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Alabama Topples LSU in BCS Championship

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

It was “Roll Tide” all night long as Alabama pitched a 21-0 shutout.

Alabama Topples LSU in BCS Championship

Last night's BCS Championship between #1 LSU and #2 Alabama was every bit the defensive struggle it was billed to be.  After all, the teams combined for just 15 points in their 9-6 game back in November.  But Alabama's offense was less inept and actually put itself in a position to score, ending up taking the game and the national championship with a 21-0 victory.

Now this game wasn't pretty.  At one point, I thought it wasn't going to end until nearly 1 AM because of all the incomplete passes being thrown.  Since everyone is being flooded with coverage of the event, I will share with you just of my highlights and lowlights from last night's game.

Highlights:

  • Who would have thought that Alabama kicker Jeremy Shelley would be the offensive MVP of the entire game?  Either way, it's awesome.  Shelley connected on 5/7 field goals (one was blocked) to score the first 15 points of the championship over three quarters.  Alabama's kicking woes were what doomed them earlier this season against LSU, but Shelley more than redeemed himself.  Because he was the only one to score on the team, I can forgive him for missing the PAT on the only touchdown of the game.
  • Both of these defenses are pretty spectacular.  It seemed like neither Alabama nor LSU had time to accomplish anything because a defender or a pack of defenders was already there disrupting the play.  I hadn't watched much of either team this season, but just the speed of the defense really shocked me.
  • Trent Richardson is a strong runner.  He didn't bust out many big runs last night, but he is just so hard to take down that he wears down the defense.  He ended up with 96 yards and the late touchdown run that sealed it.  Not a bad way for Richardson, who is expected to jump to the NFL, to go out.
  • Alabama's quarterback, AJ McCarron, had himself a fine game.  Apparently Alabama doesn't throw the ball a lot, but you could have fooled me with the way McCarron was slinging it around last night.  Not only was he pretty accurate overall, he was athletic enough to evade the tireless pass rush and make some plays with his feet when his blocking broke down.  He badly outplayed his opponent Jordan Jefferson, who we'll get to later.  Even though they couldn't punch in the ball until the end of the game, McCarron was able to manufacture enough drives and at least get the offense into field goal range.
  • It was pretty sad to see senior kick returner Marquis Maze go down with a hamstring injury after his only punt return, which was a beauty by the way.  But his replacement, freshman Christian Jones, did admirably in his place.  He had a couple nice punt returns to start Alabama off with decent enough field position.
  • With LSU down 15-0 and "driving," they finally reached midfield on a 3rd-down run.  Brent Musberger, calling the game, was looking for anything to get excited about in the battle of defenses.  He began screaming wildly just because LSU got to midfield for the first time all game, and said something along the lines of "Let's go!  I was promised touchdowns; no more of these field goals!"  At least he was honest.
  • LSU blocked a field goal in the first half.  That was probably their biggest play of the game, but they couldn't capitalize off the momentum.
Lowlights:
  • LSU QB Jordan Jefferson played a pretty putrid game.  A lot of his struggles can be attributed to a relentless Alabama defense, which never let Jefferson look comfortable, or the lack of any kind of run game.  But under Jefferson, LSU gained just 5 first downs.  ALL GAME.  He also looked miserable running the option, which LSU continued to call despite getting knocked back for negative yardage every time. 
  • Alabama coach Nick Saban was wearing a white long-sleeved undershirt before the game started.  In the second half, it was gone.  Where did it go?  I want some answers.
  • At halftime, there was a competition put on by Progressive where a contestant had five tries to make a 40-yard field goal in a minute.  Dari Nowkhah tried his best to get the crowd excited, but it was just a weird thing to watch.  The contestant never really came that close.  It was very awkward to watch.

And that was about it.  Congratulations to Alabama on the national championship.  Until next season, I will continue to dream about a college football playoff.

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