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Alabama vs Auburn: Iron Bowl was close … for a half

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Last week, players from a small school in South Carolina marched across the Alabama Bryant-Denny Stadium as…

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Last week, players from a small school in South Carolina marched across the Alabama Bryant-Denny Stadium as if they had only jumped the biggest in the sport’s history. It felt so. The scoreboard read Alabama 50, Citadel 17, but Crimson Tide FCS opponents, of all teams, hung up with the defending national champions in two quarters, and by gosh, the Bulldogs would celebrate properly so they linged on the field, sang their alma mater and jumped then into the visitor tunnel to a standing ovation from their own fans and even from Alabama.

A week later in the same field, the losing team made none of this, but at least sounded the feeling: Is Alabama beatable? The scoreboard read a similar result-Alabama 52, Auburn 21

but Tigers and Crimson Tide were in a three-point play at half-time, and Auburn scored within 10 points late in the third quarter. You probably wonder why we overdo a 31-point win margin. What in itself should explain the dominance of 2018 Alabama: If a small crack in its crimson armor is exposed, we criticize, sometimes unfair. We are nitpicking here, understand? We are looking for a reason that this team will not run over their next three opponents to cross a 15-0 goal and a national championship.

On Saturday, Crimson Tide allows 34 meters of rush and a couple of critical completions on a Auburn scoring device, fell for a double pass touchdown and had a point blocked. Suddenly the tide seems susceptible to early points, if not late pressures. If Nick Saban’s team can not bashing The Citadel and seven-win Auburn in the first half, what could college football’s elites Georgia first, then maybe Clemson, Notre Dame or anyone else? Alabama responded to the question in the second half with the most dynamic flight attack that the college’s football has to offer this side of Norman.

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw five touchdown passes to five different players in the last two quarters and set up a single school leadership for total touchdowns with six. He found Jerry Jeudy for 46 yards (all that guy does open), Josh Jacobs for 33 (he dug into the end zone), DeVonta Smith for 40 (he’s so fast), Henry Ruggs for 22 (at one of the best catches you will see this season) and Jaylen Waddle for 53 (we thought Smith was quick and then this freshman-boat-raced in Auburn Secondary).

Tagovailoa finished 11 of 12 pass tries in the second half. He was so good that Saban mentioned the highest single prize in high-ball soccer with the name of the postgame news conference. “You’re not allowed to win a Heisman Trophy, you’re not recognized to be the best artist in anything, unless you have the right stuff,” said the coach. “Kobe Bryant was asked when he [visited] motivates him more – how much you love to win or how much you hate to lose. He did not say one.” I’m motivated to want to be the best player I can be. “[Tua] is motivated to be the best player he can be.”

At this time, we recall that Oklahoma and Alabama are operating at the same time Heisman campaigns for their respective starting quarterbacks. The Sooners a few days ago kicked a width to USS Tua of which released a graphics comparing the two quarterbacks statistics . But Heisman quibbling can wait. Let’s come to next week’s SEC Championship game in Atlanta where Alabama gets Georgia in the same building where they beat Bulldogs for the national championship less than 11 months ago. That’s when w sees how big the nozzle is in the Crimson Tide’s breastplate.

A team crossing through the first nine weeks highlights a 29-0 scoring of LSU in Tiger Stadium, never seen so imperfect, although it still wins games with four touchdowns. The glitches in this animatronic beast are beneficial, say those who use the controls. “We need things like that,” said Alabama center Ross Pierschbacher. “Not all games will be a blowout.” Coaches will tell you that the contradiction is an important part of building a team, and Crimson Tide experienced a bit of it during the first two months of the season. Now they have struggled through some difficulties, and they have not only survived them undamaged, but used them as reminders of how their quarterback might be the best in the nation, how their recipients are as skilled as everyone and how their defense can crumble desperate offensive devices .

Malzahn opened his bag with tricks on Saturday and knew very well that the tigers needed something special to pull themselves up. Auburn rushed everyone on one-point block (successfully), let a recipient throw a pass (successfully), drew a field goal try fourth down for a pass from the old school’s swinging gravel formation (not successful) and did not try a flea flicker either successfully). What the tigers did not do is try to bring the football late in the second quarter, which seems comfortable to let the clock expire when they treated relatively good field position on their own 33-yard line. When you have Alabama on your heels, you continue to shoving, both arms stretched until you can not shoot anymore. “Do not ask me why, but it does not seem like we had the right energy in the first half,” Saban said afterwards. “Do not know if it was anxiety or what it was, but we seemed to settle down and play better in the second half.”

Auburn missed his chance. Saban made a point in half to tell his team: “We have to change how these guys think and come after them, because now they believe they can win.” The half-time beds this Saturday and Saturday were different from the previous nine. “Come earlier in the season, we did things we needed to do,” Smith said, “but at the end of the season we ended up doing things we needed to do, not doing the right technology and things like that. It shows us what we really are when you have to get it. “

Record what they did. While this game ended more triumphant than what was against Citadel, it gave another data point that the CFP committee could say in a case to do: Perhaps this Alabama team is not completely unbeatable.

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