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NCAA Game Summary - Alabama vs. Notre Dame



(Monday, January 7th)

Final Score: (2) Alabama 42, (1) Notre Dame 14

Miami, FL (Sports Network) - AJ McCarron threw for 264 yards and four touchdowns as No. 2 Alabama earned a dominant 42-14 victory over top-ranked Notre Dame to capture its second straight BCS National Championship.

With the win, McCarron became the first-ever quarterback to win back-to-back BCS National Championships. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban recorded his fourth title overall and third in the last four seasons.

"People talk about how the most difficult thing is to win your first championship. Really the most difficult is to win the next one, because there's always a feeling of entitlement, and the commitment that these guys made two days after we played LSU last year in the National Championship game to be a team, to set a goal to accomplish something of significance is really special for what they were able to accomplish," Saban said.

McCarron completed an efficient 20-of-28 passes, while Eddie Lacy added 140 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries to earn the offensive MVP award for Alabama (13-1), which captured its 11th national title.

T.J. Yeldon followed with 108 yards and a score on 21 carries, and Amari Cooper finished with 105 yards and a pair of touchdowns on six receptions in the victory.

Everett Golson completed 21-of-36 passes for 270 yards with a touchdown and an interception as the Fighting Irish (12-1) were denied their first undefeated season since 1988.

Notre Dame entered the game averaging 202.5 rushing yards a game, but Theo Riddick, Golson and Cierre Wood combined to pick up just 32 on the ground against Alabama's stout defense.

DaVaris Daniels paced all receivers with 115 yards on six catches in defeat.

"Congratulations to Alabama. They were the better team today," Notre Dame linebacker and Heisman Trophy runner-up Manti Te'o said.

Alabama received the ball first and immediately kicked off an impressive first half by picking up chunks of yards, as McCarron found Kevin Norwood deep down the right sideline for a 29-yard gain after making a play-action fake on the second play of the game.

Lacy reeled off a 10-yard run up the middle on the next play that had 15 yards tacked on for a facemask penalty. Two plays later, Lacy shrugged off a defender during a 20-yard touchdown run to hand the Crimson Tide the lead less than three minutes into the first quarter.

The 82-yard march was the longest drive Notre Dame's top-ranked scoring defense had allowed all season.

"We needed to come out and start fast, and that's always key for us, starting fast," said McCarron. "I'm just glad we got to set the tone, and it really set the tone for the rest of the game."

The Fighting Irish were held to a three-and-out on their first touch of the game when Tyler Eifert was ruled to not have full possession of a catch near the left sideline on a 3rd-and-2, and Alabama regained the ball at their own 39.

Lacy then converted a 3rd-and-1 with an 8-yard run to move the ball across midfield before McCarron converted another third down with a 7-yard strike to Marvin Shinn.

Faced with another 3rd-and-1 at the Notre Dame 23, Lacy avoided a defender in the backfield and rumbled through the Irish defense for a 20-yard gain.

On the next play, Michael Williams snuck behind the Notre Dame defense following a play-action fake by McCarron and easily hauled in a 3-yard touchdown, handing the Crimson Tide a 14-0 advantage with 6:14 left in the opening frame.

Alabama seemed to have recovered an Eifert fumble near the Notre Dame 30 on the next play from scrimmage, but a review showed his knee was down before he had the ball ripped out and the Irish retained possession.

Notre Dame would manage just one first down on the drive, though, and the Irish were forced to punt again.

McCarron found Norwood and Cooper on consecutive plays for gains of 25 and 11 yards, respectively, on the Crimson Tide's ensuing drive. Cooper then hauled in a 27-yard pass to place the ball at the Notre Dame six.

Yeldon capped the 8-play, 80-yard trek with a 1-yard push across the goal line on the first play of the second quarter.

Golson was able to connect with Daniels for a 31-yard gain on the Fighting Irish's next offensive play to move the ball inside Alabama territory for the first time, but they would manage just five more yards and Golson's deep pass attempt intended for T.J. Jones on a 4th-and-5 was broken up to turn the ball over on downs.

Notre Dame, however, was able to hold Alabama to its first punt of the game after a completed pass by McCarron that would have converted a 3rd-and-12 was called back for a holding penalty.

The teams traded punts from there until Alabama took over on offense at its own 29 with 3:43 left in the half. Yeldon ripped off a couple of 10-yard runs before McCarron found Christion Jones on a post for a gain of 27 yards, placing the ball at the Notre Dame 11.

