Alabama wins 2010 American football college title

Friday, January 8, 2010

Heisman trophy winner Mark Ingram scored a one-yard touchdown and Trent Richardson scored from two yards to cement the University of Alabama's first national American football title since 1992 in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game over the University of Texas at Austin yesterday in Pasadena, California. The Crimson Tide defeated the Longhorns 37-21.

File:Nick Saban 09 Practice.jpg
Alabama coach Nick Saban is the first coach to win two different BCS national titles with two different schools.

After a strong start by Texas, Alabama -- led by Greg McElroy -- went on the offense, leading by 24-6 at the end of the first half. Texas launched an impressive comeback bid to bring the score within three, but Alabama capitalized on two turnovers at the end of the fourth quarter to put the game away.

For the Crimson Tide, Ingram led all rushers with 116 yard and both he and Richardson had two touchdowns. For Texas Jordan Shipley led all receivers with 112 yards and two touchdowns. McElroy went 6/11 passing with 58 yards gained but was sacked several times. For Texas, Garrett Gilbert went 15/40 for 186 yards and two touchdowns, but was intercepted four times. On defense, Javier Arenas had two interceptions to lead all defenders.

With the win, Ingram became only the second Heisman winner to win the BCS national championship game in the same season. Also with the win, Alabama coach Nick Saban became the first coach to win two BCS national titles with two different schools. He previously won the title in 2003 with Louisiana State University.

After the game, Ingram told ESPN that the national title has been a season-long goal for Alabama.

"The whole entire organization from the top to the bottom," Ingram said, "we set that goal at the beginning at the season and worked towards it [...] I could not have done it by myself."

Ingram also told his father -- who is currently serving a prison sentence -- via the television broadcast that he loved him. Ingram's father played football for nine years in the NFL and was the 28th overall pick in the 1987 NFL Draft.

On the opening Texas possession, an injury to Texas starting quarterback Colt McCoy, who left the game, put true freshman Gilbert in charge of the Longhorn's offense.

After the game, McCoy told ESPN that he "[...] would haven given anything to be out there with [his] team."

The game, held annually in Pasadena, California, is the final college American football game in the country determines the national champion for the previous year's regular season. Both teams came into the game with perfect records and as the champions of their respective conferences, the SEC for Alabama and the Big 12 for Texas.

Game summary

File:Colt McCoy - Fiesta Bowl - Jan 5 2009.jpg

Texas starting quarterback Colt McCoy, shown here in 2009, was injured in the first University of Texas possession in the first quarter.
Image: Erik Thureson / Fox Sports.
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

After winning the coin toss, Alabama elected to receive the ball. On fourth down in their first possession, Alabama attempted a fake punt, but Texas' Blake Giddeon intercepted the ball. A goal-line stop by Alabama forced a Texas field goal. However, the major news in Texas' first possession was an injury to Texas starting quarterback Colt McCoy, who left then game and later underwent X-rays on his right shoulder. McCoy was replaced by true freshman Garrett Gilbert. On the ensuing kickoff, Alabama again turns over the ball and Texas gets another field goal. In addition, Texas' defense came up strong, with three sacks in the first quarter.

Alabama answered back on their next possession with a Mark Ingram touchdown to take the lead at the start of the second quarter. Alabama then forced a Texas three-and-out and received the ball on their own 47 yard line. The drive stalled after a sack of Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy and a Crimson Tide punt was taken by the Longhorn's Jordan Shipley at the Texas 15 yard line. Texas had no luck passing and had to punt, which Alabama returned to the Texas 51 yard line. On the second play from scrimmage, freshman Trent Richardson ran for a 49 yard touchdown, and after the extra point, a 14-6 Alabama lead.

