A few warnings: 1) I'm not football smart, so please correct me if/when I'm wrong in this article. 2) This article is going to be hypercritical and a bit knee-jerk 3) I've got this song on repeat right now, which kind of describes the mood I'm in on a Monday following the biggest game in our history. I've also got my hair down in my eyes and am silently weeping into my cup of lukewarm coffee.
- Where were the wrinkles? Where were the plays that we had been holding back all season long? What had we not been showing up until this game?
- We couldn't stop Bama from being Bama. Like a boa constrictor they just slowly squeezed the life out of us with their long drives at the end of both the first and second half. Regardless of how quickly our offense went, their slow, methodical marches down the field left us with few options.
- Bama OC Doug Nussmeier took a lot of flack last year for not running the ball in the redzone with the game on the line, but this year he redeemed himself with that great play action pass to Jalston Fowler (thanks to the bama fan below for the correction on his name) for the back-breaking TD. Golf clap (and tears) dedicated to you Doug. Edit: Apparently McCarron called that play. Read the comments. Good job McCarron...seems like you can make a solid play call BUT YOU CANT GIVE SOMEONE A WAKE UP CALL YOU A HOLE?
- It's hard for me to find any criticisms with an offense that rolled up half a million yards on Bama, but I'm going to do it anyway.
- Tempo...did our tempo seem off to anyone else? We went fast on the scripted plays at the beginning, but then it seemed like we plodded a bit.
- That fade route. You know which one. 1) Why did we call that play? 2) Why was that route run that way? 3) Johnny said that INT was on him because he's coached to throw the ball to where either the receiver or no one could catch the ball, and we didn't do that and 4) Why didn't we run the ball there?Why...?
- Where was the jet sweep? I think I saw it once.
- I'm heartbroken that we have the best college football player (of all time?) in the country, and we can't back him up with a serviceable defense.
- We missed every single player we lost last year. Stewart, Porter, Nealy, Terrell, Moore. All of them.
- Our front 4... sigh. AJ McCarron's glistening white jersey is humming this tune to itself.
- Where was Darian Claiborne? Where was Tommy Sanders? Where were any of our new folks?
- Wrinkles...Last year, Mark Snyder rolled out more than a few against Bama, including putting Nealy at the nose and also showing a "two robber" look. I'll let all around expert Bruce Feldman describe it:
The Texas A&M defensive coordinator had a little surprise for veteran Alabama QB AJ McCarron. Snyder was going to break out something his D hadn't used all season -- 2-Robber, a defense where the Aggies would show two "high" safeties but "rock" to one. The coach observed in film study that Alabama loves crossing routes.Snyder busted 2-Robber out at practice earlier in the week.
The coach never tipped off his counterpart, A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, that it was coming. Snyder figured he'd "get" Johnny Football, only at that last split-second the QB double-clutched the ball and took off and beat the defense. In the game Saturday, though, McCarron, a guy who hadn't been intercepted all season, wasn't as fortunate. He got picked off and Bama struggled with the 2-Robber most of the times A&M threw it at them.
Where was that chess move in this game? Did I miss it? It seemed like our approach was to line up and just hope that we could beat them by playing our defensive game... which is just surprising given the previous two games.
I could go on, but I think I'll stop here. I'm emotionally vulnerable right now and that might be clouding my judgement. So please, steer me in the right direction with your comments.