Many sports exist in society today. From basketball and baseball to soccer and hockey, we as Americans are fascinated with the aspect of seeing our favorite athletes make plays and compete hard in the venues they participate in. Of all the intense yet exciting sporting events in our world, only one stands out from the rest where southern fans are concerned and that is college football.
So what makes college football so appealing? Is it the uniforms and exciting fan bases? Could it be the major highs and disappointing lows in the game? Or is it the simple fact that fans get to see so many teams compete for one national title trophy? To be honest, all of these are wonderful reasons as to why the game of college football is appealing. With this being said, there is still one more reason that depicts why fans go crazy for the pigskin, clutch performances in key moments.
Though Crimson Tide fans will not see Alabama raise a crystal ball this season, they got the opportunity to witness some of the most incredible plays from the Tide on the field. The best thing about watching huge plays unfold is that you never know who is going to step up and rise to the occasion. Today, we will take a step back as fans and relive some of the best plays in Alabama football from this season.
ALABAMA FOOTBALL: TOP 10 MOMENTS IN 2013
1. AJ McCarron gets revenge on Johnny Manziel (Tide won 49-42)
a. After a bitter 29-24 loss against Manziel and the Aggies in 2012, McCarron took to Kyle Field and put on a show.
b. Last season, McCarron tossed two interceptions. This time, he completed 69 percent of his passes for 334 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions.
c. The difference between last season and this season for Manziel was crucial mistakes. He didn’t turn the ball over last season at Bryant-Denny Stadium, but inside Kyle Field he tossed two critical interceptions.
2. The Christion Jones Show (Alabama defeated VA Tech 35-10)
a. Little jitters are to be expected in a season opening game, but when your offensive line can’t run or pass block, problems will occur.
b. For Alabama, this was when No. 22 in crimson and white came to the rescue.
c. Jones put on a special teams clinic against the Hokies.
d. He had six returns for 209 yards and two touchdowns, along with two receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown.
3. Kevin Norwood: “Mr. Reliable”
a. While Amari Cooper battled a toe injury for much of the season, Norwood stepped up and became McCarron’s safety net.
b. When Alabama was down 14-0 against the Aggies in the first quarter, McCarron looked for Norwood on a back shoulder throw to the endzone. Norwood timed his jump perfectly and made an incredible catch for a 22-yard touchdown.
c. Norwood will always be the receiver that LSU fears. Against the Tigers this season, he caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from McCarron.
d. The score gave the Tide a 17-7 lead in the second quarter and Alabama eventually won the game 38-17.
e. Norwood had a monster game against Tennessee. Though the game was basically over after the first quarter (Bama led 21-0), Norwood still found his way into the stats column with six receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown.
f. In one of the best Iron Bowls ever, Norwood was on the receiving end of a 20-yard touchdown pass from McCarron. Alabama led for much of the game until the end.
4. Vinnie Sunseri: Art of the Pick Six
a. Alabama fans have known Sunseri as a coach’s son (Sal Sunseri) and a gunner on special teams, but this season he proved he can do so much more.
b. In the matchup against Virginia Tech, Sunseri decided to help out Christion Jones.
c. After the Hokies scored off a 77-yard run by Trey Edmunds (Tide led 14-7), Sunseri stepped in on a Logan Thomas pass, made the interception and took it 38 yards to the house.
d. If the pick six against the Hokies was good, then Sunseri’s second interception for a touchdown against Texas A&M was pure athleticism.
e. With the Crimson Tide leading 28-14 in the third quarter, Sunseri and teammate Jarrick Williams decide to play tip drill. Manziel throws the ball into coverage, Williams tips it in the air and Sunseri comes down with, jukes Manziel out of his shoes and goes 73-yards to pay dirt.
5. DeAndrew White Returns
a. After a torn ACL ended his 2012 campaign, White returned this season playing with a vengeance.
b. With the score tied at 14 against Texas A&M, Alabama dials up a trick play.
c. DeAndrew White runs a smooth route and ends up being wide open for a 44-yard touchdown off the flea-flicker.
d. Against Georgia State, White ended up on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays with a one-handed reception over the top of the secondary for a 10-yard touchdown.
6. OJ Howard: Speed Kills
a. The LSU secondary got a glimpse of how big tight ends can truly run.
b. Despite his size at 6-foot-6, 237 pounds, Howard took what was supposed to be a 10-yard completion off a slant route and turned it into a 52-yard foot race for a touchdown.
7. Defensive Shutouts
a. In its seven years under Nick Saban, Alabama’s defense is known for being stingy and this season was no exception.
b. Against a high-powered Mississippi offense, the Tide shut them off the scoreboard and gave up just 205 yards of offense (46 yards rushing). Alabama forced two turnovers and a safety. The Tide won the game 25-0.
c. For Arkansas, the only two differences between this season and last season was the change of venues and a new coach. The Razorbacks got taken to school and shut out again by Alabama. The Tide forced three turnovers and gave up just 256 yards of offense. Alabama won 52-0.
d. Every knows that the Chattanooga was a scrimmage game for the Tide, but Saban and the boys still treated it like a business matchup. Alabama rolled 49-0 over the Mocs. They forced two turnovers and surrendered 175 yards of offense.
8. Landon Collins emerges
a. Like Sunseri, the world first new Collins as an impress special teams player.
b. Against Tennessee, Collins showed Tide nation his amazing on ball defense skills.
c. On a poorly thrown ball by Justin Worley, Collins breaks in front of the receiver, makes the interception and goes 89 yards for a touchdown.
9. Amari Cooper: He’s Back
a. After putting up some decent performances leading up to the Iron Bowl, Cooper saved his best for last and came to live against Auburn.
b. Though he had six receptions for 178 yards and a touchdown, his biggest reception was a 99-yard bomb for a touchdown from McCarron.
10. Blake Sims: Passing the Football
a. We’ve known Sims as runner, but against Georgia State he showed for the first time that he can spin the magic bean a little.
b. Sims completed 77.8 percent of his passes for 130 yards and a touchdown against the Panthers.
Honorable mentions: Eddie Jackson, TJ Yeldon, Kenyan Drake and Jalston Fowler. Jackson got his first interception of his collegiate career against Mississippi. Drake had two games (Kentucky 106 yards and Arkansas 104 yards) in which he rushed for 100+ yards. Against Colorado State, Drake rushed for a touchdown and blocked a punt that Dillon Lee returned for a score.
Yeldon totaled 100+ yards on the ground against six SEC opponents’ (Texas A&M, Mississippi, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State and Auburn) with great performances against Mississippi, LSU and Auburn.
Jalston Fowler was on the receiving end of five touchdowns this season. All five of his scored came in the redzone. The biggest touchdown reception for Folwer was a 5-yard touchdown reception from McCarron against Texas A&M which helped seal a victory.