 10-play drive. At the 3 yard line, quarterback AJ McCarron faked a handoff to Lacy and tossed a soft pass to tight end Michael Williams in the middle of the end zone. The score came with 6:14 left in the quarter. 

In the first quarter, the Tide outgained the Irish by a 202 to 23 margin in total offense while averaging 9.2 yards per play, rushing 13 times for 90 yards (6.9 yards per rush) and completing eight of nine pass attempts for 112 yards (14 yards per completion). Alabama controlled the ball for 12:08 of the first period (to Notre Dame's 2:02).

The Tide continued to dominate in the second quarter rolling up its third unanswered touchdown via a 1 yard handoff to T.J. Yeldon who ran it into the end zone with 14:56 left in the half.

The Tide's fourth touchdown, a pass from McCarron to Lacy, put the score at 28-0 with shortly before halftime. The scoring play was part of a 71 yard, 9-play drive. McCarron passed to Lacy on a short route in the middle of the field. Lacy caught the ball at the Irish 4-yard line and spinning off two tacklers for an 11-yard touchdown.

EXTRA: "Championship QB McCarron's girlfriend turns heads, even for ESPN commentators"

The crowd of 80,120 fans loudly cheered "SEC". Each of those cheering fans was also cause to celebrate. The Orange Bowl is planning to donate $1 for each person's ticket price to the scholarship fund for Newtown, CT. victims' families.

At the half, Coach Nick Saban and his team of athletes had denied the Irish a single trip to the end zone, all while racking up 28 points of their own.

"I think we played well offensively. We're controlling the line of scrimmage. We're running the ball and we've got good balance and that's what we want to have," Saban said at the half. "Defensively we're doing a pretty good job. They've hit a couple of plays on us, but we've just got to play 60 minutes in the game. This game's not over and our players got to understand that."

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said his team couldn't tackle Alabama. "Who knows why," he explained, admitting that the Tide was in control.

SECOND HALF

The Irish received the kickoff in the second half, but the drive quickly soured. After taking possession at its own 25 yard line, the Irish made plays that moved the ball to the Bama 36. An interception by the Tide's Clinton-Dix at the 3-yard line. Bama would go on to drive the ball the full 97-yards to its end zone. Quarterback AJ McCarron threw a pass to Omari Cooper that resulted in a touchdown. The score was 35-0 with 7:34 left in the quarter.

The touchdown pass, the 48th of McCarron's career, gave McCarron the Alabama record for touchdown passes in a career. For Cooper, it was his 10th touchdown catch of the season, tying Al Lary's school record for receiving touchdowns in a season set in 1950.

Notre Dame finally made it onto the board with just over four minutes left in the 3rd quarter driving the ball 85 yards in 9 plays. The points were the first against the Tide in the championship game since Jordan Shipley scored for Texas in the 2009 BCS title game.

The Tide rolled into the fourth quarter with a comfortable lead and an assured victory at 35-7. The score would change again, but it would take some effort. It took Alabama 7:41 on a 14-play drive to push the ball down the field the 86 yards it needed for another TD. The Tide pushed the score to 42-7 with a 19-yard pass from McCarron to Cooper.

Notre Dame fans could be seen leaving the stadium, but their team would score once more midway through the fourth quarter, marching 75 yards in 10 plays. The drive wasn't enough, however. The final score was 42-14.

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