Tide Roll to Championship
Irish no match for Alabama, SEC dominance continues
Published: Thursday, January 10, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 10, 2013 11:01
Quieting the Fighting Irish by the first play of the second quarter, Eddie Lacy, A.J. McCarron and the No. 2 University of Alabama Crimson Tide rolled top-ranked Notre Dame 42-14 for the Bowl Championship Series Monday night. The win locked up a second straight national title, the third in four years, with another laugher of a title game.
Lacy, the game’s offensive most valuable player, ran for one touchdown and caught a pass for another in the final minute of the opening half. He spun away from the vaunted Notre Dame defense not once, but twice, to cap a 28-0 blitz before the bands even got on the field.
“The game was boring,” said Jonathan Bird, a Santa Clara student. “When I got back from crew practice to watch, the second half the game was basically over.”
Lacy finished with 140 yards on 20 carries, coming up with two of his best performances in the two biggest games of the year. He rushed for a career-high 181 yards in a thrilling victory over Georgia in the Southeastern Conference title game, and was nearly as dominant against the Irish. McCarron wasn’t too shabby either, completing 20 of 28 passes for four touchdowns and 264 yards, adding another dazzling effort on top of his MVP in last year’s title game.
“We’re going for it next year again,” said Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandijo, only a sophomore but already the owner of two rings. “And again. And again. And again. I love to win. That’s why I came here.”
Manti Te’o, Notre Dame’s star linebacker and Heisman Trophy finalist said, “They just did what Alabama does.”
The Crimson Tide will likely wrap up its ninth Associated Press national title, breaking a tie with Notre Dame for the most by any school and gaining a measure of redemption for a bitter loss to the Irish almost four decades ago: the epic Sugar Bowl in which Ara Parseghian’s team edged Paul William “Bear” Bryant’s powerhouse 24-23.
“We’ve had a lot of really great football players who’ve worked really hard,” Head Coach Nick Saban said. “Because we’ve had a great team, we’ve been able to have a significant amount of success.”
The win is the seventh consecutive BCS Championship for a team from the SEC.
“It shows absolute dominance by one conference and recently, by one school,” said lifelong University of Southern California fan and Santa Clara student Andrew Jupina. “I think the Irish had a lot of luck on their side this year to make it this far, but I still believe the future is bright for that program.”
Notre Dame went from unranked in the preseason to the top spot in the rankings by the end of the regular season. But that long-awaited championship will have to wait at least one more year.
“We’ve got to get physically stronger, continue to close the gap there,” said Brian Kelly, the Irish’s third-year coach. “Just overall, we need to see what it looks like. Our guys clearly know what it looks like now — a championship football team. That’s back-to-back national champions. That’s what it looks like. That’s what you measure yourself against there. It’s pretty clear across the board what we have to do.”
Santa Clara sophomore Heidi Jonson, who has long been an Irish fan, was still happy with the 12-1 year in South Bend. “They had a great season. I’m proud of the team, and I’m not upset,” she said. “This winning season was really exceptional.”
Contact Ryan Mahoney at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852. The Associated Press contributed to this report.