Defence STILL Wins Championships

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The BCS National Championship signified the end of another wild season in the NCAA with controversy again marking the season. This year it would be the LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide facing off to prove who was best in the NCAA. For many it should not have been this game as the question of who was better had already been solved. On November 5th these teams faced off in what was considered the de-facto National Championship. The game showcased the two best defences in the NCAA as no TDs were scored and it seemed very boring on the scoreboard. It was not as boring as the scored made it out to be though as the LSU Tigers won the game 9-6 in overtime with missed fields goals and some explosive plays. With the game over and LSU proving they were the best team in the NCAA many believed that LSU would take on Oklahoma State in the Championship game. This was not the case though as Alabama took over the second spot again after an OSU loss. Although many believed that the game should not be a rematch that is exactly what happened as Alabama and LSU would face off for the second time in the year and this time it would be for the biggest prize of all. Both teams were built on their defence, Alabama was #1 in defence while LSU was #2, as they both set out to prove that defences do win championships. LSU was coming into the game hoping to continue their undefeated season and win their third National Championship, since the BCS started in 1998, at home in the Superdome at New Orleans. Alabama was looking to spoil the party as they were hoping for some revenge for their only loss in the season and earn their second National Championship, since the BCS began in 1998. The First quarter began as advertised with both defences shining. Neither offence could get much as Jordan Jefferson led the LSU Tigers to three drives that got them nothing forcing punts. Jefferson’s best drive of the quarter was LSU’s last drive as they earned one first down but again were forced to punt the ball. Alabama fared much better with AJ McCarron guiding his team down the field as they looked to be getting it done against the Tigers. The second drive for Alabama was the only one that provided any points for them as Jeremy Shelley was called on early after missing key field goals in the first meeting. Shelley put it through the put the Tide up 3-0 and then the defences shut everything down again. The second quarter saw much of the same as the defences continued to shut down both offences. Jordan Jefferson could not get his offence going as they continued to fail to get first downs with costly penalties and fumbled snaps. Meanwhile the Tide began finding a groove even without star WR Marquis Maze who left the game in the first quarter with a hamstring injury.  AJ McCarron did not let that phase them though as he continued to produce and find first downs against a very good defence. He still could not finish though as the Tide lined up for another field goal to start the 2nd quarter. The field goal was blocked in a flashback of the November 5th game that saw Alabama Kickers miss three field goals. The Crimson Tide defence made up for it though as they shut down everything that LSU tried to do as they could not earn a first down in the entire quarter. Alabama continued to dominate on offence yet continued again to fail in their finish. Kicking two more field goals Alabama went up 9-0 as they went to the locker room but all was not safe. Leaving a gap for the LSU Tigers is never a good idea as they had come back multiple times to win games and going into the locker room this is exactly what Les Miles was preaching to his team.

In the second half the LSU Tigers would try to come out for a comeback but needed to start it with a good performance on defence. Alabama did not let this happen though as they continued to march down the field making the defence look mediocre. Then they got inside the 25 and the defence began to look great. The Tide kicked another field goal putting them ahead 12-0 as they seemed to be getting hot on offence but they could not finish. As Alabama struggled on offence LSU looked even worse behind Jarrett Jefferson. The Tigers continued to falter on offence failing to get a first down as the Alabama defence looked like nobody could break through. Jefferson did not help either as he looked completely out of his element and threw an INT in his second possession of the half. Although the Tide got the ball inside the 30 they still could not break through the red zone defence for a TD. They lined up for another field goal attempt but the kick was missed as LSU continued to have some room to make a comeback. The ball went back to LSU with a chance to try to reduce the lead but again Jefferson could not get anything going. Before the end of the 3rd quarter Alabama added their fifth field goal of the game to go ahead 15-0 going in to the 4th quarter. The offences continued to struggle while the defences continued to shine as the 4th quarter saw nothing change. Jefferson continued to struggle to get his offence anywhere as he had still not been able to guide his team past the 50 yard line. Many LSU fans were wondering why Jefferson was kept in the game with fans chanting “Jarrett Lee” asking for their back up QB but it was not to be as Lee stayed on the sideline and Jefferson continued to struggled. With less than 10 minutes left in the game LSU began showing some life as Jordan Jefferson made a big run to get past the 50 yard line and looked to be marching towards a comeback. Then the Alabama defence stepped up again as Dunt’a Hightower stripped Jefferson ending the only good drive by the Tigers. The Tide took advantage of the turnover this time as Trent Richardson broke through and broke the 8 quarter TD drought getting into the endzone for the first time against LSU this year. With the TD the game was essentially over as LSU could not come back from the lead and the domination was over. The game was an exciting and weird one even with the defensive struggle as there were some big plays and some very exciting defensive plays. ‘Bama became the first team to shutout a team in the BCS National Championship in a truly dominant performance by the Crimson Tide. With the win Alabama took a second BCS title in three years and the win gave Nick Saban his third BCS title which is more than any coach. It was by far the best defensive performance in BCS history and Alabama proved that they belonged in the game and belong on top of the NCAA ladder. Although the game was a defensive battle it was still another thrilling game and with the season officially over it is time to reflect on a great season and look to the future.

 

Final Score:

#2 Alabama Crimson Tide 21 – 0 LSU Tigers #1

Offensive MVP:

AJ McCarron, QB (Alabama)

 

Defensive MVP:

*#41 in picture

Courtney Upshaw, LB (Alabama)

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