PASADENA, Calif. — Alabama should have won Thursday night’s BCS National Championship Game handily. After Texas lost star quarterback Colt McCoy for the game on its fifth offensive play, after Heisman winner Mark Ingram ran his way to 90 yards by halftime, and after 296-pound defensive lineman Marcell Dareus broke out his best NBA spin move on a back-breaking interception return, the Crimson Tide should have waltzed to their 13th national championship.
But that wouldn’t have been very ‘Bama-esque.
“For some reason we like to keep it close at the end,” said Tide linebacker Cory Reamer.
After nearly blowing a 24-6 halftime lead, after watching its offense go belly-up nearly the entire second half, after Texas’ seemingly overmatched freshman quarterback, Garrett Gilbert, improbably burned the Tide for two long touchdown passes, Alabama’s defense took the field with 3:14 remaining, needing to protect a 24-21 lead.
Two plays later, linebacker Eryk Anders came storming around right end, drilled Gilbert and forced a fumble recovered by Courtney Upshaw at the Texas three-yard line. Even then, it took three tries for Ingram to plunge his way into the end zone and wrap up an eventual 37-21 Crimson Tide victory.