MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Alabama rolled to its second consecutive BCS championship, and third in four seasons, beating No. 1 Notre Dame 42-14 in a BCS championship game that was no classic after all.
AJ McCarron threw four touchdown passes and Eddie Lacy ran for 140 yards and scored twice for the second-ranked Crimson Tide, which scored on its first three drives and cruised from there.
Alabama (13-1) became the third team to win three national titles in four seasons since polls started being used to crown champions in 1936, and the first since Nebraska from 1994-97.
Tide coach Nick Saban now has won four national championships. Only Alabama’s Paul “Bear” Bryant, with six, has more.
The Fighting Irish (12-1) didn’t score until they were down 35-0 late in the third quarter.
The Crimson Tide marched with ease on the opening drive, going 82 yards on five plays to take a 7-0 lead on Lacy’s 20-yard touchdown run up the middle with 12:03 left in the first quarter.
Notre Dame (12-0) had allowed only two rushing touchdowns in its surprising run to the championship game. The Fighting Irish were the first team to reach the BCS championship game after starting the season unranked.
Alabama quickly made the Fighting Irish look as if they were in over their heads.
Notre Dame did nothing to respond to Alabama’s opening march, and on its punt back, the Crimson Tide might have caught a break. Returner Christion Jones muffed the kick, but Notre Dame was flagged for interfering with the catch, though it was one of Jones’ teammates that made contact with him.
Lacy and the Crimson Tide went right back to work, hammering away at Notre Dame’s vaunted defense. The Irish struggled to bring down the 220-pound tailback, who even ran through Heisman Trophy finalist Manti Te’o on a screen pass.
In the second quarter, it was freshman T.J. Yeldon slipping through Te’o’s arms in the backfield on a third-down run and getting a first down.
Lacy set up Alabama’s second touchdown with another 20-yard run, this time to the Irish 2. Instead of running into a Notre Dame goal-line defense that has become known for goal-line stands, McCarron faked a handoff and found tight end Michael Williams all alone for the score and a 14-0 lead.
Alabama made it 3 for 3 on the next drive when Yeldon scored from a yard out on the first play of the second quarter.
Lacy landed one more blow with 31 seconds left in the half. McCarron dumped off to Lacy, who spun off two tacklers, and went 11 yards to make it 28-0.
The Fighting Irish started the third quarter with a promising drive that ended with another Alabama highlight.
HaHa Clinton-Dix made a sensational diving interception, grabbing a tipped pass and tapping his toe inches from the sideline. Alabama turned the game’s first turnover into another long scoring drive. McCarron capped this one with a 34-yard TD pass to freshman Amari Cooper.
Notre Dame finally got on the board with 4:08 left in the third.Everett Golson took an option keeper 2 yards for a touchdown to break a streak of 108 minutes, 7 seconds in which Alabama had not allowed a point in a BCS championship game, dating to the last 6 minutes of the fourth quarter of the 2009 title game against Texas at the Rose Bowl. Alabama had scored 69 straight points in that span.