MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Nick Saban wouldn’t let his players use the R or D words in the buildup to Monday’s BCS National Championship Game. He didn’t want his players thinking about repeating or possibly becoming a dynasty, afraid it would affect the focus of his team ahead of yet another big game.
Afterward, the word was on everyone’s mouth.
No. 2 Alabama pounded, pushed and finessed its way to a 42-14 win over No. 1 Notre Dame to clinch its second straight BCS National Championship and third in four years.
“Yes, sir. No doubt about it,” senior defensive end Damion Square said when asked if the Crimson Tide could finally be called a dynasty. “I’m through here at this University and I was part of a dynasty.”
Eddie Lacy, who earned named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player, rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown and added another through the air as Alabama’s offensive line dominated the vaunted front seven of Notre Dame.
From the very first drive, Alabama controlled the line of scrimmage and dictated the game throughout.
“We knew we had to be physical up front and we did,” guard Chance Warmack said. “It paid off tonight.”
Defensively, Alabama held Notre Dame to just more than 300 yards of offense, a lot of which came after Alabama had pulled its starters from the game.
The Irish only managed 32 rushing yards and didn’t find the end zone until after the Crimson Tide had scored 35 straight to open the game.
“When we walked in this locker room,” Square said. “I looked in these guys’ eyes before the game and I knew we were going to dominate.”
The very first drive of the game, Alabama marched 82 yards and scored when Lacy, who was named offensive MVP, darted 20 yards for a touchdown.
After forcing a Notre Dame three-and-out, Alabama went right back down the field using a heavy dose of Lacy. But when it got to the goal like, quarterback AJ McCarron faked the handoff and found a wide open Michael Williams for the scored.
Lacy’s most impressive score came on an 11-yard screen pass just before halftime. The junior, who is expected to declare for the NFL Draft, used his signature spin move to escape two defenders and sprinted into the end zone for the score.
“He was on a mission tonight,” right tackle D.J. Fluker said of Lacy. “He wanted to go out there and score every play. I actually challenged him on the bus I said, ‘If you can get two or three touchdowns, we’ll win the game.’ He said, ‘All right, as long as you give me good blocking, we’re going to get it.’”
Freshman Amari Cooper capped his stellar freshman season with two touchdown grabs and almost had a third when McCarron just overthrew his outstretched hands on a fly route in the second quarter.
As Alabama’s defense stuffed an impotent Notre Dame offense, Alabama used its trademark grind-it-out offense to control possession and dominate the game on the biggest stage.
“Our offensive tempo was the key to the game,” head coach Nick Saban said. “We were able to establish and maintain the run with our backs and line doing a great job and then AJ and our receivers converted third downs and maintained drives.”
McCarron jogged off the field holding that crystal football, the second one he’s captured in two years, and found his mom in the stands, holding it up so she could see his latest accomplishment.
He wasn’t exactly quick to embrace the D word that was thrown at him from all directions after the clock at Sun Life Stadium hit zero. As for the R word, there was no denying what his team had accomplished.
“I get chills thinking about it,” he said.