MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. —
The Tide sure did roll.
Alabama proved unstoppable from the outset of the BCS championship game Monday night. The Crimson Tide mounted touchdown drives of 82, 61 and 80 yards on their first three possessions and went on to beat Notre Dame 42-14.
The lightning-quick start gave the Tide a 21-0 lead one play into the second quarter, and they built it by blowing the Fighting Irish off the ball.
Alabama dominated with an offensive line that includes three All-Americas — first-teamers Barrett Jones at center and Chance Warmack at left guard, and second-teamer D.J. Fluker at right tackle. They created gaping holes against a team ranked fourth in nation in run defense, and neutralized Heisman Trophy finalist Manti Te’o, who became no factor.
Notre Dame entered the game with 34 sacks, but A.J. McCarron was given plenty of time to throw. He hit eight of his first nine passes, including a 3-yard toss to Michael Williams for the second touchdown.
The early clock-eating drives took Notre Dame’s offense out of the game. The Irish gained only 23 yards before Alabama had 21 points. Time of possession at that juncture was 12:12 for the Crimson Tide to 2:52 for the Fighting Irish.
The matchup of Alabama’s ground attack — with 1,000-yard rushers Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon — against Notre Dame’s stout defense was expected to be pivotal. It was, and like the game, it quickly became no contest.
Alabama had 74 yards rushing before Notre Dame attempted a running play.
The Notre Dame defense wasn’t accustomed to being pushed around in such a manner. The first scoring drive — which took only five plays — was the longest the Irish had allowed all season.
McCarron threw downfield on the second play to Kevin Norwood for 29 yards. Three plays later, Lacy found lots of room up the middle and ran through the grasp of a cornerback en route to a 20-yard touchdown.
Most of the time in the early going, the Tide ran to the left and away from Te’o. And Alabama’s linemen repeatedly locked the linebacker up.
When Lacy ran up the middle for another 20-yard gain on third-and-1 to the Notre Dame 3, Te’o was blocked out of play by Warmack and ended up chasing the play from behind.
Jones helped knock Te’o aside when Yeldon ran over right guard for a 1-yard score to make it 21-0. That was the second rushing touchdown allowed by the Irish, matching what they gave up during the entire regular season.
Notre Dame had allowed only two players to rush for 100 yards, but Lacy finished with 140 and Yeldon added 108.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. —
The Tide sure did roll.
County has 20 on All-Big 10 football team
It’s no secret that the Big 10 is a deep football conference, with four teams making the AA playoffs and one in AAA.
Mascaro in the running for USA Today High School Ultimate Athlete award
Fairmont Senior girls’ soccer player Gabi Mascaro is up for another award as the 2012 sports season comes to a close.
VanGilder leading Bees to impressive start
East Fairmont’s new girls’ basketball coach James Beckman wanted to make things different this season after the team he took over posted a sub-par record last season.
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You might remember Rick Harshbarger. We introduced him to you almost a year ago as the guy driving the car parked in the Coliseum parking lot with the license plate: NO1WVFAN.
Dolphins shake off snow, beat Steelers, 34-28
Considering everything the resilient Miami Dolphins have put themselves through over the last two months, a couple of snowflakes were hardly going to be a problem.
Aggressive Falcons roll past State, 107-89
Jerrod Calhoun had a simple message for his Fairmont State University team at halftime of its game with visiting West Virginia State here Saturday afternoon at the Joe Retton Arena.
“Coach got on us at halftime about playing timid and not being aggressive,” said backup point guard Shammgod Wells, who helped key a big second-half turnaround for the Falcons in their 107-89 blowout win over the Yellow Jackets.
Lady Falcons’ second-half rally falls short
A 17-point second-half deficit proved to be just a bit too much for Fairmont State’s Lady Falcons to overcome here Saturday afternoon at the Joe Retton Arena.
Visiting West Virginia State built a 55-38 lead just over 26 minutes into the contest and then held off a furious FSU comeback bid to record a 78-75 win.
HERTZEL COLUMN: There are no sick days for athletes
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Marion County wrestlers begin season
All three Marion County teams kicked off the wrestling season Friday and Saturday at the Hedgesville Duals.
At the end of the competition, nine wrestlers remain undefeated.
Fairmont Senior swims to second
The Fairmont Senior boys’ swim team took second place Saturday in the Morgantown Invitational, finishing just four points behind Parkersburg South.
The Polar Bears were led by Tyler Campbell, who was named to the all-tournament team after finishing first in the 50 freestyle and second in the 100 fly.
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