It might have been the hardest hit Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron absorbed all night.
With the play clock down to zero and just a few minutes before the confetti started raining down, McCarron expressed displeasure with All-America center Barrett Jones after an essentially meaningless delay of game penalty. Jones gave him a good shove, and then the Crimson Tide went back to dispatching Notre Dame 42-14 Monday night to claim the program's second straight national title and third in four years.
Both parties and coach Nick Saban dismissed the incident as no big deal.
Feisty, competitive and hardly lacking in confidence, McCarron was once again on target and well-protected in a BCS championship game.
The nation's leader in passing efficiency completed 20 of 28 passes for 264 yards and four touchdowns in a game that might have even been better than his MVP performance against LSU a year ago.