|Alabama's offensive line cleared the way for Eddie Lacy to rack up 140 yards in the 42-14 win. (US Presswire)|
ALABAMA WON: The Crimson Tide scored touchdowns on four of their six first half drives, jumping out to a 28-0 halftime lead and driving Notre Dame into the ground to claim the school's third national championship in four years with a 42-14 win. Running back Eddie Lacy earned offensive MVP honors with 140 yards rushing and two total touchdowns, while T.J. Yeldon added 108 rushing yards of his own to help the Tide roll on Notre Dame's defense for 529 total yards.
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HOW ALABAMA WON: The anticipated matchup between Alabama's offense and Notre Dame's defense was no contest, as Barrett Jones, Chance Warmack and the rest of the Tide offensive line blasted downfield all night to open space for Lacy and Yeldon. As a team the Tide averaged 5.9 yards per carry, and almost all of that is a credit to winning that battle in the trenches. Once the space was opened in Notre Dame's defense, the Irish were unable to bring down the bruising backs in the open field. Some of the credit goes to Alabama's backs, but it was also due to some uncharacteristically poor tackling by Notre Dame.
The Irish offense did not exactly help matters. Alabama shut down the run game early. And once the deficit grew beyond 21 points -- which happened 15:04 seconds into the game, by the way -- the Irish had no choice but to look for aggressive plays downfield. With their hand dealt, Kirby Smart was able to confuse Everett Golson with a variety of looks and pressures. The Irish quarterback was able to extend plays with his feet, but only a few times was he able to connect with receivers downfield.
WHEN ALABAMA WON: If Notre Dame was going to have any chance to come back, they were going to need to score fast and early. Golson completed a pair of big passes to quickly move the Irish into Alabama territory, but an attempt for a deep strike was picked off by HaHa Clinton-Dix. Alabama took over at their own three-yard-line, then put together a demoralizing 5+ minute, 97-yard drive that ended with a 34 yard touchdown pass from AJ McCarron to Amari Cooper.
WHAT ALABAMA WON: The Tide lived up to their reputation as the class of college football, moving from the category of "annually dominant" to a modern day dynasty. Alabama played arguably their best game of the season on the biggest stage -- exactly the way Nick Saban wanted. A balanced mix of downhill running and high percentage passes have become the calling card of this offense, while the defense -- which was frequently labeled "not as good" as previous years -- lived up to the expectations that are now associated with Crimson Tide. The brutal domination in the 2012 and 2013 title games made this win feel less like the SEC's seventh and more like Nick Saban's third in four years. Hope you paid attention when the reserves were in, because they will likely be starting on the preseason No. 1 team in 2013.
WHAT NOTRE DAME LOST: Notre Dame walks away from the BCS title game not only frustrated by the final score, but also the uncharacteristic manner in which they were beaten. In addition to the missed tackles, Notre Dame's defense was unable to get pressure on McCarron and it felt as if the highly touted unit spent more time being reactive rather than attacking.
For more coverage on Alabama's big win, check out the BCS Title Game Homepage
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