MIAMI GARDENS, Fla.—
Alabama 42, Notre Dame 14; 7:51, 3rd Quarter: Notre Dame added a late touchdown on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Golson to Theo Riddick. The scoring drive was 10 plays and 75 yards.
Alabama 42, Notre Dame 7; 11:27, 3rd Quarter: After giving up its first points all game, Alabama responded with a 14-play, 86-yard touchdown drive.
McCarron connected with wide receiver Amari Cooper for a 19-yard touchdown pass, splitting two defenders in the end zone.
McCarron is now 20 of 27 for 264 yards and four touchdowns in the game. The catch gave Cooper 105 yards and two touchdowns in the game. Lacy rushed twice on the drive for 10 yards, upping his total for the game to 140 yards.
Alabama 35, Notre Dame 7; 4:08, 3rd Quarter: The Fighting Irish finally got on the board with a nine-play, 85-yard scoring drive late in the third quarter.
Quarterback Golson pushed ahead 2 yards for the score to end a streak of 69 consecutive points scored by Alabama in national title games.
Golson completed 4 of 6 passes for 73 yards on the drive, including a 31-yarder to receiver T.J. Jones on third and 16 to extend a drive that appeared to be going the same way as the others.
Alabama 35, Notre Dame 0; 7:34, 3rd Quarter: A promising start for the Fighting Irish in the third quarter was nullified when quarterback Golson tossed an interception near the Alabama goal line.
Crimson Tide defender Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, who led the team in tackles in the first half, added to his impressive day with an acrobatic snag off of a tipped pass near the sideline, managing to get a foot down inbounds before his hand hit out of bounds.
The Alabama offense made Notre Dame pay, marching 97 yards in 10 plays to extend the lead. After a handful of modest gains, moving the chains four different times, including once on fourth down, McCarron hit receiver Amari Cooper for a 34-yard touchdown. Cooper got behind the coverage and marched into the end zone untouched for the score.
Alabama 28, Notre Dame 0; halftime: Alabama closed out its stunning first-half performance with a nine-play, 71-yard drive to go up by four scores before the break.
After forcing punts on back-to-back possessions, the Irish was unable to hold Alabama at bay as McCarron completed a pass on third and 6 from the Notre Dame 38-yard line. Wide receiver Christion Jones caught the 27-yarder near the sideline and went out of bounds to stop the clock. On the ensuing play, McCarron hit Lacy on a short screen and the running back did the rest of the work, spinning around a defender and diving into the end zone for the score.
McCarron finished the half 12 of 18 for 156 yards and two touchdowns. Lacy rushed for 96 yards and a score to go with his touchdown reception. On the other sideline, Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson completed only 8 of his 16 passes for 93 yards.
The Crimson Tide outgained Notre Dame 309-124 in the half, recorded 10 more first downs and possessed the ball for more than nine more minutes.
Alabama 21, Notre Dame 0; 14:56 2nd Quarter The Alabama offense continued its systematic and precise execution, scoring a touchdown on its third consecutive drive to open the game against the Fighting Irish.
McCarron continued his good start to the day, completing 3 of 3 passes on the drive for 63 yards and the Tide ground attack produced another touchdown, this time by T.J. Yeldon.
McCarron has now completed 8 of 9 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown in the game.
Yeldon carried five times on the drive for 17 yards and the touchdown.
The drive spanned 80 yards on eight plays in four minutes and 26 seconds.
Alabama 14, Notre Dame 0; 6:14 1st Quarter: Notre Dame went three-and-out on its opening possession and punted to Alabama.
The Crimson Tide return man appeared to fumble the ball after calling for a fair catch, which Notre Dame recovered. The Irish were called for fair catch interference, however, negating the turnover.
After the call went Alabama’s way, the Tide picked up where it left off on its opening drive. They went 61 yards on 10 plays to score another touchdown and take a 14-0 lead just under nine minutes into the opening quarter of the game.
McCarron was 4 of 5 passing on the drive for 20 yards, including a 3-yard strike to wide receiver Michael Williams for the touchdown.
Lacy carried five more times on the drive, including a 20-yard plunge up the middle that set Alabama up at the Notre Dame 3-yard line. McCarron connected with Williams for the score on the next play.
12:03 1st Quarter: It didn’t take long for Alabama to establish an offensive presence, scoring a touchdown on its opening drive of the game.
The Crimson Tide marched 82 yards on five plays, culminating in a 20-yard run up the middle for a touchdown by running back Eddie Lacy.
The talented Notre Dame defensive front started strong on the drive, holding Lacy to just 1 yard on his first run. On second and 9, however, quarterback A.J. McCarron connected on a pass to wide receiver Kevin Norwood for 29 yards. Norwood got behind the Irish secondary, reaching out and snagging a pass over his head and getting his feet inbounds for the reception.
Lacy followed with a 10-yard run and got 15 more when Notre Dame’s Dan Fox was called for a facemask penalty. Another penalty, this time a 5-yard offsides call, set the Crimson Tide up at the 22-yard line. Two plays later, Lacy punched it in for the game’s first score.
8:18 p.m. From the Associated Press -- Alabama wide receiver Kenny Bell was dressed in uniform and warming up before the BCS championship game against Notre Dame. Bell broke a bone in his lower left leg in the regular-season finale against Auburn on Nov. 24 and had surgery. Alabama hasn’t indicated whether he’d be available for the game. Two days before, Bell was coy on his status. He was cleared to do some work when the Crimson Tide started bowl practice in mid-December. He’s averaging a team-best 25 yards on 17 catches.
7:30 p.m. -- After weeks of anticipation, the kickoff to the BCS national title game between the University of Alabama and Notre Dame is finally within sight.
The Crimson Tide (12-1) is ranked No. 2 in the country and trying to win its second consecutive championship and third in the last four years. The Fighting Irish, meanwhile, is one of only two teams in college football with an unbeaten record (12-0) and looking to win its first national title since 1988.
Notre Dame, which began the season unranked, used a stifling defense, led by Heisman-finalist linebacker Manti Te’o, to defeat four top-20 teams en route to its perfect record in 2012.
Alabama, behind an equally successful defense and prolific running game that produced to 1,000-yard rushers, won nine consecutive games to begin the season before dropping its contest with Texas A&M, 29-24. The Crimson Tide battled back into the championship mix, however, culminating in a 32-28 win over Georgia in the Southeastern Conference title game to clinch a berth.
Perhaps no storyline will be bigger in tonight’s game than the matchup between Alabama’s offensive line, considered by many to be the best unit in the country, and Notre Dame’s front seven, also considered among the tops in the country.
The winner of that matchup very likely could hoist the Coaches’ Trophy at the end of the game.
Follow along here throughout the game for running updates.