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Alabama beats LSU, wins college football championship

By Lateef Mungin, CNN
updated 1:23 AM EST, Tue January 10, 2012
Alabama's Trent Richardson scores the game's lone touchdown as the Crimson Tide beat LSU 21-0 to win the BCS title.
Alabama's Trent Richardson scores the game's lone touchdown as the Crimson Tide beat LSU 21-0 to win the BCS title.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Alabama kicks five field goals
  • Crimson Tide holds LSU to only five first downs
  • "I am happy and proud of my players," Alabama coach Nick Saban said

(CNN) -- Alabama exacted revenge and clinched the Bowl Championship Series title on Monday night, besting Louisiana State University 21-0.

The Crimson Tide cleared up past problems with its special teams, kicking five field goals to become champions of college football.

Alabama's stifling defense battered LSU the entire game, holding the Tigers to just five first downs.

"It was great team win. Our defense did a good job. Our offense controlled the momentum and our special teams played well," Alabama coach Nick Saban said.

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Monday's game was a far cry from the two Southeastern Conference rivals' last showdown.

Both teams went into that game on November 5 undefeated. College football pundits dubbed it the game of the century and Alabama lost 9-6 in overtime.

In that game, Alabama missed four field goals, including one in overtime.

This time, Alabama's kicker Jeremy Shelley hit five field goals, giving Alabama a commanding 15-0 lead in the fourth quarter.

Crimson Tide's star running back Trent Richardson broke a 34-yard touchdown with less than five minutes left.

"I am happy and proud of my players, the way they responded to the pain and disappointment of losing the last time," Saban said

Alabama's offense was dealt a huge blow early in the game.

Kick returner Marquis Maze injured his leg in the second quarter after running a 49-yard punt return.

Maze, who is also Alabama's big-play wide receiver, left the game and never returned.

But Alabama was able to overcome the loss and moved the ball up and down the field all game long, to the chagrin of the thousands of purple-and-gold-clad LSU fans who packed the Superdome in New Orleans.

By the fourth quarter, the stands seemed like a sea of crimson as Alabama fans celebrated.

The loss ends LSU's undefeated streak,

"My locker room is hurting right now," LSU coach Les Miles said after the game. "We did not get it going offensively at all. Our defense was on the field a long time.Give credit to our opponents on that. It became very hard to get first downs. This is as painful as anything we have been through."

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