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Alabama's A.J. McCarron: Tide quarterback's stats, highlights and more

A.J. McCarron was a steady presence under center for the Crimson Tide during the 2012 season.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron heads into the 2013 BCS Championship off an impressive regular season that saw him post one of the best quarterback ratings in the nation. Alabama has been a run-first team this year, but McCarron has handled well the opportunities that he has been given.

McCarron set a school record with 26 touchdown passes this season and he only threw three interceptions. He finished the regular season with 2,669 yards passing and completed 66.8 percent of his throws, which helped Alabama finish second nationally in passing efficiency.

That performance earned him second team All-SEC and third team All-America honors, and he was a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. He also owns the second longest streak of pass attempts without an interception (291) in SEC history.

McCarron was similarly efficient as a junior in 2011, throwing for 2,634 yards, 16 touchdowns and five interceptions. Since taking over the starting quarterback role prior to that season, he and the Tide are 24-2. A win over the Irish Monday night would give Alabama its second consecutive BCS title and its third in the last four seasons.

His ability to take care of the football, which will be as important as ever against Notre Dame, helped Alabama finish with a combined +21 turnover margin over the past two seasons. The Tide finished +13 in 2012, which ranks in the top 15 nationally. They turned the ball over just 15 times.

That ball security and a strong ground game have helped the Crimson Tide find success offensively this season. McCarron has been able to keep opposing defenses honest with his efficient passing, and the result is a unit that ranks 38th in total offense.