Texas hit back quickly with a 35-yard run to Alabama's 30 yard line and Gilbert went to the end zone with a pass, but the ball was dropped. Alabama got their first turnover of the game on a Gilbert interception on the next play, but could not capitalize, only managing to pin Texas within their five-yard-line on a punt. After two short runs, Gilbert could not hit Shipley for a first down pass, leaving Texas to punt. Alabama returned the punt to the Texas 29 yard line. Alabama kicker Leigh Tiffen hit a 26 yard field goal with 29 seconds left. However, the Tide were not done yet, as Marcell Dareus intercepted a Gilbert shovel pass and returned it 28 yards for the score and a 24-6 halftime lead.

At halftime, Texas coach Mack Brown told ESPN that he had chosen to go for a long field goal try to end the half and that the shovel pass was a routine one. Alabama coach Nick Saban told ESPN news that his team would not underestimate Texas in the second half, saying both teams needed to play 60 minutes of football. At the beginning of the second half, Brown told ESPN's Lisa Salters that McCoy would not return in the game.

Texas received the ball first in the second half. After a first down, a Texas penalty forced a third-and-long, but Marquise Goodwin managed a 39-yard run for another first down. Texas could not advance the ball and punted into the end zone for a touchback. Texas' defence then forced a punt and received the ball at their own 34 yard line, before punting to Alabama who got the ball on their own 19 yard line. Texas then forced another punt, which Texas returned at the 47 yard line before punting again for an Alabama touchback. After a sack on McElroy, Alabama punted and Texas received on their 40 yard line. Texas finally broke the defensive battle when Gilbert hit Shipley for a 44 yard touchdown pass. After the extra point, Texas recovered on onside kick. Texas could not not get a first down, but managed to pin Alabama at their own 6 yard line as time wound down in the third quarter.

As the fourth quarter, the Crimson Tide marched down the field, helped by two personal fouls committed by Texas defenders. Kicker Leigh Tiffin then missed a 52 yard field goal, turning over the ball to Texas on downs. Gilbert hit several first downs and were helped by an Alabama penalty and Gilbert hit Shipley for another touchdown and a two-point conversion bringing Texas to within three points. On Alabama's ensuing possession, they are forced to punt and Texas gets the ball at the seven yard line.

Texas' comeback bid was stopped when Gilbert was sacked and fumbled the ball, which Courtney Upshaw recovered for Alabama. Mark Ingram then scored on third down and Tiffin score the extra point. On the ensuing possession, Javier Arenas intercepted a Gilbert pass, which Alabama capitalized on with a one-yard Trent Richardson touchdown run. Tiffin's extra point attempt hit the upright to bring the score to 37-21. Texas could not respond as Gilbert was again intercepted. Alabama knelt the ball to end the game.

Scoring summary

Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Length Time Texas Alabama
1 9:11 10 plays, 36 yards 3:50 Texas Hunter Lawrence 18–yard field goal 3 0
8:04 4 plays, 5 yards 1:07 Texas Hunter Lawrence 42–yard field goal 6 0
2 14:18 7 plays, 57 yards 3:24 Alabama Mark Ingram 2–yard run, Leigh Tiffin kick good 6 7
7:59 2 plays, 49 yards 0:45 Alabama Trent Richardson 49–yard run, Leigh Tiffin kick good 6 14
0:29 6 plays, 20 yards 1:51 Alabama Leigh Tiffin 26–yard field goal 6 17
0:03 Alabama Marcell Dareus 28–yard interception return, Leigh Tiffin kick good 6 24
3 1:31 5 plays, 59 yards 1:44 Texas Jordan Shipley 44–yard reception from Garrett Gilbert, Hunter Lawrence kick good 13 24
4 6:15 10 plays, 65 yards 4:58 Texas Jordan Shipley 28–yard reception from Garrett Gilbert, two-point conversion good 21 24
2:01 3 plays, 3 yards 1:01 Alabama Mark Ingram 1–yard run, Leigh Tiffin kick good 21 31
0:47 3 plays, 27 yards 1:01 Alabama Trent Richardson 2–yard run, Leigh Tiffin kick no good 21 37
Final score 21 37


Some information contained in this article was obtained from television, radio, or live webcast sources. Reporter's notes and the broadcast source details are available at the collaboration page.