Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Colleges

Alabama Crimson Tide wins BCS title with 42-14 rout of Notre Dame Fighting Irish

MIAMI

Monday night's BCS National Championship Game was billed as a dream matchup featuring two of college football's most storied programs, each in search of a title with a different purpose. No. 1 Notre Dame was seeking a return to college football's elite, playing in its first title game since 1988. No. 2 Alabama was looking to earn its third national championship in four years and cement coach Nick Saban and its senior class among the nation's dynasty programs.

When it was all over, Alabama (13-1) had dismantled Notre Dame 42-14 on its way to its second consecutive national championship and helped further bolster the argument that the SEC is the nation's premier conference.

Alabama running back Eddie Lacy had two first-half touchdowns, and junior quarterback AJ McCarron was 20-of-29 for 264 yards and four TDs to lead Alabama past Notre Dame (12-1) in front of a record 80,120 at Sun Life Stadium. The previous record had been set during the 2009 BCS title game between Florida and Oklahoma (78,468).

The SEC has now won seven consecutive BCS national championships.

Alabama tallied up 529 total yards, 265 rushing.

Notre Dame had given up just 19 total points since Nov. 3; it gave up 28 in one half Monday night. Alabama led 28-0 at the half in a completely dominating performance: 153 rushing yards, 156 passing, four touchdowns.

The Irish were allowing just 92.4 rushing yards per game and had given up two rushing touchdowns all season, but that all went by the wayside quickly against Alabama.

Notre Dame won the toss and deferred to the second half. Five plays into the game, Alabama had gone 82 yards, capped by a 20-yard touchdown run by Lacy, the game's offensive MVP. And just like that, in 2:57, the Tide was up 7-0. It was the first touchdown drive of more than 75 yards the Irish had given up all season. That drive was aided by two costly penalties against the Irish, a facemask and offsides for a total of 20 yards.

Notre Dame appeared to catch a break on Alabama's next possession when Christion Jones fumbled a punt, but officials called interference on the Irish, giving the ball back to Alabama with 11:03 remaining in the first quarter. The Tide went on to score on a 3-yard pass from McCarron to Michael Williams with 4:49 left in the quarter for a 14-0 lead.

Entering the game, one of Notre Dame's biggest concerns was stopping the Tide's running game led by Lacy and freshman T.J. Yeldon, who had combined for 2,485 yards this season. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said if the Irish couldn't stop the run, it might be a long night for Notre Dame. He was right.

Lacy and Yeldon combined for 144 first-half rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.

The dismantling of the nation's No. 1 and only undefeated team came in all phases: missed tackles and the inability of Notre Dame's defensive backs to adequately cover the Tide's receivers. Notre Dame consistently attempted to complete passes one-on-one against Dee Milliner, Alabama's top defensive back. And the much-anticipated battle between Alabama's offensive line and Notre Dame's front seven went to the Tide's veteran offensive line, led by center Barrett Jones.

Antonya English can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
FSU starter Josh Ball faces Title IX suspension over dating violence accusation

FSU starter Josh Ball faces Title IX suspension over dating violence accusation

Florida State starting offensive tackle Josh Ball faces a university suspension after a Title IX investigation found him responsible for dating violence.The suspension came to light in a Facebook post Monday afternoon by Sandra Sellers, an FSU studen...
Published: 05/22/18
Willie Taggart will take more fourth-down chances than Jimbo Fisher. But how many more?

Willie Taggart will take more fourth-down chances than Jimbo Fisher. But how many more?

TAMPA — Florida State coach Willie Taggart fielded an interesting question near the end of his Q&A with fans during Sunday's booster stop at Armature Works.Are the Seminoles going to be going for it more on fourth down?"We will be goin...
Published: 05/21/18
Athlon: Florida Gators, FSU and Miami will all finish in top 20

Athlon: Florida Gators, FSU and Miami will all finish in top 20

One of the first big nuggets from preseason college football magazines is out: Athlon's top 25.The site considers its rankings a prediction of where teams will be at the end of the year, not the beginning.Alabama and Clemson are 1-2 (no shock). Miami...
Published: 05/21/18
Taggart delivers a bolt to area

Taggart delivers a bolt to area

TAMPA — After spending four years as USF’s football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it’s no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," he sai...
Published: 05/20/18
Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

TAMPA – After spending four years as USF's football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it's no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," ...
Published: 05/20/18
ACC football announces early kickoff times, TV info for FSU, Miami games

ACC football announces early kickoff times, TV info for FSU, Miami games

The ACC has released some kickoff and TV information for the first three weeks of the season:Week 1 (previously announced)Miami vs. LSU (in Arlington, Texas): Sunday, Sept. 2, 7:30 p.m., ABCVirginia Tech at Florida State: Monday, Sept. 3, 8 p.m., ESP...
Published: 05/18/18
Why FSU playing Boise State in Jacksonville is a smart risk

Why FSU playing Boise State in Jacksonville is a smart risk

Old, unofficial news is expected to become old, official news today with a formal announcement that Florida State and Boise State are kicking off the 2019 season in Jacksonville.  A lot has changed since the schools announced the series (FSU pla...
Published: 05/16/18
FSU-Boise State to open 2019 season in Jacksonville

FSU-Boise State to open 2019 season in Jacksonville

What had been an open secret for months is now open and shut: Group of Five power Boise State will face FSU at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville in the teams' 2019 opener.A formal announcement is expected Wednesday, but the '19 schedule on Boise's offi...
Published: 05/15/18
RHP Mark Moclair’s versatility proves valuable to University of Tampa

RHP Mark Moclair’s versatility proves valuable to University of Tampa

TAMPA — He’s the accidental pitcher who can’t be pigeonholed into a defined role. He’s a well-spoken economics major who morphs into fire-breathing intensity on the mound. And he’s one of the biggest reasons why the University of Tampa Spartans are p...
Published: 05/15/18
Police: Florida Gators recruit Justin Watkins kicked female’s car, broke her phone

Police: Florida Gators recruit Justin Watkins kicked female’s car, broke her phone

One of the Florida Gators' top incoming recruits was released from jail early Wednesday after police allege he kicked a female's car and broke her phone after an argument.Justin Watkins — a four-star athlete from Clermont — and ...
Published: 05/10/18