The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

BCS Championship

January 8, 2013

Alabama blocks its way past Irish for title, 42-14

— MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — When Alabama's first-team offense came off the field for the final time in the BCS championship game, center Barrett Jones skipped toward the bench like a 302-pound schoolboy, waving his arms toward the cheering Crimson Tide fans.

Jones' unit went out with a roar Monday, steamrolling Notre Dame from the start to help Alabama win 42-14.

The Tide's vaunted offensive line blew the Fighting Irish off the ball, and after three possessions Alabama had 203 yards and a 21-0 lead. The most anticipated matchup in the title game — Bama's running attack against Notre Dame's stout run defense — quickly became no contest, and so did the game.

"We couldn't be happier with the way we came out and started the game," said Jones, who played with torn ligaments in his left foot and will require surgery. "We knew we wanted to run the ball and hit them early, and I think that's what we did."

On its first three series, Alabama mounted touchdown drives of 82, 61 and 80 yards.

"Notre Dame had a really highly rated statistical defensive team," Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said. "I thought a real challenge for us in the game was how we would control the line of scrimmage. That's probably the thing that was most surprising to me — how we were able to control the line of scrimmage, especially early in the game."

Alabama dominated with an offensive line that includes three All-Americans — first-teamers Jones and left guard Chance Warmack, and second-teamer D.J. Fluker at right tackle. They created gaping holes against a team ranked fourth in the nation in run defense, and neutralized Heisman Trophy finalist Manti Te'o, who became a nonfactor.

The blocking gave Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon plenty of room to run, and A.J. McCarron lots of time to throw.

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