How much would the game have changed if he had just run out the clock? It would have given Gilbert more time to become comfortable on the field. It wouldn't have thrashed his confidence and that touchdown that made the game 24-21 in the fourth quarter, could have been the go-ahead score. It's so tough to look at it that way because Alabama went into a very conservative offense after the score. They didn't take hardly any chances in the second-half as a result. The inexperience of Gilbert turned out to be too much to overcome late in the game, when he was hit and fumbled the football at the 10-yard line. The ball rolled towards their own end-zone and Alabama took over at the 3-yard line. A Mark Ingram 1-yard touchdown run ended the comeback bid and gave 'Bama a ten point lead.
The game was very boring from McCoy's injury until the early fourth quarter. It basically looked like Alabama handing the ball off just about every play for little to no gain. When Texas had the ball, you were just holding your breath when Gilbert dropped back in the pocket. If he did throw it on-target, it was dropped. His teammates' support was enough to muster up some confidence and he hit standout wide-receiver, Jordan Shipley for two touchdowns.
A game with a ton of future NFL talent was just so sad to watch after the McCoy injury. Without a rooting interest I found myself just praying for McCoy to come jogging out of that Texas lockerroom towards the field. Not so much because I wanted to see Texas win, but I wanted to see a good football game. On the surface, it may have looked like a good football game, but that 3-point difference in the fourth quarter was anything but a close football game. If Alabama would have lost that game, it would have had to been blamed on the conservative nature in which the offense went into. It looked as if Nick Saban was just waiting for Gilbert to make a mistake. Luckily, his conservative approach ended with a 16-point victory and four interceptions, but Texas also had the football with a chance to take the lead with less than five minutes to go. With ESPN taking over the coverage for at least the next four years, hopefully we will see enough of a push from football wonks to switch to a playoff system.