Monday, November 9, 2009

Tuesday 'tube: many happy returns

Editor's Note: To whichever youtube overlord took away all the awesome youtubery that was providing most of the content for this blog ... well, I hope you're proud of yourself. God forbid some of us enjoyed something without paying ESPN and the University $25 every time we turn around.

It's hard to believe, honestly, that this program has come as far as it has in a little over two years. It was, after all, only two years ago at this time, Alabama lost for the second consecutive time to Mississippi State, a loss that was no more or less frustrating than about a dozen other losses this decade (and certainly not nearly as infuriating as the one that came the following week).

It was in that frame of mind that Alabama entered last year's game against Mississippi State. Just like this time, 'Bama was coming off a hard-fought, draining contest against LSU, and just like this time, the SEC West was already firmly in hand.

Listen to Antoine Caldwell early on, and you'll hear exactly what Alabama's motivation was that cold Saturday night.

The game was actually more of a hard-fought affair than either that video or the final score might lead you to believe — State punished Alabama with its run game and actually led at one point by the very unusual score of 7-5.
But, of course, as often happens when a team is losing, State made a critical mistake: in this case, it was kicking to Javier Arenas. The first time, he fielded the ball on a hop and set up a short field for a touchdown. The second time, this happened.

Notice how many tackles 28 broke on that particular return (answer: zero). It's a lot of fun to run around when no one has a chance of actually tackling you.

One more note before I go & let you enjoy your Tuesday: Mississippi State is apparently expecting the largest crowd in school history Saturday, even planning to bring in extra bleachers to accommodate the crowds (yes, just like your high school used to for playoff games). So the atmosphere Saturday should be a great one.
Pardon me while I go try to fight off this queasiness.

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