by CollegeFootballPoll.com Staff
January 7, 2013
Alabama won its third national championship in four years by overwhelming Notre Dame 42-14 in the BCS Championship game in Miami on Monday night (January 7). The Crimson Tide finished 13-1 as Notre Dame dropped to 12-1.
'Bama led 28-0 at the half which, in addition to last season's 21-0 win over LSU, gave the Tide 6 consecutive quarters of shutout football in BCS title games. Alabama stretched the lead to 35-0 in the 3rd quarter before Notre Dame got on the board. The Tide scored 56 unanswered points in the last two BCS title games before being scored upon.
The vaunted Notre Dame rushing defense was trampled by Eddie Lacy (20 rushes, 140 yards, 1 TD) and T.J. Yeldon (21 rushes,108 yards, 1 TD) and the Tide rolled up 265 yards on the ground and passed for 264 for a total of 529 yards.
Tide QB A.J. McCarron was efficient and lethal, completing 20 of his 28 attempts for 264 yards (71.4%) and 4 TD's, the first of which went to Michael Williams for 3 yards. He also hit Lacy for an 11-yard score and the last two went to Amari Cooper (34 yards and 19 yards).
Alabama scored on its first three possessions to take a 21-0 lead just seconds into the 2nd quarter.
Notre Dame QB Everett Golson played admirably, if not heroically, under constant pressure. He managed to complete 58.3% of his passes (21-of-36) for 270 yards, 1 touchdown and just 1 interception. The pick came on the opening drive of the second half when Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix made a spectacular diving sideline catch of a pass intended for Notre Dame wide receiver DaVaris Daniels that was first tipped by Alabama DB Dee Milliner.
Daniels had 6 grabs for 115 yards, T.J. Jones hauled in 7 passes for 90 yards and Tyler Eifert had 6 for 61.
The Fighting Irish rushing attack managed a net of just 32 yards.
The game was clean with just the 1 turnover combined for both squads and only 7 penalties whistled (4 for 'Bama, 3 for Notre Dame). But the Irish appeared to come out with a case of the jitters while the Tide appeared confident and poised.
Notre Dame's Manti Te'o is a CollegeFootballPoll.com (CFP) All-American who collected a host of awards and finished 2nd in this year's Heisman voting, but he was marginalized on this night by a dominating Alabama offensive line that featured three CFP All-Americans in Barrett Jones, Chance Warmack and D.J. Fluker. Jones took home the Rimington Trophy that honors the top center, a year after claiming the Outland Trophy as best interior lineman.
The victory marked the 7th consecutive national title for an SEC team.
Just last year, Saban became the first head coach to win three national championships in the BCS era. He now has four. Saban's crowns have come with Alabama in the 2009, 2011 and 2012 season, as well as one with LSU in the 2003 season.
Frank Leahy (Notre Dame) and John McKay (USC) are the only other coaches to win 4 national titles in the poll era (1936-present), and only Bear Bryant (Alabama) had more (6). Saban is the first to have back-to-back BCS titles, and Alabama is the first school to repeat as undisputed national champs since Nebraska turned that trick in 1994 and 1995 under Tom Osborne.
The state of Alabama captured its fourth consecutive title with Auburn winning the 2010 season matchup with Oregon.
Alabama improved its overall bowl record to 35-22-3 as it gave the SEC its 9th national title in the BCS's 15-year era. The 35 bowl wins tops all teams. The school's 4 straight bowl wins are one off the current national-leading pace of 5 held Auburn, Florida State and Ole Miss.
Notre Dame saw its bowl record fall to 15-17 with its 11th bowl loss in its last 13 tries.
Notre Dame remains winless in BCS bowl games with its four losses coming by an average of 39.5 to 14.25.
The Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com forecasted a 6.42-point victory for Alabama.