The Beast Has A Big Game

A few days before the Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game, Marcell Dareus shared his philosophy on playing against a good quarterback. Thursday night, Dareus more than demonstrated that philosophy.

Marcell Dareus was selected the Defensive Most Valuable Player in the BCS Championship Game for key plays in Alabama's 37-21 win over Texas Thursday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

"Almost anytime you play a good team, the key guy is the quarterback," Dareus said. "We have to contain him the best we can. Colt McCoy is small and fast like a running quarterback, but he has a great arm. He makes plays with his legs and arm."

Dareus was credited with a hit on McCoy that knocked the All-America quarterback out of the game on the first offensive possession by Texas. In the final seconds of the first half, Dareus intercepted an attempted shovel pass by back-up Longhorns quarterback Garrett Gilbert and ran it in 28 yards for a touchdown to give Bama a 24-6 halftime lead.

Regarding the hit on McCoy, Dareus said, "I didn't really try to hit him that hard. I didn't want to hurt him. It was a part of the game. You don't think; you just react, and I just reacted to what I saw."

The interception just before halftime was huge. Dareus said, "They tried to shovel pass, and Brandon Deaderick caught the running back while he was fumbling it, and my first reaction was grab the ball, and then after that I blanked out. And all I was thinking about is Mark Ingram and Javier Arenas and just doing moves I didn't think I could do. I was like, ‘I can't believe I pulled off that screen.' I saw that lineman coming for my legs, and my first reaction was to spin. I looked to my left and saw Eryk Anders. I knew it was a touchdown. I couldn't wait to get to the end zone."

Alabama Coach Nick Saban said the interception "was great because it was a great change in omentum and really made the game a different game now. He had a great hit on McCoy that made them change their offense."

Late last season, Alabama defensive end Lorenzo Washington was asked about Dareus, a 6-4, 305-pound freshman defensive end. "If he looks like that as a freshman, what's he going to look like as a senior?" Washington was asked.

Washington thought for only a moment before saying, "I don't think he'll still be around here as a senior. He's a beast."

"Beast" is the manner in which Dareus is most often described.

"I've been called a beast since high school," he said. "I take it as a compliment, that I act like a fool on the field; I mean, I go full speed, full tilt. I don't leave anything on the field."

Dareus said he wasn't taken in by Texas Coach Mack Brown saying Alabama's defensive front all looked like Ndamukong Suh (the great Nebraska defensive lineman). "That's just coach talk," Dareus said. "But we'll see how it goes when the game starts."

The sophomore, said, "I think we've prepared pretty well."

He gave credit to Texas as having an outstanding offensive line. "They all look pretty good to me," he said.

Dareus said the reward of hard work came Thursday night.

"Coach always talked about working hard," he said. "It was pretty hard, but we pushed through it. He told us, ‘If you're hurt, sit down. If you feel like you can play, go out there and play and give it your all. Don't go out there and half step because you think you're hurt. Give it your all.'"

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