Jan 8, 2010 4:13 AM
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - Alabama rode its big-play defense and punishing rushing attack to the pinnacle of the college football world again.
The top-ranked Crimson Tide held off a furious rally by second-ranked Texas and beat the Longhorns 37-21 in the BCS National Championship for the Tide's first national title since 1992.
Alabama's Marcell Dareus knocked out Texas quarterback Colt McCoy on the Longhorns' first possession and later scored on a 28-yard interception return just before halftime. That helped Alabama build a 24-6 halftime lead.
Texas backup QB Garrett Gilbert was ineffective early, but he helped Texas mount a comeback that drew the Longhorns within 24-21 with 6:15 left. But Gilbert fumbled late on the Texas 3-yard line, leading to a 1 yard run from Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram with just more than two minutes left in the game. Alabama later added another insurance TD.
Ingram finished with 116 yards rushing on 22 carries with two TDs. He was part of an Alabama ground game that outgained Texas 207-to-81 in rushing yards.
The victory makes Tide coach Nick Saban the first coach to win BCS titles at two schools - Alabama and LSU.
Saban says it was Alabama's "entire organization" that helped the Tide with its 13th national title.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
4 hours ago