A week later in this same field, the losing team doesn't do anything like that, but in the smallest way, that feeling survives: Can Alabama be defeated? The scoreboard read the same results - Alabama 52, Auburn 21 - but the Tigers and Crimson Tide were on three points in the first half, and Auburn drew 10 points at the end of the third quarter. You might be wondering why we dramatize the margin of victory by 31 points. That alone should explain Alabama's dominance 2018: If one small gap in the crimson armor is open, we criticize, sometimes it's not fair. We're nitpicking here, understand? We are looking for reasons that this team will not act harshly on the next three opponents to sail to finish 15-0 and national championships.
On Saturday, Crimson Tide allowed 34 rushing yards and a pair of critical settlement on Auburn's scoring drive, falling for a double-pass touchdown and having a blocked kick. Suddenly, Tide seemed to be prone to the initial points, if not late pressure. If Nick Saban's team was unable to break into the Fort and Auburn seven-win in the first half, what could be done by the elite of college football - Georgia first, then maybe Clemson, Notre Dame, or someone else - do? Alabama answered that question in the second half with the most dynamic airstrike to be given by college football on this Norman side.
Old Quarterback Tagovailoa threw five different five-goal goals in the last two quarters, setting a single-game school record for a total of six goals. He found Jerry Jeudy for 46 meters (all he did was open), Josh Jacobs for 33 (he ran the road to the final zone), DeVonta Smith for 40 (he was very fast), Henry Ruggs for 22 years (in one of the catches) the best you will meet this season) and Jaylen Waddle for age 53 (we think Smith was fast and then this new student drove in secondary Auburn).
Tagovailoa finished 11 of the 12 trials past in the second round. He was so good that Saban mentioned the top individual prizes in college football by name in the post-match press conference. "You can't win the Heisman Cup, you are not recognized as the best player in everything, if you don't have the right thing," said the coach. "Kobe Bryant was asked when he [visited] here what motivates him more - how much you like to win or how much you hate losing. He said none. "I am motivated because I want to be the best player I can." [Old] is motivated to be the best player he can be. "
At this time, we will remind you that Oklahoma and Alabama are operating the Heisman campaign simultaneously for each of their initial quarterbacks. The Sooners a few days ago fired flyers at the Old USS by releasing a chart that compared two quarterback statistics. But Heisman who was clucking could wait. Let's go to the SEC championship match next week in Atlanta, where Alabama gets Georgia in the same building where they defeated the Bulldogs for the national championship less than 11 months ago. That's when we will see how big the curve is on the Crimson Tide's chest.
A team that drove for the first nine weeks, highlighted by LSU's 29-0 skunking at Tiger Stadium, never looked so perfect, even if it still won the match with four goals. The disturbance in animatronic animals is useful, let's say they operate the controls. "We need things like that," said Alabama center Ross Pierschbacher. "Not every game will be an explosion." The coach will tell you that difficulties are an important part of team building, and Crimson Tide has only a little experience during the first two months of the season. Now they have struggled through some difficulties, and they have not only survived them unscathed, but are using them as a reminder of how their quarterback might be the best in the country, how their receivers are skilled and how their defenses can be a desperate offensive unit.
Malzahn opened the bag of tricks on Saturday, knowing well that the Tamil Tigers needed something special to attract annoyance. Auburn rushes everyone in the punt block (succeeds), lets the recipient throw a pass (succeed), throws a goal goal effort in the fourth down to pass from the old school swinging gate formation (unsuccessfully) and tries flaer flea (also unsuccessful). What the Tigers did not do was try to advance football at the end of the second quarter, it seemed comfortable by allowing the hour to end when handling relatively good field positions on their own 33 yards. When you have Alabama on his heel, you keep pushing, your arms stretched, until you can't push anymore. "Don't ask me why, but it seems like we don't have the right energy in the first half," Saban said afterwards. "Don't know whether it's anxiety or what it is, but we seem to be settling down and playing better in the second half."
Auburn missed the opportunity. Saban made a point of going down to tell his team, "We will have to change the way these people think and pursue them because now they think they can win." The halftime dining room this Saturday and last Saturday was not like the previous nine. "Coming earlier this season we did the things we needed to do," said Smith, "but towards the end of the season, we stopped doing things we needed to do, not doing the right techniques and things like that. This shows us what we really are, when you have to take it. "
Just take them. While this game ends up more successful than the one against The Citadel, it does provide another data point, as the CFP committee might say, in a case that must be made: Maybe the Alabama team is not entirely invincible.