Football Bowl Subdivision
     === Tide Rolls: Alabama clobbers Irish for 2nd straight BCS crown ===
 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
 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 02:11:30 ET

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