Published January 13, 2015
AJ McCarron's quest to become the first-ever quarterback to win back-to-back National Championships seems to be in great shape, as Alabama has taken a 28-0 lead into the half against Notre Dame in the BCS title game.
McCarron has thrown for 156 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 12-of-18 efficiency so far for the Crimson Tide, while Eddie Lacy has added 96 yards and a score on 12 carries.
Lacy also caught a touchdown pass late in the second quarter to cap the first- half scoring after Alabama got into the end zone on its first three possessions to start the rout.
Alabama received the ball first and quickly picked up chunks of yards, as McCarron found Kevin Norwood deep down the right sideline for a 29-yard gain after making a play-action fake on the second play of the game.
Lacy reeled off a 10-yard run up the middle on the next play that had 15 yards tacked on for a facemask penalty. Two plays later, Lacy shrugged off a defender during a 20-yard touchdown run to hand the Crimson Tide the lead less than three minutes into the first quarter.
The 82-yard march was the longest drive Notre Dame's top-ranked scoring defense had allowed all season.
The Fighting Irish were held to a three-and-out on their first touch of the game when Tyler Eifert was ruled to not have full possession of a catch near the left sideline on a 3rd-and-2. Alabama regained the ball at their own 39 following a kick catch interference penalty on Notre Dame during the punt.
Lacy then converted a 3rd-and-1 with an 8-yard run to move the ball across midfield before McCarron converted another third down with a 6-yard strike to Marvin Shinn.
Faced with another 3rd-and-1 at the Notre Dame 23, Lacy avoided a defender in the backfield and rumbled through the Irish defense for a 20-yard gain.
On the next play, Michael Williams snuck behind the Notre Dame defense following a play-action fake by McCarron and easily hauled in a 3-yard touchdown, handing the Crimson Tide a 14-0 advantage with 6:14 left in the opening frame.
Alabama seemed to have recovered an Eifert fumble near the Notre Dame 30 on the next play from scrimmage, but a review showed his knee was down before he had the ball ripped out and the Irish retained the ball.
Notre Dame would manage just one first down on the drive, though, and the Irish were forced to punt again.
McCarron found Norwood and Amari Cooper on consecutive plays for gains of 25 and 11 yards, respectively, on the Crimson Tide's ensuing drive before Cooper hauled in a 27-yard pass to place the ball at the Notre Dame six.
T.J. Yeldon capped the 8-play, 80-yard trek with a 1-yard push across the goal line on the first play of the second quarter.
Golson was able to connect with DaVaris Daniels for a 31-yard gain on the Fighting Irish's next offensive play to move the ball inside Alabama territory for the first time of the game, but they would manage just five more yards and Golson's deep pass attempt intended for T.J. Jones on a 4th-and-5 was broken up to turn the ball over on downs.
Notre Dame, however, was able to hold Alabama to its first punt of the game after a completed pass by McCarron that would have converted a 3rd-and-12 was called back for a holding penalty.
The teams traded punts from there until Alabama took over on offense at its own 29 with 3:43 left in the half. Yeldon ripped off a couple of 10-yard runs before McCarron found Christion Jones on a post for 27 yards, placing the ball at the Notre Dame 11.
Lacy grabbed a short pass on the next play and spun around a tackle attempt inside the 5-yard line en route to a touchdown with 31 seconds remaining before the half, giving the Crimson Tide a 28-0 advantage at the break.