'Bama Wins 37-21
by CFP Staff
January 8, 2010
Heisman Trophy-winning running back Mark Ingram ran for 116 yards and 2 scores, and Trent Richardson added 109 yards and 2 scores, as Alabama knocked off Texas 37-21 to give the SEC its fourth straight BCS Championship.
Texas QB Colt McCoy, the 2008 Heisman runner-up and 2009 3rd-place finisher, was knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury on his opening series.
True freshman Garrett Gilbert threw two first-half interceptions, including a shuffle pass that was returned 28 yards for a touchdown to put the Tide up 24-6 with 3 seconds left before halftime.
Gilbert fought back in the second half and threw 2 TD passes to Jordan Shipley and a 2-pt. conversion toss to Dan Buckner to close to within 24-21 with 6:15 left in the game. Texas got the ball back at its own 7 with 3:14 to play, but Gilbert fumbled on a blind side sack and Ingram scored 3 plays later for a 31-21 advantage.
Texas' next series ended on the second play when Javier Arenas picked off Gilbert and put Alabama back in business at the 'Horns 27 with 1:48 left. Richardson carried three straight times and scored from 2 yards out for the final points (the PAT clanked off the left upright).
The game began with Alabama winning the coin toss but electing to receive. That initial drive ended with a pass on a fake punt that Blake Gideon intercepted at the 'Bama 37. Five plays later, McCoy was injured when he was hit by Marcell Dareus on a keeper that resulted in no gain at the 11-yard line. To make matters worse, Gilbert's 1-yard touchdown on a quarterback sneak two plays later was nullified for illegal formation. The Longhorns settled for a field goal and a 3-0 lead. Texas got the ball right back when Alabama failed to cover the high, short kickoff, but that fortunate event turned into just another 3 points.
The 6-0 lead held up through the first quarter, but the flood gates were about to open on the Longhorns.
Alabama took a 7-6 lead two plays into the second quarter on a 2-yard run by Ingram; Richardson's 49-yard sprint made it 14-6 with 7:59 to play in the half; and Texas's next drive ended at the Alabama 27 on Arenas' first interception of Gilbert. While Alabama didn't score as a direct result of the turnover, it kept Texas from turning the tide of the game. 'Bama did score on its next possession when Leigh Tiffin kicked a 26-yard field goal with 29 seconds left for a 17-6 lead.
Longhorns' head coach Mack Brown first seemed content to settle for an 11-point halftime deficit, but then opted for a shuffle pass with just 15 seconds left before intermission. The pass was bobbled by D.J. Monroe and eventually landed in the hands of Dareus who returned it for an 18-point halftime bulge.
Gilbert completed 15-of-40 passes for 186 yards with 2 TD's and 4 INT's. His Alabama counterpart, Greg McElroy, was only 6-of-11 for 58 yards with no touchdowns or picks.
It's Alabama's first national title since the 1992 Gene Stallings-coached team was voted No. 1 after dismantling Miami 34-13 in the Sugar Bowl.
The last four BCS titles have gone to Florida (2006, 2008), LSU (2007) and Alabama. SEC teams also won in 2003 (LSU) and 1998 (Tennessee) and are 6-0 all-time in BCS title games. In fact, the SEC has won all four games since the BCS Championship game was established as a separate affair in 2006.
Nick Saban became the first head coach to win a BCS title at two different schools. Saban was the head coach of LSU's 2003 BCS championship team.
Texas saw its 5-bowl winning streak come to an end, as did its undefeated record against Alabama. The Longhorns now lead the series 7-1-1.
Big 12 teams fell to 2-5 overall in BCS Championship games.
The game was played at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California under perfect weather conditions.