Quick links:
 Latest Team Rankings
 Free Rivals Alerts
 Member Services
ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports

January 3, 2014

McCarron takes blame for loss

NEW ORLEANS | Big plays.

Bigger mistakes.

That's how it went for Alabama in Thursday night's Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. There was AJ McCarron, throwing for 300 yards before halftime, shredding the Oklahoma Sooners' defense.

Then there was McCarron, the quarterback with the most wins in University of Alabama history, throwing two unsightly interceptions and getting stripped of the ball on a fumble that gave OU its final score.

TIDESPORTS.COM VIDEO

There was T.J. Yeldon grinding out yards. Then there was Yeldon getting stripped of the ball to end a promising drive, ball-security issues once again arising to overshadow his physical, downhill running style.

There was freshman running back Derrick Henry running through Oklahoma defenders, showing the form that made him set the career high school rushing record. The bruising rookie ran for 100 yards on just eight carries and also took a pass 61 yards for Alabama's final touchdown.

"Derrick had a really good bowl practice," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "We actually decided that he was our second-best back (behind Yeldon) going into this game and we were going to give him an opportunity based on his performance in practice and what he had done and the confidence he had gained throughout the course of the season in terms of knowing what to do and playing fast.

"He certainly had an outstanding game tonight and did a really good job for us. I think he has a bright future."

Alabama rolled up 362 yards in the first half alone, averaging more than 9 yards per snap with nine plays of 15 yards or better.

But there were also the costly turnovers: Yeldon's fumble and two others, and McCarron's two picks, one coming on an unwise throw into triple coverage and the other when he short-armed a pass under pressure from an Oklahoma blitz. OU turned all three first-half turnovers into touchdowns.

"We turned the ball over three times, and they scored twice off of turnovers and we gave up a score on turnovers," Saban said at halftime.

McCarron hit Amari Cooper for 53 yards to get Alabama's first score. McCarron hit DeAndrew White for 63 yards to highlight a drive to a field goal and later found White for a 67-yard touchdown.

After trailing by two touchdowns going into halftime, Alabama settled into its more physical identity, but still produced the big plays. Henry broke free for a 43-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter and continued to pound away at Sooners defenders, adding his touchdown catch in the final period. Cooper caught nine balls for 121 yards and White had three catches for 139 yards.

McCarron passed for 387 yards and two touchdowns but was sacked seven times. He put the loss on his shoulders.

"You can put it all on me," McCarron said. "I had two turnovers and (Oklahoma) ended up scoring 14 points (off of them) and we lost by 14. It's football. It happens. I wish it wouldn't have happened, but I'll definitely take the loss and definitely take the blame because a lot of it is probably my fault."

Reach Tommy Deas at tommy@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0224.



Alabama NEWS

[More]

Latest Headlines:


 

Rivals.com is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
Site-specific editorial/photos TideSports.com. All rights reserved. This website is an officially and independently operated source of news and information not affiliated with any school or team.
About | Advertise with Us | Contact | Privacy Policy | About our Ads | Terms of Service | Copyright/IP policy | Yahoo! Sports - NBC Sports Network

Statistical information 2014 STATS LLC All Rights Reserved.

ay.com/bg.gif border=0 >