Alabama kicker Jeremy Shelley tied a bowl record with five field goals, and Trent Richardson’s long fourth quarter touchdown run sealed the deal, but it was the Tide’s defense that did the rest, posting the first shutout in the 14-year history of the BCS as Alabama won their second BCS title in three years with a 21-0 win over LSU in the Superdome in New Orleans.
LSU finished with 92 total yards and didn’t get into Alabama territory until midway through the fourth quarter. The Tigers were flagged for five penalties and two turnovers. While all of the credit needs to go to Alabama’s defense for the shut down job they put together, LSU’s offensive play calling and decision making was disappointing.
The Tigers had a game plan to run the football, but stubbornly continued to try to run the same plays when it was clear the plan wasn’t working. Several inside runs were stuffed thanks to a great push from Bama’s front three lineman. Several option attempts to the outside were all met with the same result…minimum gains. When LSU did try to pass, they were in passing situations and Bama’s linebackers and secondary dropped into coverage. How bad was LSU’s play calling? Midway through the second quarter, my wife even commented and said to me, “Why doesn’t LSU at least try throwing a long pass…just to shake things up?” It was a great question.
Kenny Hilliard led the Tigers with 16 yards rushing, while Jefferson was 11 of 17 passing for 53 yards. Alabama’s AJ McCarron was the offensive MVP, completing 23 of 34 passes for 234 yards. Richardson added 96 yards on 20 carries, including the 34 yard run late in the game, (the first and only touchdown scored between these teams in two games plus an overtime). The defensive award was presented to Courtney Upshaw, who had seven tackles, including a sack.
Nick Saban has won a pair of BCS titles at Alabama, plus another at LSU in 2003. He’s the first coach to win three BCS titles, denying LSU’s Les Miles his second championship.