As many expected, the Alabama Crimson Tide rolled their way to another NCAA football national championship on Monday night, but they rolled over No. 1 Notre Dame with much more force than predicted, covering the spread by a landslide in the 42-14 victory.
The titles makes three in four years for the dominant Alabama program, which now many are dubbing a rare college football dynasty.
“We’ve had a lot of really great football players who’ve worked really hard,” Bama coach Nick Saban said via ESPN.com. “Because we’ve had a great team, we’ve been able to have a significant amount of success.”
That’s a pretty big understatement coming from Saban, who claimed his fourth overall natty in what will be remembered as one of the greatest college coaching careers of all-time. He is now just two titles behind Bear Bryant–another Bama legend–for the most ever.
But as Saban would tell you, the real stars of the show were the players. Alabama’s superior offensive and defensive lines dictated the action and controlled the lines of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, as the Tide rushed for 265 yards while holding the Irish to just 32 measly yards on the ground.
Running back Eddie Lacy led the way for the Tide, winning the game’s MVP award with a 140 yard showing and a touchdown on just 20 carries. Freshman T.J. Yeldon also enjoyed a great day at the office with 108 yards and a TD on 21 carries.
That stellar running game set up A.J. McCarron and the aerial attack as well. McCarron–who could have easily won the MVP himself–was nearly flawless, completing 20 of 28 throws for 264 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.
It was an embarrassing drubbing right from the first whistle and one the Fighting Irish will likely want to forget. Lacy ran over, through and around the Irish defense, which included Heisman finalist Manti Te’o and capped a game-opening 82-yard scoring drive on a 20-yard touchdown. The Tide proceeded to push Notre Dame around until it was 28-0 at halftime and everything was pretty much settled.
Notre Dame fell to No. 4 in the season’s final poll, but has to be thrilled with what it accomplished, rising to the cream of the crop again after beginning the year unranked.
For Alabama, it is once again the undisputed No. 1 and with most of its back-to-back championship winning squad returning, a three-peat would certainly not be out of the question.