I was beginning to think I would never have to use that caption. Only now, at the end, do I have to.
After an undefeated regular season in which only Ole Miss even came close to beating us, our road to a perfect season stops just short of the ultimate goal. Clemson wins the rematch. 2009 remains Alabama’s only undefeated season since 1992.
Props to Clemson! We are humbled. Not as much as Colin Cowherd for believing for one second that the Tigers were a “fraud,” though. Dabo Swinney definitely knows what he’s doing, despite what some have thought. And Deshaun Watson is bound to be a big star in the NFL.
Like last time, it was a damn good game! I thought it was over after Bo Scarbrough ran it in to put us up 14-0, but Clemson kept coming and coming! We got a couple turnovers and could have put the game away with them, but instead cashed only a field goal in. Our offense then proceeded to show the same bad blocking seen against Washington, LSU, Auburn, and Chattanooga. Result? A bunch of three-and-outs and our defense got gassed. This set up a 21-7 outscoring job that had Clemson lead for the first time, fall back behind, pull back ahead, and finally psych us out with an onside kick to win the game. The last part had me thinking about how we’d surprised them with an onside kick a year ago, but I don’t think it made the difference this time.
The better team won. That’s all there is to it. Conventional wisdom says that you need a little luck to beat Alabama. I beg to differ. They lost a fumble in their own territory and foolishly went for it on fourth down early against the best defense in college football. Gotta be honest with you, we didn’t get the same ferocious Tigers that Ohio State got. Yet here we are.
The way to beat Bama? Score on our defense. We’ve lost just one time since 2011 without giving up at least 29 points. Simply put, this team struggles when it gets to be a shootout. Why? Our offense is not even in the same universe as our defense.
This was on display last night. Not only was the offensive line pushed around, Jalen Hurts was overthrowing and missing open receivers throughout the game. He looked like a freshman when we could least afford him to. Watson, meanwhile, was Watson.
This also concerns me about next year. Hurts seemed to transcend his freshman status in his earlier games only to regress as the season went on. I hope we plays well again next fall, because with some losses on defense to the NFL right around the corner, we need good offense. ROLL TIDE!!!