Alabama-Texas: 'Bama's Backs Bully Longhorns' D

Aaron HarrellCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2010

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07:  Running back Trent Richardson #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs for a 49-yard touchdown against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter of the Citi BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Forget about Colt McCoy being knocked out of the game on his first rushing attempt.

Last time I checked, he doesn't play defense.

The main storyline leading up to the game was whether or not the "Legion of Boom" would shut down Mark Ingram and the Alabama Crimson Tide running attack.

The vaunted Texas Longhorn rushing defense, who came into the game holding their opponents to 62 yards per game, were gashed for a season-high 205 yards on an 51 attempts.  On a team who defended the run 407 times all season (more than any team in the Football Bowl Subdivision), Texas had their hands full with Ingram and Trent Richardson all night.

The duo combined for 215 yards on 41 carries as they each scored two touchdowns. Early in the first quarter, Ingram started the 'Bama rushing attack on a 2nd and 13 gaining 18 yards on the play. After McElroy got sacked on the next play, forcing a 2nd and 15, Richardson was able to get going after taking a direct snap from the Wildcat.

After a three-and-out and a defensive stand, 'Bama went back to their Heisman horse with two straight carries which gained 17 yards. Then an Upchurch run from the Wildcat and a Julio Jones reception that went for 23 yards, Ingram was able to punch it in on three straight carries.

So much for the "Heisman Jinx."

But the true freshman Richardson, would come up with a defining run in his early career. With 8:15 left in the second quarter, Richardson took the handoff, ran up the middle, and raced for daylight for a 49-yard touchdown run.

It was in that instant, the "Legion of Boom" was relegated to a dud.

As Texas made their run in the second half with Ingram on the sidelines due to cramps in the third quarter, he gave their offense a boost with 6:19 left in the game with a six-yard catch, and a 19-yard run. After a three-and-out, the defense forced a fumble, and from inside the five-yard line, Ingram punched it in to give the Tide a 10-point lead.

After a Javier Arenas interception, Richardson would need only three carries from the 27 yard line to add the exclamation point.

As good as the Texas defense was heading into the game, Alabama's ground game was that much better, breaking tackles, and fighting for every yard.

It was just like 1992 all over again with the Crimson Tide offense, which included less passing yards, but more of the ground game as they steamrolled Miami for 267 yards in that game.

Even though the Longhorns lost McCoy early in the game, when it came down to it, their defense couldn't stop Alabama's ground game. There were missed tackles and missed assignments as the Longhorns suffered the same fate as the Florida's defense did 32 days ago.

There's a No. 12 on the defensive side, but his name is Earl Thomas, not Colt McCoy.