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Bradley Handwerger / Sports Writer

NEW ORLEANS ― LSU came into Monday night's BCS championship game with the idea of grabbing its third national title in three tries at the Superdome.

Instead, Alabama won its second national championship in three years, strangling LSU 21-0 in a game it thoroughly dominated from the outset.

'When you fight like hell and finish second, it's supposed to hurt,'said head coach Les Miles.

Despite holding Alabama to nothing but field goals, LSU's lack of ability to cobble together any drives on offense doomed the Tigers.

Alabama's Jeremy Shelley hit field goals from 23, 34, 41, 35 and 44 yards and running back Trent Richardson capped the game with a 34-yard touchdown run around left end.

LSU's offense was dominated.

Much-maligned quarterback Jordan Jefferson was hurried, harried and hassled all night, sacked twice on his way to a 68 total yards.

In all, LSU gained only 92 yards, outgained in time of possession by more than 10 minutes and converted just 2 of 15 third down in the game.

Alabama struck first two thirds of way through the opening quarter. Returner Marquis Maze brought a Brad Wing punt back 49 yards to LSU's 26. But the Crimson Tide could only get to LSU's 6 and settled for a 23-yard Jeremy Shelley field goal for a 3-0 lead.

After one quarter, it was apparent LSU was struggling to keep up with a fired up Alabama. The Tigers were held to only one first-quarter first down and gained only 28 total yards.

In fact, LSU gained only 2.5 yards per play in the opening quarter while Alabama had 102 yards on 16 plays.

On its heels, LSU came up with its second big stop of the game early in the second quarter. After an Alabama fake field goal netted a first down, the Tigers held, forcing a 42-yard field goal try.

Defensive lineman Michael Brockers pushed up the left side of the line, though, getting a hand on the attempt and the score remained 3-0 with 11:57 to go in the first half.

Shelley put Alabama up 6-0 with 4:18 to go in the second quarter on a 34-yard field goal. Again LSU's defense stiffened when needed, allowing the Crimson Tide to get to its 16 before holding on.

LSU gave up a field goal just before halftime and went into the locker room down 9-0, wondering what to do.

The Tigers had only 43 total yards, one first down and hadn't converted a first down all game.

And the second half didn't start out well, either. LSU gave up yards and allowed Alabama to get to its 18. LSU forced another field goal, this time a 35-yarder by Shelley, putting the Tigers down 12-0.

Though Alabama eventually missed a field goal, the two score lead was enough. By the end of the third quarter, LSU trailed in time of possession by more than 10 minutes and hadn't moved past its own 47 yard-line in three quarters.

Shelley's fifth field-goal of the game, a 44-yarder late in the third quarter, put the Tigers down 15-0.

Richardson's 34-yard gallop put the game away.

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