Lacy grabbed a short pass on the next play and spun around a tackle attempt inside the 5-yard line en route to a touchdown with 31 seconds remaining in the half to give the Crimson Tide a 28-0 advantage at the break.

Notre Dame seemed poised to put together its first scoring drive of the game on the opening touch of the third quarter, as Golson connected with Daniels for a 21-yard gain before a 3-yard run by Riddick gave the Irish a fresh set of downs at the Alabama 36.

But two plays later, Golson had a deep pass attempt down the right sideline tipped into the air, and Alabama's Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix was able to get a foot down in bounds during a leaping interception at the 3-yard line.

Alabama capitalized on the turnover with a 10-play trek Lacy kept alive with a 3-yard run to convert a 4th-and-1 at the Notre Dame 37 and McCarron capped with a 34-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Cooper on the right side of the field with 7:34 left in the third quarter.

The Fighting Irish were able to put an end to Alabama's shutout bid on the ensuing drive, a 9-play, 85-yard march ending with a 2-yard touchdown run by Golson on an option that made it a 35-7 game.

Earlier in the drive, Golson converted a 3rd-and-16 at the Notre Dame 37 with a 31-yard strike to T.J. Jones, and a roughing the passer penalty later on moved the ball into the Alabama red zone.

The Crimson Tide, however, got those points right back and ended any notion of a miraculous Notre Dame comeback with a lengthy 14-play drive that lasted nearly eight minutes, stretched into the fourth quarter and was finished with Cooper's 19-yard touchdown grab with 11:27 remaining in the contest.

Notre Dame answered with Riddick's 6-yard scoring catch on its next touch to cap the scoring.

"Alabama was the better football team, but I love the way our guys kept fighting and kept competing. They didn't quit at all," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said.

Game Notes

Notre Dame had not allowed more than 26 points in a game all season ... Alabama improved to 6-4 all-time against top-ranked teams and 2-5 against Notre Dame ... Notre Dame fell to 5-1 all-time in No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdowns when sitting atop the national rankings ... The Crimson Tide improved to 62-3 when leading at the half under Saban ... The Fighting Irish were first team in the BCS era to reach the National Championship game after starting the season unranked. BYU is the lone team to start a season unranked and win a national title, accomplishing the feat in 1984 ... Alabama finished with 529 total yards, while the Irish ended with 302.

01/08 02:11:56 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCSU 79
JVU 43
 
Final
ECU 92
VULYNCH 51
 
Final
DUKE 20
UNC 45
Final
LOS 3
CAR 2
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ORL
 
9:30pm Tonight
DUKE
TEMPL
 
Final
MIA 93
LAC 110
Final
SAC 103
CHI 88
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ORL
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
PHO
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
DET
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
MIL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
BOS
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
BRK
 
8:00pm Tonight
WAS
CLE
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
SAN
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
LAL
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
NOP
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
CHI
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
UTA
 
Final
WVU 20
KST 26
Final
DUKE 20
UNC 45
Final
TXST 45
ARKST 27
1:00pm Today
BUF 0
KSU 0
8:00pm Tonight
RICE
UTEP
9:30pm Tonight
SDST
AFA
9:30pm Tonight
UTST
SJST
Final
AKR 66
USC 46
Final
UCONN 65
COC 57
Final
MIAMI 66
DREX 46
Final
BC 69
NMU 65
Final
CHAR 106
PSU 97
Final
MICH 71
DET 62
Final
WMARY 100
BFLD 57
 
Final
USCU 107
BOBJONES 41
 
Final
UCF 76
ECKERD 59
 
Final
PURD 82
GRAM 30
 
Final
NCSU 79
JVU 43
 
Final
RFLSH 102
KEYSTONE 69
 
Final
VCU 106
MDES 66
Final
PROV 88
NAVY 51
 
Final
BRY 72
UNH 63
 
Final
PETE 59
NIAG 61
Final
STET 96
PBAT 85
 
Final
WAGN 83
SUNYWEST 49
 
Final
IOWA 57
TEX 71
Final
TENN 70
TXSOU 58
 
Final
SHU 54
MLOWELL 57
 
Final
ECU 92
VULYNCH 51
 
Final
TENNM 115
CBC 29
 
Final
MD 66
FORD 50
Final
WVU 91
GMAS 65
Final
RAD 61
HOW 52
 
Final
MURST 89
BRESCIA 56
 
Final
VILL 72
BUCK 65
Final
TENST 75
FISK 60
 
Final
HARV 71
FATL 49
Final
MINN 109
FRANKPRCE 57
 
Final
TULA 100
MVSU 61
 
Final
TCU 86
NO 71
 
Final
NW 69
UNF 67
 
Final
LSUALEX 79
NWST 89
 
Final
IND 74
SMU 68
Final
UAB 71
SFLA 73
Final
EILL 61
UCD 63
Final
SAV 59
WINT 58
 
