Alabama had 453 yards through three quarters. The Irish defense came in allowing 286 per game.
Lacy had 130 yards on 18 carries and McCarron, the MVP of last year's 21-0 title game victory against LSU, was 16 for 22 for 225 yards.
Golson, the redshirt freshman quarterback who coach Brian Kelly had nurtured through the season, was 14 for 26 for 196 yards.
Alabama was trying to become only the third team to win three national titles in four seasons since polls started being used to crown champions in 1936. The last was Nebraska from 1994-97, and the Cornhuskers had to share the '97 championship with Michigan, which was voted No. 1 in the AP media poll. Nebraska was No. 1 in the coaches' poll.
Another national championship would also give Saban four, his first coming with LSU in 2003. Only Alabama's Paul "Bear" Bryant with six would have more.