Friday, 8 January 2010

Bama knocks out McCoy early and hangs on late to win 13th title!!

Hello All,

Before getting into the game, I want to give big ups to Colt McCoy for having one of the classiest post-game interviews I have ever heard. Especially when you factor in the dissapointment he must have been going through. It takes a lot congratulate the other team and not complain or show any bitterness after having to sit out the game he had been preparing for his whole life; and I really gained a lot of respect for him last night. I, along with hopefully every other college football fan watching the game, was sad to see Colt go down. Like the Patriots without Brady, or the Bengals without Palmer; watching a team play without its best player in their biggest game, especially when you're talking about college football's all-time winningest QB, is not the way it's supposed to be.

I thought last night was a great game (with the exception of the McCoy injury) and featured a little bit of everything: great coaching moves, horrible coaching moves, great defense, great (or horrible dpending on your allegiance) special teams play and some explosive offensive plays. I don't think anyone could have precicted the way last night's game turned out; except for who won (as nearly 76% of voters picked Alabama to win). After Marcell Daries knocked Colt McCoy out of the game on Texas' 5th offensive play, they obviously lost a lot of fire power on offense. However, I do wanna say I thought Garret Gilbert stepped in and did a much better job then his 15-40, 4INT stats reflect. The Texas receivers did NOT help Gilbert out at all. Malcolm Williams had 2 huge drops- the 2nd quarter one in the endzone which was particularly crucial because Gilbert's next pass was intercepted by Javier Arenas and led to a Bama TD. Even the reliable Jordan Shipley had several drops, including one right through his hands on a wide open skinny post in the 3rd quarter. Gilbert definately had a miserable 1st half (1-10 and 2INTs); but I thought he looked pretty good in the 2nd half and made some great throws to get his team back in the game. It's not like he is a walk-on, he was the Gatorade High School Player of the Year last season; and by his second half, I think Texas is in pretty damn good shape at QB for the next couple of years.

Mack Brown will, (very deservingly so), be criticized for a long time for calling a shovel pass from his own 37 with 13 seconds to go in the 1st half which was bobbled, interecepted and returned for a TD by Marcell Dareus. Before piling on ole Mack, was anyone else amazingly impressed with Dareus' return which included a Reggie Bush like spin move from a 296 pound dude?? But the real question, is was Les Miles on the other end of Mack Brown's headset and calling the plays???? With 13 seconds left, the most you can realistically hope for is 2 plays and with a true freshman QB who is 1-9 for -4 yards and the ball on your own 37, what are you really going to accomplish there?? Nothing good, that's for sure and that play gave Bama a 24-6 halftime lead and many people thought the game was over at that point. It's not playstation Mack, it's real football- and you may have just one-upped my man Les. But, this seems to be an ongoing trend by Mack; if you remmember, Mack's awful Miles-against-Ole-Miss-like clock management against Nebraska in the big-12 title game almost cost his team a shot to even be in the game. Maybe the two have become friends; if so and this continues, ole Will Muschamp is gonna get the big raise a whole lot sooner than expected....

God, did anyone else think Alabama's second half performance looked more like Jean van de Veld's 18th hole at Carnoustie in 1999- (with the exception, of course, that Bama made a double bogie instead of the triple bogie van de Veld did and WON the game) then the team that dominated Florida in the SEC championship last month?? I thought 'Bama's play calling was very Shula-like in the second half- and it's clear they were OK to punt every possession. Gregg McElroy was terrible last night, constantly looking confused, unable to get rid of the ball (5 sacks) and unable to find Julio "the Beast" Jones or Collin Peek all night. However, as Jay Barked proved by going a miserable 4-13 for 18 yards and 2INTs in 1992, if you can rush the ball, you can win. And did Bama do that last night. Against a defense that came in as the #1 ranked rushing defense in the country, Bama was the first team in BCS bowl history to have two 100 yard rushers (Richardson 19 carries for 109 and Ingram who had 22 carries for 116; both had 2 TDs). Texas' D definately didn't look like the best rush defense in the country, but I guess it's easier to get that statistic when you play a horrible schedule (including dropping Arkansas and adding Wyoming). And, the time-honoured Alabama blueprint is: run the ball and play defense- which they did and brought home their 13th title.

Game Changing Plays: Other than the most obvious (Dareus' pick-6 before halftime), several stand out to me. With Texas up 3-0 in the first quarter and having 1st and goal at the 1, they were flagged for illegal procedure for having 5 guys in the backfield. This (combined with a Bama late hit) brought the ball out to the 4 and Alabama's D made a great stand and kept it a 1-score game, only to take a 7-6 lead at the beginning of the second quarter. Eryk Anders got a clean run at Gilbert with 3 minutes to go and a 3-point lead, forcing a sack, fumble and setting up the game icing TD.

Quote of the night: "I could have moonwalked backwards and scored through that hole"- JS after Mark Ingram scored his first TD running through a hole reminiscent of the parting of the red sea; were the Horns defenders that scared of getting hit by Cody??

Biggest Suprise of the Night: How bad the Bama special teams were (or how good the Horns special teams were, depending on your point of view). Bama had 3 huge Gaffes; the fake punt call (which Texas actually lost 15 yards of field position by interecepting instead of dropping), Smelly getting drilled by a kickoff (does anyone know if that was intentional by the kicker??) and the pooch kick that Julio let bounce in front of him. To overcome the McCoy injury, Texas needed some crazy things to happen- and they got their chances.

Player of the Game: I'm gotta go with 3: Trent Richardson, Mark Ingram and Marcell Dareus. It's good to see someone other than Matt Leinart escape the Heisman jinx in a BCS game. Richardson and Ingram were great all night; and it's pretty scary for a defense when the Heisman's backup may be better then he is... You definately can't take any plays off.

Biggest Dissapointment of the Night: Hearing the fans chanting "S-E-C, S-E-C!" after the Tide won. As I've stated before, I hate the SEC chant. But it is a new year and maybe this is the year I'll start seeing Duke fans cheering for Carolina or after they make their annual 2nd round exit or MJ holding an ACC sign from his courtside seat at the Dean Dome...

My favourite moment of the night: How pissed Nick Saban looked after being hit in the face with the cooler and showered in Gatorade. I loved Brent's description as "too physical". The two dudes that got him were Eryk Anders and Chris Rogers. Fortunately for Anders- he had just forced the game clinching fumble several minutes before; but, what are the cances of Rogers seeing any pt next year??

One final note: I just wanna give big ups to what an amazing job Nick Saban has done at Alabama. The year before he arrived they were 6-7 and had not one a game in which they were trailing in the 4th quarter in 6 years. In his second year, he took a 12-0 team into the SEC championship and now this in only his 3rd year. He is clearly the best coach in the country; he recruits well, his gameplanning is generally flawless (except the special teams tonight), his players are disciplined and improve during their time with him. I can see why LSU fans are still so bitter they lost him...

Till next week,

No comments:

Post a Comment