The No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide got five field goals from Jeremy Shelley and the defense kept the No. 1-ranked LSU Tigers off the scoreboard to lay claim to the 2012 BCS National Championship with a 21-0 win at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Monday night.
For head coach Nick Saban and the Alabama program, it is the second national title in the last three seasons. Saban is now the only head coach with three BCS titles, with his two with Alabama joining the one he won with LSU in 2003.
"That was the message before the game: to finish," Saban said. "In fact, it was how bad do you want to finish? We certainly didn't play a perfect game, we got a field goal blocked, we couldn't find the end zone for a long time, but we just kept playing."
A swarming Crimson Tide defense led by linebacker (and defensive MVP) Courtney Upshaw limited the Tigers to just 92 yards of total offense and five first downs, preventing LSU's offense from crossing midfield until the fourth quarter. The shutout was the first in 14-year history of the BCS and the first in a national championship game since Miami shutout Nebraska in 1992.
Sophomore quarterback A.J. McCarron earned offensive Most Valuable Player honors after completing 23-of-34 pass attempts for 234 yards with zero turnovers and the Alabama running game pounded the Tigers front seven for 150 clock-controlling rushing yards, including 96 yards and a 34-yard touchdown run that sealed the game with 4:36 to play.
Like most of the Tigers, quarterback Jordan Jefferson struggled on Monday night, completing 11-of-17 pass attempts for just 53 yards. Jefferson also tossed an interception on a shovel pass inside his own 30-yard line. The Crimson Tide was all over the Tigers' option running game as Jefferson finished with just 15 rushing yards. Jefferson's legs were the reason while LSU head coach Les Miles did not make a quarterback change.
"We felt like with Jefferson's feet and the ability to get out of the rush, that it was fair that he finished," Miles said. "He certainly had a tremendously strong year in any regard. Boy, we wanted to finish this one. It's hard to finish a season that was so successful this way."