Originally posted on No 2 Minute Warning  |  Last updated 1/10/12

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 02: Kick returner Javier Arenas #28 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates with head coach Nick Saban after Arenas scored on a 73-yard punt return in the second quarter against the Utah Utes during the 75th Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 2, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Crimson Tide defense shuts down LSU

Nick Saban raised the crystal ball for a third time. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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The Crimson Tide are once again national champions of college football.

It took eight quarters of football, but Trent Richardson scored the first touchdown between Alabama and LSU all season long. But by the time Richardson scampered down the left sideline for a 34-yard score, the Crimson Tide were already minutes away from sealing their second BCS title in the past three seasons, and avenging a November home loss to the Tigers.

Alabama used their kicking game to build a 15-0 lead on the leg of kicker Jeremy Shelly through three quarters of play, and with LSU unable to do anything on offense against Alabama’s stingy defense, it was more than enough. Alabama held LSU to 92 yards of total offense and had as many missed field goals (two) as LSU had first downs in to the fourth quarter.

The nail in the coffin. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Alabama head coach Nick Saban won his third BCS national title, dating back to his tenure at LSU. Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron was named the game’s offensive player of the game after throwing for 234 yards and completing 23 of his 34 attempts. The sophomore came out clicking under center right from the start of the game as Alabama used a mix of short and medium passes all over the field to keep LSU’s secondary and defense on their toes. The normally athletic LSU defense was left scratching their heads and wondering how to slow down Alabama.

Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw was named the game’s MVP for the game, with seven tackles and one sack.

It may not have mattered who was playing quarterback for LSU, but Les Miles made a questionable decision to stick with Jordan Jefferson, who struggled all night long, instead of switching to Jarrett Lee at any point. If nothing else, the offense could have used anything to give them a bit of a jolt and perhaps spark some new momentum against Alabama’s defense, which was relentless all night.

Notes

It took LSU until early in the fourth quarter to convert a third down for a first down. Kenny Hilliard’s two-yard run on 3rd and 1 snapped an 0-for-7 start on third down for the Tigers.

Alabama wins their second BCS title in three seasons. It is the first time the national champion has come from the same state since Minnesota won three straight titles from through the 1934 to 1936 seasons. Alabama and Auburn have won the three most recent BCS championships.

Alabama’s Marquis Maze returned a first quarter punt for 49 yards. LSU had allowed six punt return yards all season heading in to the game. Maze left the game with a hamstring after the return, and just could not work it off to return to the game.

The SEC has claimed six consecutive BCS championships, but this is also the first loss for an SEC team in the title game since the adoption of the BCS format. Feel free to add your own asterisk if you so choose.

Alabama won their 14th national championship, more than any other college football program.

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