I t was a game of nauseating proportions, with a fitting ending.
Channeling his inner Mike Shula, Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, and ultimately Coach Saban, performed some of the most predictable offensive play calling ever seen. All that was missing was the “elephant package”.
Pounding an indecisive TJ Yeldon over, and over…and over, and over…into an offensive front that was dominated at the line of scrimmage all night, the Tide failed to take advantage of the cracks the Tigers left open for them, on both sides of the ball, to put the game away.
Forget the game tying QB “pop pass,” where three linemen and a fullback were already blocking downfield (watch the video, it’s plain as day). But still, that’s where the game is going, and if you want to partake, you have to put up with it. But it doesn’t mean it’s consistent with the rules of the game, or right.
And then, the final decision. With one second left, knotted at 28, at the Auburn 39, trot a freshman kicker out there, who is 165 lbs. soaking wet, to try a 56-yarder. What happened next should be something that eats the Alabama coaching staff and team alive for the rest of their careers. I’m convinced at least 6 of the 11 on wearing white on the final play had no idea Auburn’s Chris Davis could do that.
It was just a dumb call. A poorly executed game plan. A poorly called game from a coaching standpoint. And an outstanding, downhill atmosphere for an Auburn Tiger team that is about as hot as it can be.
Auburn played a whale of a game. But Alabama beat Alabama tonight, time and time again. And Auburn did what it needed to do to survive and advance.
Good luck to the Tigers now as they head to Atlanta, and beyond. The safe bet is that the state of Alabama is about to shelve more hardware.