Final
NIOWA 73
MRGST 53
 
Final
MISS 69
SOUTH 38
 
Final
SCAR 69
CORN 45
Final
VANDY 72
LIP 62
 
Final
ARST 68
LMU 44
Final
ALA 81
SMISS 67
Final
GRCN 64
TXARL 66
 
Final
NILL 78
IDAHO 67
Final
CAL 73
SYR 59
Final
GAELS 78
DEN 62
Final
NARZ 73
FRES 52
Final
PAC 81
PACU 56
 
Final
SDST 51
CALST 27
Final
UCLA 107
NICST 74
 
12:00pm Today
COC
TEXAM
 
12:00pm Today
DREX
USC
 
1:30pm Today
GWEBB
CLEM
 
2:30pm Today
MIAMI
AKR
 
2:30pm Today
UCONN
DAY
 
4:00pm Today
NEV
SHU
 
4:30pm Today
VALPO
ARKPB
 
4:30pm Today
LONG
UNCG
 
5:00pm Tonight
WVU
BC
 
5:00pm Tonight
TOWS
CCST
 
5:00pm Tonight
YALE
ILLCH
 
5:00pm Tonight
SYR
IOWA
 
5:30pm Tonight
HAMP
ALCOR
 
6:30pm Tonight
ODU
LSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
KENT
BU
 
7:00pm Tonight
SCAR
CHAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
UVA
GWU
 
7:00pm Tonight
WCU
HIWASSEE
 
7:00pm Tonight
GT
MAST
 
7:00pm Tonight
RIDE
LEH
 
7:00pm Tonight
MSU
LOYC
 
7:00pm Tonight
CMICH
MAINE
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
MNTST
 
7:00pm Tonight
GMAS
NMU
 
7:00pm Tonight
BAY
PVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
HOF
USB
 
7:00pm Tonight
OREG
TOL
 
7:00pm Tonight
UGA
TROY
 
7:00pm Tonight
STAN
UNLV
 
7:00pm Tonight
FAIR
WOFF
 
7:00pm Tonight
EMICH
YOUNG
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
COOK
 
7:30pm Tonight
FIU
FLMEM
 
7:30pm Tonight
KSU
SILL
 
7:30pm Tonight
CAL
TEX
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILL
PEAY
 
8:00pm Tonight
ARK
DELST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MCNST
JCHR
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDST
KNST
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKST
UWMIL
 
8:00pm Tonight
LATU
MORE
 
8:00pm Tonight
SDKST
NDAK
 
8:00pm Tonight
XAV
STEPH
 
8:00pm Tonight
UF
LAMON
 
8:30pm Tonight
WAKE
IONA
 
9:00pm Tonight
GRCN
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
COLST
UGST
 
9:00pm Tonight
WASU
IDST
 
9:00pm Tonight
WEBER
ILLST
 
9:00pm Tonight
AUB
LALAF
 
9:00pm Tonight
LOU
MARS
 
9:00pm Tonight
ORST
ORU
 
9:00pm Tonight
CORN
PSU
 
9:00pm Tonight
SD
SHSU
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTAH
UCR
 
9:30pm Tonight
DUKE
TEMPL
 
10:00pm Tonight
CPSL
DEL
 
10:00pm Tonight
AMER
PBY
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
WASH
 
10:30pm Tonight
LBSU
KYST
 
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
PITT
 
Final
PHI 2
MIN 3
Final
OTT 3
NAS 2
Final
MON 4
STL 1
Final
TOR 5
TAM 2
Final
WIN 3
DET 4
Final
DAL 3
ARI 1
Final
CAL 3
CHI 4
Final
COL 2
WAS 3
Final
VAN 3
ANA 4
Final
LOS 3
CAR 2
Final
SJS 2
FLA 3
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
BOS
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
NYI
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF 0
NYR 0
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
NJD
 
Final
OAK 24
KAN 20