BCS Championship Game 2013: Biggest X-Factors in Alabama's Win over Notre Dame
The Alabama Crimson Tide annihilated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 42-14 to win their third BCS National Championship in the past four years and secure the seventh straight national title for the Southeastern Conference.
Alabama showed its superiority in nearly every facet of the game in the win.
The Tide rolled on the ground, dominated the skies and suffocated the Notre Dame offense for nearly the entire four quarters of play.
Here are the biggest X-factors for Alabama in its decisive national title victory.
From start to finish, Eddie Lacy looked more like Jim Brown running against the Notre Dame defense.
The Irish simply couldn't tackle the big 'Bama back, as he ran through, around and in between Notre Dame defenders for 140 yards and a touchdown.
Ten of his plays went for Alabama first downs or touchdowns, and he also had a pair of receptions and a touchdown.
No. 42 also had eight plays of eight yards or more.
His early dominance opened up the Tide passing game from the start, which gave the Irish almost no shot at victory.
This win was a true display of team dominance, but Lacy had an immeasurable impact on the outcome.
A.J. McCarron was absolutely brilliant in the win over Notre Dame.
The junior signal-caller was nearly flawless, finishing 20-of-28 for 264 yards and four touchdowns.
He didn't throw a single interception and hardly made an ill-advised throw all night.
His touchdown strikes were from three, 11, 34, and 19 yards to three different receivers.
McCarron couldn't have played a better game, and he put himself directly into the early 2013 Heisman Trophy talk.
Monday night was a nightmare for Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson, and much of that was thanks to Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley.
He didn't discriminate either, harassing the Notre Dame running backs as well.
He led the team with eight tackles, including one for a loss.
One of the most entertaining plays of the game came when Mosley grabbed Irish running back Theo Riddick and tossed him over his shoulder.
Not too long after, he shot into the backfield and smashed Riddick again.
It was Mosley and the rest of the Alabama front seven that held the Irish to a net total of 32 rush yards in the game.
On the receiving end of McCarron's excellent game was receiver Amari Cooper.
No. 9 hauled in two of his quarterback's touchdown tosses—one from 19 and the other from 34 yards out.
No one in the Irish secondary was able to cover Cooper deep, which resulted in his huge day.
The scary part?
Cooper is only a freshman.
He'll be available for the Tide for the next two years as their dynasty continues to build.
Alabama's offensive line was called the best of any position unit in the nation this season.
They showed why against Notre Dame.
The leader of that group, center Barrett Jones, was in a bit of a tiff with his quarterback A.J. McCarron near the end of the game.
However, by that time the game was well in hand. The two realized this and reconciled.
Later, they conspired together to give coach Nick Saban a Gatorade bath.
That opportunity began up front for Alabama. The Tide gained 5.9 yards per rush, as Lacy and T.J. Yeldon both eclipsed 100 yards on the ground.
Most championship teams start with a strong offensive line, and in dominating a talented Notre Dame defensive front, Alabama proved that to be true.