By: Sean Cartell
SEC Digital Network
NEW ORLEANS – Don’t let the score or lack of touchdowns fool you. No. 2 Alabama put on one of the most dominating performances against a deserving No. 1 LSU team imaginable in its 21-0 win on Monday evening in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the BCS National Championship Game.
The foot of kicker Jeremy Shelley did more than half of the scoring, but it was a total-team performance in all phases of the game that propelled the Crimson Tide to their 14th national championship and their second BCS National Championship in the last three years.
Alabama’s victory marked the sixth consecutive national champion for the Southeastern Conference in a game that featured the first-ever BCS Championship matchup of two teams in the same conference.
It was the first-ever shutout in a BCS Championship game.
When all was said and done, Alabama had possessed the ball for nearly 10 minutes more than LSU and accumulated nearly 300 more yards of total offense than the Tigers in the game. The Crimson Tide racked up 384 yards in the game to LSU’s 92.
Trent Richardson may not have eclipsed the century mark in rushing yards, but he came up big when it mattered most, finishing with 96 yards on 20 carries, including his 34-yard touchdown that sealed the game for Alabama with 4:36 remaining.
The Crimson Tide, on Monday, proved that they are the best team in all of college football this season. For those who may have questioned Alabama’s entry into the game, the Tide silenced any doubt with not only their victory, but the way they won in the Superdome.
Shelley connected on field goals with yardages of 23, 34, 41, 35 and 44 to boost Alabama to a 15-0 lead by the conclusion of the third quarter.
Quarterback A.J. McCarron was named the game’s Offensive Most Valuable Player, completing 23-of-34 passes for 234 yards.
Alabama’s defense was stellar, holding LSU to just 39 yards rushing and 53 yards passing in the contest. The Crimson Tide played errorless football, not committing a turnover, while the Tigers had two miscues.
Linebacker Courtney Upshaw was named the game’s Defensive Most Valuable Player, logging seven tackles – including six solo tackles – and a sack. He was one of six Alabama players to record four or more tackles in the game.
For head coach Nick Saban, he became the first coach to win three BCS National Championships, having also won a national title as the head coach at LSU.
Monday’s victory put the finishing touches on one of the finest senior classes in SEC history, compiling 48 wins over four years, a feat that only one other league school (Florida – 2009) and five other schools nationally have accomplished.