No. 1 Alabama holds a 24-6 lead over No. 2 Texas at halftime of the BCS National Championship at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
The big news of the first half was Texas quarterback Colt McCoy getting knocked out of the game with a right shoulder injury. McCoy was injured on Texas' first possession of the game. McCoy was running an option play and took a solid hit from Alabama defensive lineman Marcell Dareus.
Freshman backup Garrett Gilbert , who had only thrown for 124 yards and no touchdowns this season, entered the game for McCoy.
Things actually started very bad for Alabama. Alabama won the coin toss, but Nick Saban opted to take the ball first. After Texas stopped Alabama, Saban called for a fake punt and punter P.J. Fitzgerald's pass was intercepted by Blake Gideon at Alabama's 37.
Five plays later, McCoy was knocked out of the game.
Texas had to settle for a Hunter Lawrence field goal. But on the ensuing kickoff, Alabama failed to recover the kick and Texas recovered the ball at the Alabama 30. But again, Texas could convert a big play into a touchdown and settled for another Lawrence field goal.
Heisman winner Mark Ingram capped a seven-play drive early in the second quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run. Trent Richardson followed midway through the quarter with a 49-yard touchdown run to make it 14-6.
After a 28-yard run by D.J. Monroe on a speed sweep put Texas at the Alabama 32, Gilbert was intercepted by Javier Arenas three plays later, killing a promising Texas drive.
Leigh Tiffin added a 26-yard field goal late in the second quarter to make it 17-6.
Texas should've been content to head to the locker room down 17-6 and check on the status of McCoy. But the Longhorns decided to try an underneath shovel pass and Dareus picked it off and rumbled 28 yards for what could end up being the touchdownthat seals the national title for Alabama.
Without McCoy, Texas has turned very conservative, relying too much on a running game that isn't very good. One thing's clear: the Longhorns are going to have allow Gilbert to throw downfield in the second half.
For Alabama, with a nice lead, Saban can let his defense take over and Alabama's running game, led by Ingram, can chew up clock and wear down the Texas defense.
The Crimson Tide rushed for 148 yards in the first half against the nation's top-ranked rush defense.