If you watched the game we all here watched at FanvsFan.com, especially we here at CrimsonTideTalk.com, you saw something absolutely shocking. That was the fall of the nation's then #1 Team, The Alabama Crimson Tide.
What was really shocking for me, was the fact that Alabama, the virtually perfect team this year, practically beat themselves. It seemed shocking.
Unlike last year when they lost to LSU around this same time, Alabama had been having some issues throughout the season at that point. The then new QB AJ McCarron was going through some ups and downs being the new QB for the Tide. And everyone figured he would have these ups and downs. With Trent Richardson being the offensive leader of the team, it took a lot of pressure off the new signal caller.
But the true Pocket Passer was not the focal point of any game really. However, he still ended up doing well. And looking great coming into this year. Immediately he hopped into Heisman discussions. The team had looked good all year up until last night. In fact, they were one of the least penalized teams in the entire NCAA. They were also one of the teams with the least turnovers for the season.
Going into this game, AJ McCarron had 19 TDs, 0 INTs. It was considered by many, to be the best start for any Alabama QB ever. That's a tall order if you know anything about Alabama QBs. However, he ended the game with 2 INTs, and a fumble from Yeldon didn't help either. 3 big turnovers, 2 of them more than anything else.
We all thought that AJ would have a nice game. We especially thought, knowing the Alabama run game, that Lacey and Yeldon would have a good role in the game. Interestingly enough, we were correct on all fronts. Looking at the stats, you thought Alabama did well.
Lacey was close to unstoppable, putting up 92 yards and a TD. Yeldon contributed with a TD too. And AJ put up a career high 309 yards with a TD himself. So, what went wrong you might ask?
Texas A&M started off hot, just crippling the vaunted Tide defense. They scored 20 points off the Tide D in the first quarter alone, so things did not look good.
However, the Tide started to make a comedback. And scored 14 points in the second quarter. They also held the A&M offense and did not allow one point in the second, Making a 20-14 game going into the half. Most fans, such as myself, thought the Tide just had to start off well in the second half and things would be ok.
The Tide could only manage 3 points in the third quarter, but they still held Texas A&M to zip on the scoreboard. Making it 20-17. The game was still mathematically good for the Tide. An entire quarter to get away from this?
The Tide had chances in the redzone twice in the fourth. An earlier INT didn't seem all that meaningful going into this quarter. All fans pointed to AJ to bring them back, just like he did the week before against the Tigers of LSU.
We all were waiting for something big. But then, once life seemed to be good at the end of the tunnle. A fumble happened. This coming off of what was thought to be a big play for the Tide.
A&M didn't make things any easier for the Tide, scoring 9 points in the fourth. Alabama came back however, getting a big TD pass to Cooper from McCarron.
This made the score 29-24.
Alabama got the ball back and many saw the writing on the wall. Bama was in 4 down territory and we knew they were going to get it done.
And we were mostly right.
AJ and the Tide got down in the redzone, yet again. But, would this lead to a turnover like before with Yeldon?
Sadly, yes. An uncharacteristic bad pass from McCarron lead to an INT.
Now, the game was at a pont where the Tide only had 2 time outs after blowing one earlier in the half because of a fear that a 10 man on the field penalty would be called.
This meant that Johnny Manziel and the Aggies just had to get a first down and the game was over. Bama blew the two timeouts, and the Aggies got stopped. This meant that the clock would go down to about 40 seconds, the Aggies would call a TO themselves, and the Tide would get the ball back.
We've seen AJ come from behind like this. All we needed was a TD. Not too much to ask from the Tide as fans, right?
Well, all for not.
A Tide player jumps on the punt coverage team. The game was over. And the Tide offense never even got a chance to get on the field. Johnny boy and the Aggies just had to neal it and run the clock down.
Some say that A&M played too well for the Tide to handle. And they even handed them the game some with a missed PAT and missed FG in the game.
But to me, The Tide really beat themselves. All year they play so well in mistake free football seemingly. Then, they go into this game and make a good comeback, yet fumbles and INTs? If you're a Tide fan, you don't know what an INT looks like all season before this game with the Aggies.
The Tide clearly beat themselves. Which is sad but true.
Johnny Manziel played a good game and this is true as well. But, at the end of the day, when all the chips are put out on the table. One man did not beat the Tide. One team did not beat the Tide. The Tide simply beat themselves. And that is something they cannot do the rest of the season.
If they have any hope to reach the National Title game, they have to go through rival Auburn, then Georgia in the SEC Title game. All in a hope that somehow they'll get to a spot that'll get them where they need to be.
Right now, the Tide are behind a couple of undefeated teams. Tide fans have to now hope at least 2 fall. Which, could be likely. But we'll talk about that more in a future article.
What did you think of the Tide/Aggies game? Did the Aggies show up, or did the Tide finally hit the sand?