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BCS title game Report Card

Grading out Alabama's 37-21 win over Texas in the BCS Championship Game.

Quarterbacks:Greg McElroy spent most of the night handing off to Mark Ingram and Co., attempting all of 11 passes. He did struggle to elude the Texas pass rush, but he didn't turn the ball over. That proved key, as the Crimson Tide went into ball-control mode with Colt McCoy on the sideline. McElroy still hasn't lost as a starter since the eighth grade. Grade: B-

Running backs: The joke going around before the game: What killed the Longhorns? A .22. Ingram, No. 22, eluded the so-called Heisman Curse, joining Matt Leinart as the only trophy recipients to win the BCS title game. Ingram ran for 116 yards and two scores, but this game also showcased the Tide's depth, as true freshman Trent Richardson ran for 109 yards and two scores. Grade: A

Receivers: Only two of McElroy's six completions went to receivers Julio Jones and Marquis Maze, who combined for 27 yards. Credit Texas' defensive backs for coverage, though they weren't asked to do much -- the Tide ran 51 times. Grade: INC

Offensive Line: While the group did pave the way for 205 rushing yards, it also had its hands full in pass protection, especially against Sergio Kindle on the edge. After surrendering just 15 sacks all season, the unit allowed McElroy to be sacked five times. Grade: C

Defensive line:Marcell Dareus, who knocked McCoy out of the game, intercepted a Garrett Gilbert shovel pass and took it 28 yards for a touchdown. But though the unit had been overpowering all season -- and though it was solid tonight -- it failed to register a sack against a Longhorns line that had given them up in bunches. Grade: B

Linebackers:Eryk Anders made the play of the game on the Tide's lone sack, forcing the fumble that set up 'Bama's final touchdown. Rolando McClain and Co. kept the Longhorn running backs from getting past the second level with four tackles for loss. Grade: B

Secondary: Here's where things get dicey. First, the good: The Tide picked off three passes, two by Javier Arenas, one by Tyrone King. Now, the bad: They allowed 190 second-half passing yards and two touchdowns, both to Jordan Shipley. Still, they won that battle, 3-2. Grade: B-

Special teams: Two turnovers on kickoffs, another on a fake punt and 'Mr. Reliable' Leigh Tiffin missed a field goal and an extra point. You could argue Alabama's special teams play kept the Longhorns in the game. Grade: F

Coaching: The game started with a shocker: Nick Saban calling for a fake punt from the Alabama 20 on the opening drive. It was ill-advised and went completely against his typically safe play-calling, which may have been why things got more button-downed than expected with McCoy out of the game. But the end result is he became the first coach since the AP poll began in 1936 to win national titles at two different schools (he won the 2003 crown at LSU). Grade: C+

Quarterback: Texas couldn't have faced a bigger nightmare scenario. McCoy, a two-time Heisman finalist and the game's all-time winningest passer, was knocked out in the opening minutes with a shoulder injury. Gilbert, his replacement, was abysmal in the first half, going 1-for-10 for minus-four yards and two picks. It's hard to blame him -- there's no way he thought he'd get into this game. He calmed down in the second half, throwing two touchdowns, but turned the ball over in each of the last three possessions (two picks and a fumble). It's not Gilbert's fault, but: Grade: D

Running backs: The season-long weak spot in the Texas attack was, once again, the weak spot in the Texas attack. With the inexperienced Gilbert at QB, the Tide were able to key in on Texas' 55th-ranked rush attack and limited it to 2.9 yards per carry. Grade: D

Receivers: As a whole, the group didn't do much to help Gilbert, dropping multiple balls -- including one by Malcolm Williams in the end zone. But Jordan Shipley was one of the lone bright spots for the Longhorns offense, catching 10 balls for 122 yards and two TDs. Grade: C-

Offensive line: The unit held its own against one of the nation's best defensive lines, allowing just one sack, but it again struggled to open up any running lanes. For the fifth time this season, the Longhorns failed to hit the 100-yard rushing mark. Grade: C

Defensive line: As Alabama ate up the clock with run-heavy drives, it wore down the Texas defensive line. The result: The 'Horns allowed Tide runners to break through for 148 first-half yards. Sam Acho and Lamarr Houston both had a sack and the group showed improvement in the second half, helping to put Gilbert in short-yardage situations. But the group still allowed 'Bama to break through for two late short-yardage TDs. Grade: C

Linebackers:Sergio Kindle put on a show for NFL scouts with 2.5 sacks to go along with eight tackles, while Keena Robinson had seven tackles and half a sack. But with 'Bama making no bones about its desire to run, there were too many missed tackles from this group. Grade: C+

Secondary: When a secondary combines for 19 tackles and the opposing wide receivers have all of two receptions, it reeks of a struggling defensive front. The Earl Thomas and Blake Gideon-led group were left to make up for failed one-armed tackles of Ingram and Richardson on the first two levels and never really got to spend much time worrying about the likes of Jones. So like the Tide WRs, they get an ... Grade: INC

Special teams: What more could you ask for? The 'Horns collected three turnovers and Hunter Lawrence went 2-for-2 on field goals and hit a PAT. Shipley, one of the game's most dangerous punt returners, never got his hand on the ball, but with 'Bama keeping the ball away from him, it wasn't his fault. Grade: A

Coaching: How could Mack Brown have ever planned for this? His true freshman quarterback had the deer-in-the-headlights look for two-plus quarters in replacing McCoy, though it's still no excuse for the bizarre timeout call, followed by the shovel-pass at the end of the first half. You have to give him credit, as well as defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, for the second-half effort as they managed to give Gilbert short field to work with in pulling within three in the fourth quarter. But something tells me Brown won't be getting over the T.O. and shovel pass anytime soon. Grade: C-

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