Alabama and Ohio State entered the game with two of the nationís top five defenses, giving up just 4.06 and 4.07 yards per play, respectively, and didnít disappoint, as the Crimson Tide and the Buckeyes combined for just 555 yards of total offense. But Alabama was able to force more turnovers and that proved to be the difference.
The Tide got on the board first, mounting the most impressive offensive drive of the day on their first possession. Alabama drove 56 yards in 10 plays and was bailed out on third-and-eight by an Ohio State pass interference penalty before capping off the drive with a two-yard pass from Greg McElroy to Colin Peek for what would be the first of four unanswered touchdowns, all of them in the first half.
Later in the first quarter, Alabama picked off a Terrelle Pryor pass and returned it for a touchdown to double its lead and Pryorís second pick of the first quarter might as well have gone for six as well as Bama needed to go just 17 yards to make it 21-0 on a Mark Ingram touchdown run.
The Buckeyes held the Heisman Trophy winner in check for the most part, giving up less than 100 yards on 26 carries, though Ingram added 46 more yards receiving as the Tide added another touchdown in the second quarter and gave up Ohio Stateís lone score in the third.
Ohio State was just 3-for-17 on third downs and moved the chains just nine times as Alabamaís stingy defense now moves on to the semifinals, where the Tide will either face a rematch of the Southeastern Conference title game against Tim Tebow and Florida or square off with fellow unbeaten TCU.
Player of the game: Mark Ingram (26 carries, 85 yards, 1 TD; 4 receptions, 46 yards)
Winning Percentage of 1,001 Simulations: Alabama 96.1% - Ohio State 3.9%