I’ve waited long enough. I can’t keep my mouth shut anymore. Alabama with ROLLLLLL tonight against Texas…hopefully.
There probably hasn’t been a closer match-up in the title game since the last time Texas was here against USC. In that game, Texas was considered an underdog, the pundits underestimated the impact the Texas QB would have. I think there are a lot of parallels in this game as well.
As a Tide fan – nothing was more satisfying than the dominant performance over the Gators in the SEC Championship game. Alabama dominated in every phase of the game, played their most complete game ever. It was a welcome site after eeking out a win against Auburn, needing 3 block kicks against Tennessee, and a Herculean effort from Ingram to beat South Carolina. In other words, Alabama has played close, tight games this season and their defense, special teams and Ingram has bailed them out.
Texas had a great season then laid an egg in the national spotlight against Nebraska in the Big 12 game. What was forgotten was the way they had dominated every one else the rest of the year. While Nebraska’s offense was hideous that night (and for most of the season as well) part of the reason was because of Texas’ defense.
So what to expect tonight? Expect to see Alabama’s defense do what they’ve done all year – roll up on 1st and 2nd down, putting the offense in 3rd and long so they can unleash the Frankenstein of Saban. 3rd and long is never fun for an offense but Alabama’s defense takes it to an art form. They were #3 in the nation in forcing 3 and outs. It’s just about impossible to convert 3rd down against Alabama.
Having said that if any team is equipped to battle this it is Texas. Colt McCoy may not have the urban legendness of Tebow but he is every bit as good as him. A fact I’m sure Saban has hammered into his defense. If Texas can’t get the rushing game going, it will be a long night for them.
On offense – Texas will stack the box and put the game in McElroy’s hand. Can the 1st year QB handle it? Will he perform ala Auburn/Florida game or South Carolina/Tennessee game? I’m guessing Texas will man to man in the secondary. Alabama’s WR Maze and Jones should be able to take advantage of this and they should have plenty of open looks and opportunities. The question is can McElroy get them the ball accurately, on time before getting hit?
Interesting Tidbit of Game #1 – take a look at how many Mac’s are in this game? McElroy, McCoy, McElwain, Mack Brown, McClain. What does it mean? Not sure…
Interesting Tidbit of Game #2 – I made this comment in passing, was about to blog on it, decided to google it first – found out someone had beat me to the punch. The Curse of the White Helmet. The article is worth reading but here is the short version…
Teams that have wore the white helmets this post-season have by and large gotten their clocks cleaned. Florida Gators rocked the white helmet in the SEC championship game – blown out. Oregon wore white vs. Ohio State, making OSU look dominant. Arizona changed to a white helmet for their bowl game against Nebraska. Result: Nebraska looked like Florida. Florida went back to orange helmets while Cincy rocked out new white helmets. Result: Florida beat Cincy worse than they got beat when they last wore white helmets.
Other notable white helmets:
Auburn wore white helmets and escaped with a W somehow against Northwestern.
Penn State needed a monsoon and game winning field goal to beat LSU.