Ingram overcomes cramps, Heisman jinx

January, 8, 2010
1/08/10
3:39
AM ET
PASADENA, Calif. – So much for the Heisman jinx.

Of course, Mark Ingram never believed in jinxes, curses or black magic.

"That's for the movies," Ingram joked.

[+] EnlargeMark Ingram
Harry How/Getty Images Mark Ingram rushed for 116 yards on 22 carries and scored two touchdowns against Texas.
The Alabama sophomore running back became only the sixth player since 1950 to win the Heisman Trophy and a national championship in the same season.

Moreover, six of the past seven Heisman Trophy winners who played in the BCS National Championship Game had come out on the losing end.

Ingram bucked that trend Thursday night thanks to Alabama's 37-21 win over Texas, which is probably fitting.

Who would have believed back in August that he would have been anywhere on the Heisman Trophy radar?

“The Heisman was kind of shocking and something I never really expected coming into this year,” said Ingram, who overcame cramps and a swarming Texas defense to rush for 116 yards on 22 carries and earn Most Outstanding Offensive Player honors.

“When I won the trophy, it was a great honor to win it, but it was more than just a trophy to me. It was overcoming adversity. All throughout my life, me and my family sticking together and overcoming obstacles and people that tried to hold us back. A lot of emotion came from that.

“This national championship was more everybody. I was so happy to leave my heart out there for the team, the blood, sweat and tears.”

Ingram, who finished the season with 1,658 rushing yards, went over 100 yards in a game for the eighth time this season to set an Alabama record.

He wasn’t the only one, either.

Freshman running back Trent Richardson also rushed for 109 yards on 19 carries. Unfortunately for the rest of the SEC, it’s a duo that’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

“I had Mark’s back all year long, and he had my back,” Richardson said. “I learned a lot from him. That’s the great thing about having both of us. We’re going to keep coming at a defense until we break them.”

Alabama tight end Colin Peek said the peripheral things were never a big deal to this team, whether it was the Heisman jinx, individual awards or the rankings throughout the year.

“We’ve had so many people win awards,” Peek said. “But at the end of the day, a jinx really doesn’t matter. All that matters is how much you’re going to sacrifice for the win. As a team, we were able to put so much into it, and that’s what we believed in. None of us focused on the outside things.

“We focused on what got us to this point, and that’s why we’re national champions.”

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