Instant analysis: Alabama 42, ND 14
January, 7, 2013
By Matt Fortuna | ESPN.com
MIAMI -- Alabama became the first team to repeat as BCS champions, as the Tide rolled through Notre Dame on Monday night, 42-14, to win the Discover BCS National Championship, their third title in four years. Here is how it went down.
It was over when: Following a three-and-out from Notre Dame, officials blew a call on Alabama's punt return, ruling that Christion Jones was hit by an Irish player. He was hit by a teammate. Instead of an Irish fumble recovery and some early momentum, the Tide marched down the field for a 14-0 lead and never looked back.
Gameball goes to: The offensive line paved the way for Alabama's run game and protected AJ McCarron all night. Alabama scored touchdowns on its first three drives and made it look easy, taking any chance away from the Irish early. This was an historic group.
Stat of the game: The longest drive against Notre Dame in the regular season was 75 yards. On Monday, Alabama had drives of 82, 80, 97 and 86 yards.
Best call: We'll change this to worst call: The Jones fumble that wasn't. It looked like a pivotal play at the time and ended up not mattering in the grand scheme of things, but it was an awful, awful call.
Second guessing: Not to take away from Alabama's defense, but Notre Dame's No. 1 scoring defense look disheveled throughout the night, missing tackles left and right, blowing assignments and getting the ball taken to it all night.
What Alabama learned: The Tide are a dynasty. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Nick Saban has his third national title in four years, and his fourth overall. The scary part? Alabama may be even better next year.
What Notre Dame learned: Everyone who said the Irish were lucky to be here feels a little validated. It was an historic season by almost any measure for Notre Dame, but one has to wonder just how far this program is from being the best of the best after a demoralizing Monday night.
Top Returning Players: AAC and Notre Dame
FBS INDEP. SCOREBOARD
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35