With McCoy hurt, Alabama takes 24-6 lead on Texas
Published: Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 10:08 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 11:08 p.m.
PASADENA, Calif. — Playing without an injured Colt McCoy, No. 2 Texas couldn't muster any offense and Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram scored a touchdown to help No. 1 Alabama grab a 24-6 lead at halftime of the BCS national championship game Thursday night.
Crimson Tide defensive end Marcell Dareus made the first and last game-changing plays of the half. First he knocked McCoy out of the game with a hard hit, then the sophomore intercepted a tipped shovel pass and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown with 3 seconds left in the half.
The Tide players bounded off the field in complete control and in position to capture the school's first national title since 1992.
The Crimson Tide started the game with two special teams mistakes in its own territory, but McCoy injured his right shoulder on the Longhorns' fifth offensive play and without the All-American quarterback Texas could only turn those gaffes into two field goals and a 6-0 lead.
Freshman backup Garrett Gilbert replaced McCoy and was 1 for 10 for minus-4 yards with two interceptions.
McCoy left after taking a shot from Dareus on an option keeper that was stopped at the line. The All-America quarterback was checked out by trainers on the sideline before walking to the tunnel with his helmet off but the rest of his pads on.
He never returned to the sideline and Texas announced he would be re-evaluated at halftime.
"We've got to plan on playing without him," coach Mack Brown said in an interview with ESPN.
While Texas played without its Heisman finalists, Alabama's first Heisman winner didn't seem slowed down a bit by the banquet circuit.
Ingram ran for 90 yards on 13 carries in the first half and gave Alabama a 7-6 lead with a 2-yard touchdown run on the second play of the second quarter.
Heisman Trophy winners have not fared well in the BCS title game, coming out on the losing end six times in seven tries.
Ingram's freshman backup, Trent Richardson, provided the most exciting play of the first half. Richardson took a handoff up the middle, received a wipe-out block by All-American guard Mike Johnson and sprinted untouched 49 yards for a touchdown with 7:59 left that made it 14-6.
After All-American kicker Leigh Tiffin booted a 26-yard field goal for Alabama with 33 seconds left, Texas planned to play it safe with a shovel pass.
But intended receiver D.J. Monroe got swallowed up in traffic, the ball deflected off his hands, then off an Alabama lineman and into Dareus' hands.
Dareus broke a tackle, scooted into the end zone and tossed the ball away, drawing a penalty that hardly mattered.
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