Alabama withstood a late rally by Texas, but forced a late turnover and Mark Ingram's second touchdown of the night finished off Texas' run and secured the Crimson Tide's 13th National Championship with a 37-21 win.
Mark Ingram, the Heisman trophy winner, was awarded the game's Offensive MVP award. Defensive MVP honors went to Marcell Dareus who knocked Colt McCoy out of the game and returned an interception for a touchdown.
Nick Saban became the only coach to win two BCS Championships at two different schools. He led LSU to the title in 2003.
Texas, led by freshman QB Garrett Gilbert, took over for McCoy when he went down with a shoulder injury early in the first quarter, struggled until the second half where he found his rhythm. He threw two touchdowns to Jordan Shipley, at one point cutting the Alabama lead to three points. In the end, it wasn't enough as the Crimson Tide defense swarmed him deep in his own territory to set up the game-sealing score. Gilbert finished 15-for-39 for 186 yards and two touchdowns (both to Jordan Shipley), but he also had four interceptions and a costly fumble following Alabama's only sack of the game late in the fourth quarter. Following Ingram's second score, Gilbert threw another interception and Alabama wasted no time to turn it into points. Trent Richardson added another score with less than a minute left.
For the first five minutes, Alabama did everything they could to lose the game. Then, Dareus laid a vicious hit on Colt McCoy went down and never returned to the game. Alabama built a 24-6 lead in the first half after knocking McCoy out of the game holding the Texas offense in place for the rest of the first half.
Another big story of the game was the play of the offensive lines. Alabama's was pressured all night protecting Greg McElroy, but they opened running lanes and the Alabama running backs did the rest. Mark Ingram finished the game with 22 carries for 116 yards and two touchdowns. Trent Richardson added another 19 carries for 109 yards including a 49-yard score. The Longhorns' offensive line protected Gilbert well most of the night until surrendering the sack late in the game that set up the final Alabama score. Texas was unable to establish a consistent running game which put the pressure squarely on Gilbert's inexperienced shoulders.
The game's start was anything but ordinary. Alabama won the coin toss and went absolutely nowhere. Then, in a play right out of left field, a fake punt pass was intercepted setting Texas up in great field position. However, it was on that drive, McCoy went down. Texas would hold Alabama again and get great field position on a punt return only to have it end in a field goal. It was the last time they held the lead.
Alabama marched down the field under the running of Mark Ingram and scored the go ahead touchdown to start the second quarter. Trent Richardson added a 49 yards score later in the quarter along. A Leigh Tiffin field goal and the Dareus interception return put the score 24-6 in favor of Alabama at the half.
Texas's defense held Greg McElroy in check through the night, sacking him four times. He finished the game 6-11 for 58 yards, 0 TDs or INTs. He was sacked five times.
This is the fourth straight national title for the SEC, something no conference has accomplished. Going back to 1936, the start of The Associated Press poll, leagues have won three straight three times: the Big Ten from 1940-42 (Minnesota twice and Ohio State); the SEC from 1978-80 (Alabama twice and Georgia); and the SEC's current streak from 2006-08.
(Photo credit: Alan Rouse)