The game, the pinnacle of the NCAA American Football season, was watched by a capacity crowd of almost 95,000 at PasadenaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Rose Bowl Ã¢â‚¬â€ the site of the 1994 World Cup final. The University of Texas were seen as the underdogs going into the game, their first National Championship game appearance since 2005, and the University of Alabama indeed proved too strong for them.
Going into the game, the Longhorns had high hopes of causing an upset. However things went bad for them for very quickly. Star quarterback Colt McCoy was knocked out of the game on TexasÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ very first drive, injuring his throwing shoulder in a collision with an Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus.
After a couple of early Texas field goals, Alabama took control in the second quarter, running all over the Longhorn defence with touchdowns from Richardson and Ingram.
AlabamaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dominance was punctuated by mistake after mistake from Texas, capped by an embarrassing interception on the final play of the half which Ã¢â‚¬ËœBama returned for a touchdown, sending them in with a 24-6 half-time lead. McCoyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s replacement, first-year Garrett Gilbert, looked awestruck by the occasion and struggled to complete passes, although he got little help from his offensive line or his receivers.
Longhorns supporters were hoping to see McCoy back out on the field for the second half, but sadly for them, it was not to be. His injury kept him out for the rest of the game, and the next time they see him on a field, it will be in the NFL, later this year. Gilbert settled down as the game moved on, throwing a 44yd touchdown pass to Jordan Shipley at the end of the third quarter. He then connected with Shipley again with 6 minutes remaining for a 28yd touchdown, to bring Texas within three points.
Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram struggled with cramp early in the second half, but was ready to smash his way in for his second touchdown of the night, following a Gilbert fumble inside his own 5 yard line, with three minutes left. Trent Richardson finished the game off for The Tide with his second touchdown run of the night.
The victory is certain to be prefaced with Ã¢â‚¬Å“but what if Colt McCoy…Ã¢â‚¬Â The Crimson Tide wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be too worried about that for now though, as they celebrate their first, and very well deserved National Championship since 1992.
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