It wasn’t just that Alabama won the BCS National Championship game. It was how they won. One just has to glance over the stats to understand why Alabama triumphed and won their second title in three years.
While Alabama kept LSU to just 92 yards – 53 passing and 39 rushing, the Tide gained 384 yards – 234 passing and 150 rushing, in the rematch of the “Game of the Century.”
It was a completely dominating performance by the Tide. The defense was magnificent and exposed all of LSU’s flaws, as did the offense that was so dominant without scoring a TD until the last few minutes of the game. Defensively, it was one of the most dominant performances by a team that we have ever seen, especially in a National Championship game. LSU were smothered, they got nothing going and at no stage had rhythm or were in sync.
For LSU, they looked rattled and unsettled, mainly due to awesome defensive performances from Nick Gentry, Courtney Upshaw, Dont’a Hightower and Mark Barron – all involved in sacks and the one fumble recovered. The Tigers tried everything but nothing seemed to work, everything but replace starting QB Jordan Jefferson with back-up Jarrett Lee. Jefferson was ice cold. The LSU senior was sacked four times but worst of all he made a horrible mistake when he threw the ball directly to CJ Mosley at the LSU 27. It was a pass that was painful to watch with seven minutes left in the third period. Jordan started to scramble but panicked although he had time to make a throw. Jefferson threw for 53 yards, completing 11 of 17 attempts at an average of 3.1 yards. Yuck.
Their defense was attacked ferociously and constantly by the Alabama offense. Bama rolled QB AJ McCarron out and got him on the edges to make quick but high percentage passes. McCarron had control of the offense like he had had no other time and what a time to play like that.
Alabama didn’t do anything greatly, if at all, different from what they had done throughout the season. Their plans on first downs were executed superbly. They kicked seven times in this game compared to the November 5 clash however this time the kicks that counted went through. Maze went out early with a hamstring injury on a punt return and the back-ups then came in and stepped up. Running back Trent Richardson dominated and rushed for the games only TD, and the McCarron who was named MVP played one heck of a game with 23 of 34 passes for 234 yards. McCarron told the crowd during the on-field celebrations that Richardson had “carried us all year” and “in my eyes, he’s the Heisman and the best running back to ever play at the university.”
The Crimson Tide’s special teams were excellent, punt coverage was excellent, coach Saban inspired the whole team and they played with a desire to excel. Tide senior linebacker Courtney Upshaw repeated one word all week and during the game. That word … legendary, “let’s be legendary.” They definitely were. After the game, Upshaw said that they slowed down LSU’s run and were too physical for them. He also brushed off talk that Bama shouldn’t have made it into the game, saying, “I don’t care what people think, we just executed.”
It was an almost flawless game except for the one penalty that cost them five yards. Compare that to LSU’s five errors that turned out to be a costly and inexcusable 35 yards.
Alabama entered the game with the mindset and true belief that they beat themselves in game one. All week long at training, the players maintained that they were the better team. Today, they proved that to us all.
Coach Saban, who became the first coach to win three titles in the BCS era, said post game that is was a “great team win.” He praised the special teams, the offense, the D and remarked that McCarron was “poised and made great decisions.” Saban made it clear to his players that “we finish things, that’s our character.”
Suban’s counterpart and LSU coach Les Miles said that his team just “couldn’t sustain any consistency on offense and calls just became more and more difficult.” Asked about why he didn’t make a change in QBs, Miles replied that it was “fair” for Jordan Jefferson to finish the game.
To finish, I will quote Nick Gentry … “Tonight was our night.”
1st downs: Ala 21 – LSU 5.
Total yards: Ala 384 – LSU 92.
Passing yards: Ala 234 – LSU 53.
Rushing yards: Ala 150 – LSU 39.
Turnovers: Ala 0 – LSU 2.
Possession: Ala 35:26 – LSU 24.34.