It’s no secret that the Alabama Crimson Tide football team has had its ups and downs. There have been several triumphant and dominant victories, but in the college football world, two heartbreaking losses will end the hopes of even seeing the College Football Playoff.
The Tide’s second loss came against LSU last Saturday, 32-31, after a risky 2-point conversion by the Tigers. Like all Alabama away games, the home crowd turned the green field into a purple and gold one after the legendary conversion.
This inter-top 10 game was originally expected to be overshadowed by the Tennessee-Georgia showdown, but the Bulldogs proved that this would be the last time this season that the Vols would be ranked No. 1.
Similar to the Tide’s first loss against the Vols, their second loss was among the best games in all of college football this season.
The Bama-LSU rivalry has had some great games in the past, but this one was expected to be low scoring, as LSU was up 14-9 at the start of the fourth quarter. This would not be the case.
As 102,321 fans put four fingers up in the air, Saban and offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien came up with a game plan to put the ball in the hands of running back Jahmyr Gibbs, one of the best at the position in the nation.
On the first drive of the fourth quarter, Gibbs was responsible for every yard gain except the final two. Running back Roydell Williams scored, but a failed 2-point conversion, making the score 15-14.
LSU would reclaim the lead with a field goal, but a 41-yard, instantly viral connection between Bryce Young and wide receiver Ja’Corey Brooks made it 21-17 with 4:44 to go in regulation.
All the Tide needed to do now was get a stop, something they had done nearly the entire game. LSU dual-threat quarterback Jayden Daniels used his speed for a 31-yard run on third down. A few plays later, Daniels found tight end Mason Taylor (son of NFL Hall-of-Famer Jason Taylor) in the back of the endzone to take a 24-21 lead with 1:47 to go.
The clutch gene is something that simply can’t be taught. Last season, Young embraced that by taking down Auburn in overtime, giving him his Heisman moment. Four completions into the final drive of regulation set up a 46-yard field goal by Will Reichard, his fourth make of the game.
The historic rivalry was headed to overtime.
Alabama had the ball first. On the seventh play of the drive, Williams scored a second time from a yard out to give the Tide the lead. Reichard’s extra point gave them a seven-point lead.
The pressure was now on LSU. Anything less than seven would lose them the game.
It only took one play for Daniels to run it in from 25 yards out to cut the deficit to one.
It was decision time. Do you tie the game and go to a second overtime, or do you go for the win now?
LSU head coach Brian Kelly took the risky approach. Daniels hit Taylor on the right pylon for one of the clutchest plays of the CFB season.
They had done it. They beat Alabama, ending their inevitable National Championship run.
Like all Bama losses, several names on both sides were trending on Twitter, even with the Houston Astros winning the World Series at the same time.
On Saturday, No. 10 Alabama Crimson Tide heads to Oxford to face No. 11 Ole Miss at 2:30 p.m. on CBS.