Sorry it has taken me so long to write this blog, but the truth is, Iíve started and stopped writing several times simply because Iím not sure what I want to say.On one hand, Iím thrilled that Alabama is 6-0 and ranked Number 2 in the nation.On the other hand, we really didnít look very good on Saturday, barely squeaking by Kentucky 17-14.I know that Kentucky is a pretty good team, and I figured that theyíd play inspired football.I guess I was just hoping that weíd play inspired football too, and I really donít think that happened on Saturday.
Even during such an ugly game, we did have several bright spots.Once again, Julio Jones looked very impressive, making several difficult catches, including two deep passes that were called back for no apparent reason.Glen Coffee ran well.He had a 78-yard TD run on our second possession (immediately after Julioís first beautiful catch was called back), and he totaled 218 yards for the game (6th most in Bama history).Of course, the enthusiasm over his performance has to be tempered somewhat due to the fact that he fumbled twice (actually, he fumbled three times, but the refs missed one of them).His first fumble was extremely costly, because it would have been first and goal at the 5-yard line.Scoring on that drive would have increased the lead to either 17-0 or 21-0.Either way, I think it would have put Kentucky away.With the turnover, the score remained 14-0, and UK was very much in the game.
And in a way, thatís what bothered me the most about the game.We were clearly the superior team, at least in the first half.However, we had several chances to put the game away, but instead, we always had a turnover, a missed field goal, a penalty, or some other self-inflicted injury that thwarted our efforts.It just reminded me too much of the Stallings era, where we would dominate the game, and yet weíd do everything possible to keep the other team in the game, and then weíd just flip a coin at the end and hope for the best.Donít get me wrong, Iím confident that Saban is as disappointed that we didnít close the deal as I am.
Along those lines, I wanted to point out what I thought was the turning point of the game.Actually, there were several, but there was a coachís decision late in the fourth quarter that thrilled me to no end.We were up 14-7, and had the ball at the UK 40 with about 6 minutes left.It was 4th and 1, so Saban had a decision to make, and unlike any coach weíve had in recent memory, Saban decided that he wanted to win the game.He went for it, and we made it thanks to a fantastic second effort by Glen Coffee.Ultimately, we kicked a field goal to go ahead 17-7 with about 2 minutes left, which basically clinched the game (yes, I know what happened after that, but my point still remains the same).Now, compare that sequence with what Shula did at the end of the 2003 Tennessee game.Remember that?4th and 6 inches, and he could have gone for it, made it, and then knelt on the ball for the win, or else kick it to Tennessee, play a prevent defense allowing them to walk down the field and score, and eventually win in overtime.Guess what he chose!It is so nice to have a coach that understands the basics of football.
Our off-week is coming at the perfect time, because I think our team is spent right now, both emotionally and physically.When we come back, we have a brutal schedule ahead of us, including Ole Miss (the team that beat Florida), Tennessee (in Knoxville), LSU (in Baton Rouge), Mississippi State (beat us the last two years), and Auburn (our owners).Weíll need every bit of energy that we have to make it through that murdererís row, but this team has shown that they have something special inside of them, and if anybody can get them to bring it out, itís Coach Saban.Hang on guys; we have quite a ride ahead of us!
Thatís it for now.Iíll try to think of something cool to write next week while weíre off, so check back then.Until then, feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.