Alabama football notes: Crimson Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley's injury in BCS national championship game not as bad as it appeared

Special to the Ledger-EnquirerJanuary 11, 2012 

NEW ORLEANS -- When it happened, C.J. Mosley’s knee appeared to have no chance.

The twisting tackle left his leg pointing in the wrong direction after a third-quarter interception in Monday night’s 21-0 BCS national title win over LSU.

But the initial prognosis isn’t as bad as it originally looked.

Alabama coach Nick Saban said Mosley suffered a dislocated hip that was pushed back into place. The x-rays were negative for any breaks.

“But we need to do an MRI probably (Tuesday) or (today),” Saban said Tuesday morning. “And if the MRI comes out OK and there wasn’t any damage to the joint, he’ll be fine in six weeks.”

There still is a chance of other minor issues if the MRI is clean.

“If there is any bone chips or fragments, they’ll have to scope those out,” Saban said.

Mosley waved to the crowd as he rode a golf cart back to the dressing room after the injury. It came in the third quarter after LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson tossed a shovel pass toward running back Spencer Ware.

Mosley stepped in to snatch the pass, but Jefferson was right there for the clean but painful tackle.

The sophomore linebacker was back on the field with the team when the celebration began.

Undecided on draft

Speculation about the NFL draft will continue for two possible early entrants who completed their junior seasons at Alabama.

Running back Trent Richardson and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick said they still were considering all options after Monday’s game.

“It’s going to be hard,” said Kirkpatrick, a projected first-round pick. “I’m going to sit down with coach Saban, also with my family. If the decision is right for me, I’m going to go for it.”

Winning a second national title “kind of plays a big part,” in his decision.

Richardson had a similar message when asked in the postgame locker room.

“I really haven’t said nothing about it,” Richardson said. “I was focused on the game. I’m going to sit down with coach Saban and my mama and have a conversation about this and see where it goes from there.”

Tuned in

The rematch of the century was also a ratings bonanza for ESPN. The early ratings for Alabama’s 21-0 win over LSU in the BCS national title game made it the second-most viewed game in cable television history.

An average of 24,214,000 viewers tuned into the prime-time broadcast to earn a 16.2 national rating. Only last season’s game bettered Monday night’s numbers. An average of 27,316,000 viewers watched Auburn beat Oregon for a rating of 17.8. ESPN also had that broadcast.

The Birmingham market was the most tuned-in nationally. It had an average rating of 61.2 Monday night.

Game ball

Back in a quiet corner of the Alabama locker room Monday night, a hug and a handshake reunited two former teammates. Ex-Tide quarterback Greg McElroy and center William Vlachos enjoyed another moment after a second championship in three years.

Vlachos had the game ball in his hand and a message for the New York Jet backup quarterback.

“You stole it in ’09,” Vlachos said. “I got it this year.”

Vlachos, a fifth-year senior, was the starter on both of the past two Alabama national championship teams.

Alabama 3 6 6 6--21

LSU 0 0 0 0--0

First Quarter

Ala--FG Shelley 23, 5:00.

Second Quarter

Ala--FG Shelley 34, 4:18.

Ala--FG Shelley 41, :00.

Third Quarter

Ala--FG Shelley 35, 12:49.

Ala--FG Shelley 44, :22.

Fourth Quarter

Ala--Richardson 34 run (kick failed), 4:36.

A--78,237.

Ala LSU

First downs 21 5

Rushes-yards 35-150 27-39

Passing 234 53

Comp-Att-Int 23-34-0 11-17-1

Return Yards 68 1

Punts-Avg. 3-44.3 9-45.7

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 3-1

Penalties-Yards 1-5 5-35

Time of Possession 35:26 24:34

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING--Alabama, Richardson 20-96, Lacy 11-43, McCarron 4-11. LSU, Hilliard 5-16, Jefferson 14-15, Ware 3-7, Ford 4-1, Copeland 1-0.

PASSING--Alabama, McCarron 23-34-0-234. LSU, Jefferson 11-17-1-53.

RECEIVING--Alabama, Smelley 7-39, Hanks 5-58, Norwood 4-78, Underwood 2-12, Richardson 2-11, M.Williams 2-10, Bell 1-26. LSU, Beckham 5-38, R.Randle 3-13, Peterson 1-7, Ware 1-(minus 2), Blue 1-(minus 3).

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