The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

BCS Championship

January 8, 2013

Te'o sees career end with BCS title-game loss

— MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — One of the last things Manti Te'o remembers Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly telling his team before the BCS title game was about the importance of four particular segments of play.

—The first two minutes of the game.

—The last two minutes of the first half.

—The first two minutes of the second half.

—The last two minutes of the game.

Of those, only one was not wrought with disaster for the Fighting Irish — and by then Te'o had left the field for the last time as a Notre Dame player.

Overmatched from the very start, Notre Dame's hopes of going from unranked to undisputed this season ended in a crimson-and-white display of precise football. The Irish were beaten by Alabama 42-14 in the title matchup on Monday night, the only loss in 13 games for a Notre Dame team that few thought would be a championship hopeful when the season began.

"I'm obviously disappointed, not necessarily all that we lost, but just we didn't represent our school, our team, our families the way that we could have," Te'o said. "So in that aspect it's just disappointing. But at the same time I'm proud to be a part of this team. What doesn't kill you will only make you stronger."

Cliche, sure.

But if anyone can live by those words, it's Te'o, particularly after what he endured over the course of his final college season.

Alabama set the tone in the first two minutes, starting the game with an 82-yard march in only five plays to take a 7-0 lead on Eddie Lacy's touchdown run, the first of his many highlights on this night. With 31 seconds left in the half, Lacy caught a touchdown pass for his second score — one that made it 28-0 and had Kelly cracking a joke at his own expense in a televised halftime interview.

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