Alabama’s junior RB Trent Richardson showing the world who is #1 in the NCAA rankings at the end of the game during the BCS Bowl celebrations.
Defense Wins Championships
By: Scott McEwen
At the end of every season teams start to improve their depth chart in order to get to the biggest Stage in NCAA Football. The coaches begin to recruit top prospects around the country as the players shed blood, sweat and tears in the gym working to become the best. Training camps start in the summer and the road to number 1 on the polls begins.
The BCS Bowl hosts the top 2 teams in the country as they fight for bragging rights to call themselves the best. With LSU(1) and Alabama(2) it would be round two of November 5th’s defensive stand still. LSU entered the game with a 13-0 record while Alabama came in 11-1 last loosing to the Tigers.
The game would pick up rite where they left off, on the kickers cleat. Alabama striked first with a Jeremy Shelly 23 yard field goal, Shelly’s foot would be the only source of points finishing 9-0 Alabama at half. LSU had continued to show no signs of life in their offence, only passing the 50 yard line once the entire game. It would continue to get harder throughout the game, facing the best defence in the last decade and #1 defence in the NCAA. The Crimson Tide shut down any offensive play call LSU threw at them, as they finished with only 92 yards of total offence. The Defence was destructive causing 2 turnovers, on an interception and a forced fumble. Jordan Jefferson was swarmed by the burgundy red defence getting pressured every time he touched the ball. Jefferson could not find his groove all game and looked fluttered and confused each down. He finished with only 53 yards passing. The fans were quick to jump on his back as they began to “boo” him and started a “Lee” chant in hopes of seeing back up QB Jarrett Lee. It was the opposite of what was seen throughout the bowl season this year as defence was at the for front of this bowl game.
Defence was in the spotlight all night but Alabamas’s offence was not something to ignore. “We knew coming into the game somebody else had to step up, and coach just gave me an opportunity,” McCarron told NCAA reporter Jerry Trickie, and steeping up is certainly what A.J had done. A.J McCarron turned into a new confident quarterback that wasn’t there in the first match up between the two. He took control of the offence and continued to progress as the game went on, finishing the day on 234 yards passing with 23 completions on 34 attempts and picking up offensive MVP. His leadership at the line showed a calm demeanor driving his offence down field leading them to 21 first downs and excellent field position to convert their 5 field goals.
Tight end Brad Smelley was firing on all cylinders as he recorded a career high 7 receptions, becoming McCarron’s safety blanket all night long.
With 4:36 seconds left in the fourth quarter LSU’s slim chance was put to rest, as they watched Heisman candidate Trent Richardson take it 34 yards down the sideline into the end zone. Finally after 8 quarters between the two teams the no touchdown seal had been broken. With Richardson’s game demolishing touchdown run the Gatorade shower had begun to poor, and the fact of being the best in the country started to sink into the Crimson Tide’s sideline.
This game was extra special to Alabama’s head coach Nick Saban as he won against his former team LSU to become number 1. Saban left Baton Rouge in 2005 to become the Head coach of the Miami Dolphins, but after 2 years found himself back in the NCAA. Taking a job with the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2007. For his 3rd BCS Bowl appearance as a head coach he came out on top yet again adding another accomplishment to a great coaching career.
After a year of terrible mishaps for a strong football community the crystal ball returns to Tuscaloosa for the 2nd time in 3 years.