From beginning to end, this game was a defensive struggle. Not a game to watch for those people accustomed to the high power, high scoring offenses that dominate football today. A chess match between two coaches, who continually made adjustments on both sides of the ball to try to get the upper hand. Sitting on my couch, watching this battle unfold, of course there were things I thought I could’ve done better.
On the first play from scrimmage, Trent Richardson busted off a 15 yard run, and I thought, “Uh-oh, LSU is in trouble.” After that, they kept him pretty well contained, considering he is one of the best running backs in the country. Then, four missed field goals, including one blocked field goal later, the game was tied at 6! The number one and number two teams in the nation, tied at 6 after a full 60 minutes of playing football. The missed field goals weren’t the only mistakes in the game, though. Four interceptions, including back to back interceptions thrown by LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee, and a couple from Alabama, one of them from AJ McCarron. Four turnovers from a couple of teams that have had three turnovers COMBINED in their last 8 games!
On to the missed field goals. I stated earlier that they were mistakes, which they were. However, I think it could be argued that they were coaches mistakes and not the kickers mistake. The attempts were from 44, 50, 48 and, in overtime, 52 yards. Ok, maybe the 44 yarder was a kickers mistake, but expecting a kid to make these long field goals in a game of this magnitude is asking a lot, in my opinion. Yeah, maybe he should’ve gotten one or two of them, maybe it was a combination of the kicker and the coach. The 52 yarder in OT never should have happened…I don’t think they should have passed and allowed that sack when they’ve got someone like Trent Richardson on the team. He may not have had a great game, but you can’t get the ball first and not score at all in overtime in a game like this.
Some people might say that the game winning field goal or the interception on the two yard line was the play of the game, but I tend to disagree. I think, when Alabama stopped LSU on their own 9 yard line, and they had to bring in their punter, Brad Wing, THIS was the biggest play of the game. That young man punted the ball from their own 9 yard line to Alabama’s 18 yard line with 9:00 to play. 73 yards! It was a low, line drive kick that sailed over the returners head. I’m not sure what happened there. Alabama had Marquis Maze deep to catch the punt, who injured his ankle earlier in the game. I’m not sure if the injury affected it or if he just misjudged it, but whatever the case, I think that punt may have cost them the game. Had he caught the punt, he could have had a decent return and the outcome of the game may have been different. After that, the Crimson Tide never made it into LSU territory again.
I, for one, love defensive battles like this. It doesn’t happen often anymore, and I appreciate the strategy and hard hitting of a defensive struggle. A lot of people love the excitement of the big plays and high scoring, which is fun at times, but a defensive battle is true football, in my opinion. Let me know what you think!
Thanks for reading.