Saturday, February 24, 2018
Sports

Alabama wins BCS championship game 21-0 over LSU

NEW ORLEANS

The Rematch of the Century, it wasn't.

Alabama romped to another BCS championship against top-ranked LSU with a smothering defensive performance, a numbing barrage of field goals and even a long-overdue trip to the end zone.

Good enough for No. 1, if not a lot of style points.

No. 2 Alabama posted the first shutout in the game's 14-year history, relying on Jeremy Shelley's right leg for most of the points — he made a bowl record-tying five field goals — and letting its defense do the rest. The Crimson Tide romped 21-0 over the Tigers for its second BCS title in three years.

"I think it was a great team win. The defense did a great job," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "The offense controlled the momentum of the game from the start to finish. It's a great team win. Every fan and supporter in our program — it's great for them."

While only crimson-clad fans will remember this one as a thing of beauty, Alabama (12-1) erased any doubts that it deserved to be in the title game over another one-loss team such as Oklahoma State or Stanford.

The Crimson Tide didn't allow the Tigers to convert a third down until the fourth quarter, and didn't allow a snap in its own territory until there was 7:30 left.

Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower promptly sacked Jordan Jefferson to force a fumble that was recovered by his friend Nick Gentry. The way things were going for the Tigers, it was a fitting way for their best offensive series of the night to end.

"This defense wanted to pitch a shutout," bruising linebacker Courtney Upshaw said. "That's what we did, baby, a shutout."

Trent Richardson added a 34-yard touchdown run moments later to seal it, the only touchdown scored by either team in two meetings this season.

The way the Alabama defense was playing, it might as well have been over at 3-0.

Upshaw made two stellar tackles at the line to force three-and-out on LSU's second possession, and linebacker C.J. Mosley and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick did so again on its next possession.

LSU (13-1) had beaten eight ranked teams — including Alabama in early November — to establish itself as the clear No. 1, but the Tigers crossed midfield only once in the sequel to the Game of the Century in Tuscaloosa. LSU was outgained 384-92 in total yards and its five first downs were fewest in a BCS title game.

Kenny Hilliard led the Tigers with 16 yards rushing, while Jefferson was 11-of-17 for 53 yards. He was sacked four times and threw a mystifying interception when he attempted to flip away a desperation pass, only to have it picked off because his intended receiver had turned upfield looking to block.

"They're a tough, physical team," Upshaw said. "But we outphysicaled them today."

     
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