McCarron quietly makes case for Heisman

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- AJ McCarron scrambled, slid and felt the brace on his right leg slip. The black hunk of plastic and metal protecting his injured knee came loose, and the quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide had to play through it.

What did he do the following play? Run the ball, of course.

As the referees measured to see if the run was good enough for a first down, trainers rushed over to help McCarron with the brace. It wouldn't get in place, so they simply ripped it off. The kid wanted to play football. An equipment malfunction wasn't going to stop that.

It didn't matter whether he wore a knee brace or not, Mississippi State wasn't getting to McCarron on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa. The junior from South Alabama had all the time he wanted behind his mammoth offensive line. McCarron stood tall and picked apart the vaunted Bulldogs secondary, exposing a pair of cornerbacks many consider future high-round draft picks.

No. 1 Alabama rolled over No. 11 Mississippi State 38-7, and the Crimson Tide's star quarterback took another step toward New York City and a seat at the Heisman Trophy table.

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