NCAA Game Summary - Texas vs. Alabama|
(Thursday, January 7th)
Final Score: (1) Alabama 37, (2) Texas 21
Pasadena, CA (Sports Network) - Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram rushed for
a pair of touchdowns and Alabama knocked out Texas star quarterback Colt
McCoy early, as the top-ranked Crimson Tide beat the Longhorns, 37-21, to win
their 13th national championship.
Alabama gave the SEC its fourth consecutive national champion, as Florida
sandwiched a pair of titles around one by LSU the past three years. Alabama
(14-0) won its first national title since 1992 and did it by surviving a late
rally from freshman signal-caller Garrett Gilbert.
McCoy suffered a right shoulder injury early in the first quarter of the BCS
title game and didn't return.
Marcell Dareus' hard hit forced McCoy out of the game and the Alabama
defensive lineman later returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown with
three seconds left in the first half.
Trent Richardson ripped off a 49-yard scoring burst in the second quarter and
added a two-yard TD run with 47 seconds left in the game for the Crimson Tide,
who also had a 26-yard field goal from Leigh Tiffin. After Richardson's
scoring run, the Tide started to celebrate, dousing head coach Nick Saban with
a cooler of red punch.
"I wish they'd do the water. You know, the Gatorade is awful sticky," Saban
Saban revealed after the game that Ingram was playing with a foot injury he
suffered in practice. Ingram was limited for a time in the game, but returned
to ulimately help the Tide seal the win.
"He's a great competitor, and he certainly wanted to go back in the game, and
we certainly needed him to, because he's an outstanding runner, he's a good
short yardage runner and has the most experience doing it for us," Saban said.
"It worked out for us to be able to score and get a ten-point lead."
Gilbert, the son of former NFL quarterback Gale Gilbert. stepped in for McCoy
and had a horrendous first half, but threw two second-half touchdown passes
to Jordan Shipley. The last, a 28-yarder, came with 6:15 remaining. The
two-point conversion pass to Dan Buckner pulled the No. 2 Longhorns within
Texas (13-1) got the ball back after an Alabama punt, but Gilbert was nailed
from behind by Eryk Anders on a blitz and lost the ball. Courtney Upshaw
recovered for the Tide at the Texas three. Ingram, who scored the go-ahead TD
in the second quarter, then sealed the win by getting three cracks at the goal
line, the final one when he barely broke the plane for a one-yard score with
Two plays later, Javier Arenas got his second interception of the night to end
any miraculous hopes of a Texas comeback.
Saban became the first coach in the polls to win national titles with two
different schools. He won the 2003 BCS championship with LSU.
"He's just a coach that is driven, and he has a vision, and he tries to do his
best to instill his characteristics in us," Ingram said. "As you can see, like
he was excited, but he was more excited for everybody else than he was more of
Ingram rushed for 116 yards on 22 carries, while Richardson gained 109 yards
on 19 carries. Ingram was named the game's offensive MVP, while Dareus was
tabbed with defensive honors.
Greg McElroy connected on 6-of-11 passes for 58 yards for the Crimson Tide,
while Gilbert ended 15-of-40 for 186 yards with a pair of TDs and four
interceptions. Shipley had 10 catches for 122 yards.
Gilbert was stymied by completing just 1-of-10 passes for minus-four yards and
had two interceptions in the first half. But he came alive in the third
quarter, hitting Shipley with a 44-yard scoring play with 1:31 left.
That pulled the Longhorns within 11 points, and they recovered the ensuing
onside kick, but were forced to punt.
After Tiffin was wide left on a 52-yard field goal, Texas capped a nine-play,
65-yard drive with Shipley's second TD grab to pull the Longhorns within one
score, but Alabama held on.
"I think everybody on our team believed that we were going to win the game,
and it's been that way since I've been here," Shipley said. "I think that's
something that that team helped to establish was just that belief that we're
going to win the game no matter what."
Saban elected for a trick play at an odd time and it backfired. After being
stopped on three straight downs to start the game, Alabama tried a fake punt,
but P.J. Fitzgerald's pass attempt to Dre Kirkpatrick was picked off by Blake
That gave Texas the ball at the Alabama 37 and a bit later McCoy kept the ball
on a rushing play for no yards and was nailed in the shoulder by Dareus at the
Alabama 11-yard line. McCoy was then sent to the sideline to have his shoulder
worked on, and the Longhorns sent Gilbert in at QB.
"When it came to the first play of McCoy, I really didn't try to hit him that
hard. I didn't want to hurt him," Dareus said. "It was a part of the game. You
don't think, you just react, and I just reacted to what I saw."
The Crimson Tide's defense stiffened and Hunter Lawrence kicked an 18-yard
field goal with 9:11 left in the quarter for a 3-0 lead.
McCoy went back to the locker room for x-rays on the shoulder. The Heisman
Trophy finalist then exited the x-ray room and was out of his pads with a
dejected look on his face, one that ultimately signaled the end of his
collegiate career. The x-rays were negative, but the sprained shoulder, kept
"He was really in pain at halftime, and he and his dad were sitting there with
the doctors," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "I never even asked the doctors
because I could tell, he didn't need to be back out on the field."
The Longhorns then elected to kick off short and the ball bounced in front of
Alabama's Julio Jones before Texas recovered at the Crimson Tide 30. Texas
failed to get a first down, and Lawrence booted a 42-yard field goal.
Alabama was forced to punt on its next possession, but the Tide then moved the
ball inside the five as the quarter came to a close. The big play was a
McElroy 22-yard pass to Jones. Ingram then rumbled nine yards to the Texas
three as the first quarter ended.
Ingram bolted up the middle for a two-yard TD run on the second play of the
second quarter for a 7-6 Alabama lead.
Richardson later bolted for a 49-yard TD rush with 7:59 left until the half.
The problems continued for Gilbert on Texas' next possession. D.J. Monroe
rumbled 28 yards to the Alabama 32 before Gilbert threw too high to an open
Malcolm Williams in the end zone. On the ensuing play, a 3rd-and-5 situation
from the Alabama 27, Arenas stepped in front of Shipley for the interception.
Alabama forced a three-and-out and got the ball back at the Texas 29 after a
short punt and a 12-yard return by Arenas. Texas' defense tightened, and
Tiffin kicked a 26-yard field goal with 29 seconds left.
The Longhorns then took a chance with a shovel pass, but Monroe couldn't pull
it in, and Dareus picked the deflected ball out of mid-air and surged
uncontested to the end zone.
"After Colt got hurt, obviously we were limited in some of the things we could
do," Brown said. "The play before the half they tried to throw a little
shuffle pass and tried to take a shot in the end zone because we knew points
would be hard, that one went against us."
Alabama defeated Texas for the first time in nine meetings (1-7-1)...Alabama
made its eighth appearance at the Rose Bowl Stadium, including its seventh
postseason bowl game, and is now 6-2 at the venue...Alabama has posted a
32-22-3 all-time record in its 57 bowl appearances...The five quarterback
sacks allowed by Alabama is the most given up by the Crimson Tide this
season...Tiffin's kick failed on the final extra point try of the game.
01/08 02:06:26 ET