Valiant as it was, Texas’s comeback despite the game-ending injury to Colt McCoy was too little, too late, as the Alabama Crimson Tide captured the BCS National Championship 37-21 Thursday night.
McCoy and the Longhorns got a quick start after a Crimson Tide fake punt was intercepted, but on the very first series of the biggest game of his life, McCoy injured his throwing shoulder and was done for the game.
His backup Garrett Gilbert came in and looked shaky to put it lightly.
After scoring the first six points of the game, the Longhorns gave up 24 unanswered to finish the half, one of the scores coming on a 49-yard rush from Trent Richardson, who was featured heavily after Heisman Trophy recipient Mark Ingram came out of the game with an injury of his own.
However, a post-halftime revival and Jordan Shipley nearly brought the Longhorns all the way back, as Gilbert broke loose in the second half, throwing for two touchdowns, both to the Longhorn receiving star.
After bringing the game to within a field goal at 24-21, Gilbert showed his youth as he was sacked and fumbled the ball near the goal line.
Unlike McCoy, Ingram was able to return, and his one-yard touchdown run sealed the victory for the Tide late the fourth quarter.
Ingram broke the recent trend of Heisman winners coming up short in the national title game as he rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns despite his injury. Richardson also contributed a 100-yard performance with two scores, as the Longhorn defense had no answer for the Tide’s strong rushing attack.
Alabama’s victory also gives the SEC four straight BCS national champions, a streak that looks more and more impressive as now three different schools have won the four titles: LSU, Florida (twice) and now ‘Bama.