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THREE FOR THE MONEY
Chris Nashawaty
December 31, 2012
SIX TEAMS, EIGHT HOURS, THREE OVERTIMES, 10 LEAD CHANGES AND 206 POINTS: HOW ONE EVENING IN NOVEMBER SHAPED THE BCS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHUP AND BECAME, EASILY, THE BEST DAY OF SPORTS IN 2012
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December 31, 2012

Three For The Money

SIX TEAMS, EIGHT HOURS, THREE OVERTIMES, 10 LEAD CHANGES AND 206 POINTS: HOW ONE EVENING IN NOVEMBER SHAPED THE BCS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHUP AND BECAME, EASILY, THE BEST DAY OF SPORTS IN 2012

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Reid: We wanted to let the clock run out—keep them on the field and not let them get to the sidelines. But they made a few throws and stepped out of bounds after each catch. They were able to stop the clock and move the chains.

Danielson: And then the center, Jones, during a timeout says, "I think the screen pass will work." And that's the call that wins the game.

Jones: That's been blown out of proportion a bit, but that's fine. What happened was, before the series I was talking to my offensive line coach about what plays I thought were working out, and I just reminded him to make sure we come back to the screen, because we'd run one at the end of the first half and it was real successful. I just knew the way they were playing—man-to-man coverage—that the screen could be a big play.

Silver: McCarron dumps a screen to [running back] T.J. Yeldon for a 28-yard touchdown (14), and he was never touched. They just got LSU on that play.... The beauty of television is that a picture is worth a million words. And after that game-winning touchdown, [we showed] McCarron on the bench, crying.

Danielson: That's the emotion of playing quarterback at Alabama. It's life and death. I understand where he's coming from. I did it for 13 years in the NFL [with the Lions and the Browns]. At Alabama you're expected to win every game.

Lundquist: I don't know that we fully understood the cause of the emotion and the tears. Was it the enormity of the win? Was it the fact that he hadn't been having a great game but he excelled on the final drive? It was compelling television, but I don't think we knew. And then he got up and he went into the end zone, still in tears, and hugged his parents. (15) It was only afterward that he said that Alabama is a tough place to play. He was just releasing all that tension from the probability that he was going to be the guy who lost in prime time to LSU.

Jones: AJ grew up in Alabama dreaming about a moment like that, where he would lead his team on a game-winning two-minute drive in a hostile environment, so it was a special moment for him and for his family. I think it's funny that people criticize him for that.

Lundquist: Later that night I caught up with the other games. It was only then that I knew what a compelling day it was. When the schedules had been published, everyone who loves college football had looked at the game out West, Oregon-USC, and our game, Alabama-LSU, and thought, That is gonna be some Saturday. But the wild card in all of this was Notre Dame! When you get three games of that magnitude on the same day, you better believe it's a day to beat.

Johnson: If I was a fan sitting at home, I would have been the happiest man in the world.

Final Score

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