MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Notre Dame was on the field with Alabama for the BCS National Championship Game here at Sun Life Stadium on Monday night, but the Irish weren’t really in the same league, class or even solar system as the Tide.
The way Alabama danced to the locker room at halftime as Notre Dame retreated with their heads down would have fooled many into thinking the game was over. The Irish probably wished it would have been.
It wasn’t, the Tide would register a 42-14 beatdown of the Irish after taking a 28-0 lead into halftime.
Alabama scored on its first three possessions while the Irish managed just two first downs on their first four drives. The Crimson Tide rolled up 529 yards against Notre Dame's 302. The game got out of hand quickly.
Alabama took the opening kickoff and with the help of a pair of Notre Dame penalties, a big catch by Kevin Norwood and a 10-yard run by Eddie Lacy, were quickly in the red zone. Lacy busted through a hole and raced 20 yards for the game’s first score, giving the Crimson Tide a 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.
The Irish went three-and-out on their opening series when a long catch by Tyler Eifert near the sidelines was ruled incomplete. Notre Dame thought it recovered a fumble on the ensuing punt, but Matthias Farley was called for fair catch interference, allowing the Crimson Tide to retain the ball.
Alabama went on an impressive 10-play, 61-yard march that featured more pounding from Lacy and was capped with a three-yard touchdown pass from A.J. McCarron to Michael Williams that made it 14-0 nine minutes in.
The Irish avoided disaster on their next drive when a fumble by Eifert was correctly overturned, but after picking up one first down, they had to punt. Alabama took over on its own 20 and – with a combination of T.J. Yeldon runs and McCarron passes – marched 79 yards to the Irish one-yard line when the first quarter expired. Yeldon eased in for the score on the first play of the second quarter running the Crimson Tide lead to 21-0.
Notre Dame moved into Alabama territory with a 31-yard strike from Everett Golson to Davaris Daniels, but when Golson’s fourth-down heave to TJ Jones was knocked away, so were just about all of the Irish’s chances.
The Irish were finally able to force an Alabama punt on the next possession, but quickly followed with a punt of their own. The teams traded punts again before Alabama tacked on another touchdown, an 11-yard touchdown pass to Lacy, that gave the Tide a 28-0 lead at the half.
Notre Dame moved the ball on offense to start the third quarter, but Golson’s deep pass was picked off by Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at the Irish three-yard line. The Crimson Tide breezed down the field and a 31-yard pass from McCarron to Amari Cooper pushed their lead to 35-0 midway through the third quarter.
The Irish did manage to finally put together a scoring drive on their next possession, a nine-play, 85-yard march that was capped by a two-yard plunge from Golson, making the score 35-7 with four minutes remaining in the third. Alabama responded with a 14-play, 86-yard drive and another McCarron scoring pass to Cooper, this time for 19 yards, to put the Tide up 42-7 as the game continued to be out of hand.
Golson put together a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive and finished it with a six-yard scoring pass to Theo Riddick to complete the scoring in the fourth quarter.