Archive for Friday, January 8, 2010

High Tide: Longhorns lose McCoy, national title

Alabama players celebrate their newly-won BCS Championship. Alabama beat Texas, 37-21, in the national title game Thursday in Pasadena, Calif.

Alabama players celebrate their newly-won BCS Championship. Alabama beat Texas, 37-21, in the national title game Thursday in Pasadena, Calif.

January 8, 2010


— The sure thing was looking shaky for Alabama.

Hanging onto a precarious three-point lead and with momentum on the other side, linebacker Eryk Anders was determined not to let the championship slip away.

Anders forced a fumble on his blindside sack of Texas backup quarterback Garrett Gilbert with 3:02 left Thursday night to help the top-ranked Crimson Tide hold on for a 37-21 victory in the BCS title game — a victory that figured to be much easier when Alabama knocked out Colt McCoy early in the first quarter.

“I would have given anything to be out there because it would have been different,” McCoy said.

With McCoy on the sideline nursing a shoulder injury, the Tide (14-0) rolled to a 24-6 lead at halftime, the final touchdown coming when lineman Marcell Dareus picked off a shovel pass and returned it 28 yards for the score late in the second quarter.

“I was thinking about grabbing the guy with the ball, but then I said, ‘Let me just grab this football.’ I wasn’t even thinking about the highlight. I was so excited. My legs were weak, my muscles were crazy, and I made it,” Dareus said.

The second half figured to be a laugher with Gilbert in the game — a freshman who was Texas’ “quarterback of the future” but had thrown only 26 college passes.

The kid almost did it, though.

He threw two touchdown passes to All-American Jordan Shipley to trim the deficit to 24-21 with 6:15 left, and after an Alabama punt, he had the ball at the seven-yard line, 93 yards away from one of the most improbable comeback stories in the history of the game.

But after an Alabama holding penalty moved the ball to the 17, Gilbert dropped back to pass and got rocked by Anders, a senior who plays in the shadow of All-Americans Terrence Cody and Rolando McClain. The ball went flying, and Courtney Upshaw recovered.

Three plays later, Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram surged into the end zone from the 1 for the 10-point lead. A few minutes later, after Gilbert’s third interception of the night, Trent Richardson scored his second touchdown to make it 37-21.

Then the party began. Glory came back to one of the country’s most storied programs, the football factory that Bear Bryant built, courtesy of Nick Saban, who resurrected this team in the short span of three seasons.

“We back,” Ingram said.

Back for the first time since 1992, when Bryant’s protege, Gene Stallings, led the Crimson Tide to its last national title. This one gives Alabama eight since the polls began in the 1930s. Its seventh Associated Press championship should be a shoo-in when the votes are tabulated.

Ingram finished with 116 yards and two touchdowns and Richardson had 109 yards and two scores.

Anders will go down with them in Crimson Tide lore, as will Dareus, who before his touchdown knocked McCoy — the winningest quarterback in college football history — down and out with an injury to his throwing shoulder on Texas’ fifth offensive play.

“I just heard a thump when I hit him,” Dareus said. “I did lay it down pretty hard. I didn’t try to, but it felt great.”

Dareus finished with one tackle, one interception and one touchdown, but all were game-changers.

Seeking its second national title in five years, Texas (13-1) got to the game on the back of its All-American quarterback, who often looked like a one-man show in leading the Longhorns to 13 straight wins.

After the injury, McCoy was begging to go back in to finish his last college game. His dad, interviewed on TV, said the injury wasn’t that bad.

But Texas coaches decided to err on the side of caution, and McCoy spent the second half wearing a headset on the sideline, trying to encourage his teammates.

The Longhorns defense, ranked third in the country in yards allowed, kept things close until Gilbert got his feet underneath him.

And boy did he.

He led the Longhorns on a five-play, 59-yard drive to make it 24-13, then 60 yards for the second score, and suddenly, the Tide was falling apart, not rolling. The 2-point conversion made it 24-21.


davidsmom 8 years, 2 months ago

Considering that Texas pulled to within three of tying the game, it is obvious that Texas could easily have won that game had McCoy been playing. Very, very disappointing.

yankeevet 8 years, 2 months ago

The only reason Alabama Crimson Tide Elephants won; is because Colt McCoy was not in the game...........

Maddy Griffin 8 years, 2 months ago

Phi Bama Jamma!!YEEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 2 months ago

Yes, the outcome would've been different with McCoy, but like Roll pointed out, Alabama's offense deflated just to play it safe. Look how Bama responded in the fourth quarter. It sucks that McCoy was injured, but being prepared for that is part of the game and Texas looked lost until late.

You pay Mack Brown 5M annually and the best that his staff can do is bring in freshman QB? A freshman? Texas lost the game in the second quarter largely due to their lack of preparation. I was surprised that they responded at all, but it was too little, too late.

mom_of_three 8 years, 2 months ago

Did anyone notice how Musberger kept talking about the Ingrams's dad and how it was something for Ingram to overcome? I thought that was a little off putting, considering he is in prison awaiting sentencing on money laundering or something like that? Musberger made it sound like his dad was wrongly convicted.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, America needs to know that Mark Ingram's dad is a violent criminal. I found it titillating and it made me want to watch the game even more! Go State Penn!

rgh 8 years, 2 months ago


Agreed! He even made a comment on the first TD about glad he was that his dad was probably watching. The guy's going to prison why should he have a TV to watch his son play college football.

Can't blame the kid but Musberger was over doing it.

rgh 8 years, 2 months ago

Also, Lee Corso was saying emphatically at half time that Texas had "Zero" chance of winning without McCoy. I could really care less about Texas, but for him to say that just because there was an 18 year old kid thrown into a tough position was terrible.

I also didn't like it when Texas didn't just kneel on the ball at the end of the first half to get the young kid into the locker room and make adjustments, but Corso said, "Whoever made that call made the bonehead call of the year." Said it twice even! Corso went to be an okay guy for the Saturday football preview to being a total jerk in my book. You can tell it like it is without being brutal about it.

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