Jan. 8, 2010
PASEDENA, Calif. – The No. 1 ranked Alabama football team beat No. 2 Texas in the BCS National Championship game, played in the Rose Bowl Thursday, 37-21, winning the 13th national title in school history and first since 1992. With the win, head coach Nick Saban becomes the fifth coach to bring a national championship to the Capstone.
“Our message to the team at halftime was that it’s a 60-minute game,” Saban said. “I’m proud of the way we hung in there and bounced back at the end of the game.”
The Crimson Tide defense ended any hopes of a Longhorns comeback when Eryk Anders forced a fumble out of the hands of Texas quarterback Garret Gilbert with 3:08 remaining in the game.
Alabama would force two more turnovers and score two touchdowns to seal the 2009 national championship.
After Texas jumped out to a 6-0 lead on a pair of field goals in the first quarter, the Crimson Tide took the lead when sophomore Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram scored on a two-yard rush, putting Alabama up 7-6 with 14:18 remaining in the second quarter.
Freshman Trent Richardson joined in on the ground attack when he busted a 49-yard touchdown run at the 7:59 mark in the second quarter. The long touchdown run stretched Alabama’s lead to 14-7.
Senior Leigh Tiffin would extend the Tide’s lead further connecting on a 26-yard attempt. Two plays later Marcell Dareus intercepted Gilbert’s shovel pass and returned it 28 yards for an Alabama touchdown. The 10-point swing gave the Crimson Tide a 24-6 lead heading into the half.
With Texas’ offense scoring 11 unanswered points in the second half and pulling within 24-21, Anders swung into action, forcing a fumble at the three-yard line with Courntey Upshaw recovering for the Tide.
Ingram capitlized on the turnover, scoring on a one-yard touchdown run three plays later, putting Alabama up 31-21.
Senior Javier Arenas came up with his second interception of the night with 1:55 remaining in the game. Richardson turned the turnover into points once again, scoring a touchdown on a two-yard run. Tiffin missed the extra point attempt, making the score 37-21.
With the win Alabama head coach Nick Saban becomes the first head coach in major college football history to win a national championship at two different schools, also winning the BCS national championship in 2003 at LSU.
Saban also becomes the second head coach to win two BCS national championships, joining Urban Meyer of Florida.
The victory in Pasadena comes 84 years after Alabama won its first national championship in the 1926 Rose Bowl game and makes this the fifth Alabama team to end their national championship campaign at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
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