Connect with us

Alabama Football News

A Workmanlike Win, Not Pretty, Does the Job for Alabama

Cedric Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine)

A Workmanlike Win, Not Pretty, Does the Job 

By: Larry Burton

Alabama didn’t cover the spread, Derrick Henry had no highlight reel run but it was a game that satisfied Saban for the most part as the defense only gave up one touchdown with the other Gator touchdown coming against the special team unit. Though there were penalties that always upset Saban, he was for the most part, happy with the game.

Mainly he was happy the team won, didn’t add any injuries or ejections that will wind up effecting the college football playoffs and ended the game in the public eye clearly the best team on the field that day.

Derrick Henry didn’t have a great signature run in the game, but his 189 yards in this game, which added to his record breaking year, certainly solidified him as the front runner in the Heisman race. Today Henry put his name on top of Herschel Walker’s 34-year-old conference mark for rushing yards in a year, he tied the conference record for most touchdowns in a season (23) and there is still at least one and possibly two more games to go.

Another thing that Saban will reflect on and smile was the very special play of the special teams for the most part. Sure was the touchdown they gave up on the punt return, two block in the back penalties and the missed field goal, but Griffin hit on all the other attempts, punter JK Scott was outstanding all day long flipping the field and the special teams unit that blocked one punt and one field goal attempt. Those great special team plays helped the Tide cement their back to back SEC Championship.

But it was not Saban’s intention to have a splashy win, just a win. Alabama could have easily covered the spread, but chose to take a knee and end the game rather than add what would have been a meaningless touchdown against a team and coach that Saban respects.

There are things to work on for the playoffs. Coker has two passes that could have easily picked off, the third down conversion rate in the game was still bad, 7 for 17 for 41%. For Alabama to be a sure playoff winner, that rate will have to come to at least 50%. However, the Bama defense simply suffocated Florida for the most part especially on third down where Florida failed to convert even one third down.

So saying it wasn’t pretty, saying it was a workmanlike win, is not an insult, but a compliment to Saban. After all, Saban would rather have a workmanlike win over a quality team than a splashy win over a less one.

Now it’s on to the playoffs where Alabama will be the only team to be in back to back playoffs.

Larry has been published in almost every media outlet for college sports and now primarily writes here for Touchdown Alabama. Follow Larry on Twitter for inside thoughts and game time comments at



Facebook Comments

Larry Burton is a member of the Football Writers of America Association (FWAA) and was the most read SEC and Alabama football writer during his time at Bleacher Report. He has been credentialed by all the major bowls and the University of Alabama. Larry provides some of the best insight in the business through his "Larry's Lowdown" segment with TDA.


Must See

More in Alabama Football News