Alabama Football: The Play That Saved the Tide's Season
With about a minute to go, the Crimson Tide's 2012 season hung in the balance. Down 17-14 to the Bayou Bengals, the Tide needed to score to at least force overtime. In looking to make a safe call with a screen, what Alabama got was the perfect play against an LSU defense that was truly unfortunate.
That final play likely pushed A.J. McCarron even more into the spotlight, and T.J. Yeldon has now become firmly entrenched in Alabama lore in just his freshman year.
There's a lot going on, and we've shown the key elements to the play. Most notable is just how great of a call this was by Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier. Or, if you're an LSU fan, it shows just how unlucky you can be on defense.
Alabama's offensive line didn't make this play great. Hell, Warmack and Steen didn't actually block anyone once they worked to try to set up the screen. This play worked because of Nussmeier's call, the speed and explosiveness of Yeldon, a bad angle and technique by Loston and two wide receivers who did their job of blocking.
If you don't believe play-calling matters, this play should change your mind. It was a perfectly timed screen against an LSU team that was looking to stop the ball and force McCarron to get rid of it early. Against a darn near all-out blitz, the screen (if the quarterback can get it off) has the ability to go for a big chunk of yards. This play is a prime example of that.
This was a big moment for the entire Alabama football team, and if it hoists the trophy in Miami, many will point back to this play as being instrumental, a la Terrence Cody's blocked field goal in 2009.
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