NPR Story
5:04 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Alabama Wins 2nd Consecutive BCS Championship

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 8:32 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. The good news for Notre Dame fans is that they should be well rested this morning. They had no reason to stay up late last night. Alabama took the fight out of the Irish, 42-14, defeating the previously undefeated team and winning the BCS championship. NPR's Tom Goldman was at the game in Miami.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: I know. I know. Rule number one in sports is it ain't over till it's over. Till the gun sounds. Till the fat lady sings. But with only four seconds gone in the second quarter last night, it sure seemed like the fat lady was warming up.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERS)

GOLDMAN: Alabama running back T. J. Yeldon's one yard score made it 21 to nothing. And it made the Crimson Tide three for three. They'd had the ball three times. Each time they scored a touchdown. Those gaudy regular season stats for the Notre Dame defense - 10.3 points per game allowed, best in the nation - the stats were being obliterated by the guys in red and white who were living out the team slogan: Roll tide.

After another score made it 28 to nothing at halftime, a disheartened Paul Froning, Notre Dame class of 1992, pondered possible second half adjustments.

PAUL FRONING: They have to establish something at the line of scrimmage. They have to calm down and they need to stop doing stupid stuff.

GOLDMAN: His wife Kim chose the religious route, this being Notre Dame and all.

KIM FRONING: I was saying the rosary in there.

P. FRONING: Yeah. It didn't work.

K. FRONING: It didn't work. But it can't hurt at this point.

P. FRONING: You've got to work on your time in purgatory or something.

GOLDMAN: The team's time in purgatory was just getting started. Another Alabama touchdown in the third quarter and the stat guys started getting silly with the numbers. Alabama, they announced, went 107 minutes and seven seconds over three BCS title games, in 2010, 2012, and last night, without letting their opponent score.

Even though Notre Dame did eventually score, it was clear long before the end that Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban was going to get questions about the D-word. In a post-game press conference, Saban said he's not interested in words like dynasty. But the often sour-looking coaching whiz did let his coiffed hair down a bit.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

NICK SABAN: You know, whether I look it or not, I'm happy as hell.

GOLDMAN: So how did this lopsided game happen? Sitting in the Notre Dame locker room, 326-pound defensive lineman Louis Nix said the Fighting Irish didn't play their game. They missed tackles. When asked why, Nix showed he's been paying attention in philosophy class.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

LOUIS NIX: Can you tell me why we're on Earth? Can you tell me what is gravity? How do you know it exists? You know, I can't explain it. We missed tackles and that's it, so...

GOLDMAN: Alabama center Barrett Jones had a pretty good explanation. He says Nix and the other Notre Dame defenders are really good at shedding blockers on the opposing offensive line, thus making it easier to tackle the opposing running backs. Jones says the Alabama offensive linemen did a great job of sticking to the Notre Dame defenders.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

BARRETT JONES: We really just worked on getting our hands inside and really locking onto them and we were able to make some big plays because of that. Because our backs are strong enough to run through arm tackles.

GOLDMAN: Those running backs breaking through arm tackles, T. J. Yeldon and Eddie Lacy, gained a combined 248 yards and scored two touchdowns. Jones says during the game, Notre Dame defenders were saying those guys are awesome. Barrett Jones says that goes for his quarterback, A.J. McCarron, as well.

Jones shoved McCarron when McCarron yelled at him late in the game. Jones said afterwards, no worries, they love each other - just competitive guys trying to do what no team had done for 15 years - win three titles in four seasons and have the sporting world call you a dynasty. Even if you don't like the term. Tom Goldman, NPR News, Miami. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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