NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Jeremy Shelley kicked five field goals and Trent Richardson broke a 34-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter as No. 2 Alabama beat No. 1 LSU 21-0 on Monday night – the first shutout in BCS title game history.
Richardson swept around left end and raced down the sideline to the end zone with 4:36 left for the first touchdown between the Southeastern Conference rivals in more than 115 minutes of play and one overtime period.
Alabama (12-1) had put it away before that as Shelley kicked field goals of 23, 34, 41, 35 and 44 yards in the first three quarters to make it 15-0, matching an all-bowl record. He also missed two field goals and an extra-point attempt. But this time, the missed kicks didn’t matter to the Tide.
The Tigers (13-1) and Tide met on Nov. 5 in what was dubbed the Game of the Century, and the Tigers won a touchdown-less, defensive standoff, 9-6 in overtime. Alabama went 2 for 6 on field goals in Tuscaloosa. Richardson, the Heisman Trophy finalist, ran for 96 yards on 20 carries and offensive player of the game A.J. McCarron passed for 234 yards as the Tide had no problem moving against LSU’s second-ranked defense in the nation – just not into the end zone.
Alabama’s top-ranked defense didn’t need much help. With All-American linebacker Dont’a Hightower leading the way, the Tide held LSU to 92 total yards and five first downs.
For the Tide, it’s the second BCS championship in the last three years under coach Nick Saban, who also won a title at LSU in 2003.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)