Human nature is funny.No matter how much you enjoy something, if you do it enough, you eventually get tired of it.That fact seems to hold true for everything; eating your favorite food, playing your favorite game, listening to your favorite song; everything gets old if you do it enough.Everything, that is, except for beating Tennessee and their Great Pumpkin of a coach, Phil Fulmer.I’m not going to go into detail on Fulmer’s little team-up with the SEC office and the NCAA to ruin Alabama football, but it does feel like karma is finally catching up with them, and Saturday night was a great example of that payback, as the Alabama Crimson Tide downed the Tennessee Volunteers 29-9.
I’ll admit; I was worried about this game.Tennessee has a solid defense, and a lot of talent on offense.Rivalry games like this tend to bring out the best in teams, and if they played their best game, it could have been tough.However, Alabama played this game with a grim determination that pretty much precluded any chance for an upset.We took the opening kickoff, and surprisingly came out throwing.We caught UT off guard, and we were able to move the ball into scoring position where Leigh Tiffin nailed a 41 yard field goal, giving us an extremely important early lead.
After a three-and-out, UT was forced to punt (what a punt it was!), and Arenas made a crucial mistake, fumbling the ball and giving it back to UT inside our 5-yard line.However, the defense came up huge (aided by a bone-headed false start on their LT), and forced a field goal.We dominated the rest of the half, and took a 13-3 lead into the locker room.Yes, I know they moved the ball deep into our territory right before halftime, and that we were greatly aided by a questionable pass interference call.Nonetheless, it was technically the correct call, so even though we were fortunate to get it, it shouldn’t by any means detract from the defensive stop at the end of the half.
The second half was all Alabama, which was started by a beautifully executed corner blitz against a QB bootleg on UT’s first play from scrimmage. UT had to punt, and shortly after, Tiffin kicked his third FG of the game, making the score 16-3.After another three and out, UT had to punt, and Bama had a chance to put the game away.Bama approached midfield, and then the controversial play of the game occurred.Mark Ingram (who had a really rough game) took a handoff over the left guard.UT collapsed the line of scrimmage, knocking Ingram to the turf, where the ball came lose, and Eric Berry picked up the loose ball and took it into the end zone.The refs said that Ingram was down before the ball came loose, and the replays seemed to confirm that Ingram’s butt hit the ground just as the ball was coming loose.However, we’ll hear the whining from Knoxville for years to come about how unfair it was that the refs forced Tennessee to play by the rules.After that play, Bama dominated on both sides of the ball.Roy Upchurch took over the RB duties, and played the best game of his career, churning out the yards with both power and elusiveness.That’s the Roy Upchurch we were so excited about when he committed to us out of Tallahassee!
I realize that Tennessee is down this year.With the loss to Bama, their record falls to 3-5, but that doesn’t make this victory any less sweet.Alabama is now 8-0, and we managed to hang onto our Number 2 ranking in all of the polls, including the BCS.As fans, it’s hard to not think about the possibilities that this season holds.With the LSU loss to Georgia, we now have a 2-game lead in the SEC West, so even if LSU beats us, we should still go to the SEC Championship Game, where we would probably face the winner of this week’s Georgia-Florida game.Of course, if we manage to beat LSU in two weeks, the stakes suddenly get higher.We as fans can think about things like that.However, the players had better not, because every game from this point on represents a challenge, and that includes this week’s game against Arkansas State.Yes, we should pound them into oblivion. However, after last year’s late season collapse, we had better play them with every bit of focus and determination that we gave Tennessee.If we need any more motivation, I did notice that Arkansas State beat Louisiana-Monroe this year….
That being said, let’s savor this victory.Beating Tennessee is extremely important to our program.After everything those guys did to take us down over the last several years, they are seeing their ill-gotten empire fall down around their feet, and it won’t change until they get rid of the main cog in their little machine, Phil Fulmer.I have a feeling that we’ve seen the last of him, and if so, I’m glad we can send him packing in a way that befits him, as a big, fat loser.
That’s it for now.As always, feel free to send me any questions or comments.