What a difference a week makes.
Following an uninspiring performance against the Arkansas Razorbacks which set the Bama nation into convulsions, and prompted one of the more ridiculous rants Nick Saban has ever had, the Alabama Crimson Tide was at a crossroads. A loss to Texas A&M could send the season into a tailspin.
The Tide stunned everyone who has ever cared about college football by obliterating Texas A&M 59-0 behind an astonishing offensive explosion that resulted in 449 total yards in the first half to go with 45 points.
In the words of Nick Saban, it was “as close to Alabama football in terms of what we want to try and get from our players.”
At one point early in the third quarter, the Crimson Tide had more points (52) than the Aggies had yards. (50) The offense finished with 602 yards on the day on 80 plays.
Not to be outdone by their offensive compatriots, the Tide defense played their best game of the season. In the words of Nick Saban, the “defense did a really nice job.”
They completely nullified what had been a prolific offense by limiting the Aggies to 172 yards on 55 plays. The defensive line was swarming, and never allowed A&M quarterback Kenny Hill to get comfortable in the pocket. Their efforts were rewarded to the tune of six sacks. It did take a late fourth down stop to preserve the shut out following a long kick return, but that is the worst criticism that can be leveled against the unit.
Head coach Nick Saban often talks about total team wins, as well as fans being an important part of the “Process.” Even the fans seemed to meld with the team on a beautiful afternoon in Tuscaloosa. The press box was shocked when the PA played “Jump Around” and the entire stadium, team and fans alike, promptly started jumping in a wild explosion of emotion.
The stadium did not empty even when Alabama was up by forty-five at halftime. In the team’s most complete game of the season, fans turned in a virtuoso performance as well.
Alabama did suffer injuries to starting right tackle Austin Shepherd as well as starting DL Jonathan Allen, but early reports are that they should not miss much, if any, time.
Alabama goes on the road next week for their annual tussle with the Tennessee Volunteers.