Yet again, the complacent hare beats the patient and smart tortoise.
Wait a minute...last time I checked, that's not how the story is supposed to end.
For the third straight game, Alabama had a commanding lead going into the locker room at halftime. Unfortunately, for the third straight game, Alabama has been outscored and overpowered in the second half.
The mindset of the Alabama program has replicated the childhood story about a complacent rabbit that gets beaten by the slower, yet smarter, turtle.
The only difference between the two is that Alabama crosses the finish line right when the opposing team is nipping at its heels.
Alabama survived their third straight close game and remained undefeated by knocking off the Ole Miss Rebels 24-20.
Alabama's first two possessions ended with punts, and then the Tide allowed Ole Miss to kick a 25-yard field goal with 5:25 remaining in the first quarter.
This was the first time this season Alabama has trailed, and the first time an Alabama opponent has scored in the first quarter.
Thankfully, the hare woke up and realized the race had started.
Alabama put up 24 unanswered points to close the first half 24-3.
Obviously, Houston "The Motivator" Nutt lit a fire in the belly of the Rebels during halftime. Mixing up fake field goals and "Wild Rebel" formations, the Rebels put up 17 unanswered points of their own.
Alabama's offense didn't perform at all in the second half.
Alabama had the ball six times after halftime. End result was four punts, one interception, and one fumble.
However, after a fourth quarter comeback, it came down to one play for the Rebels: 4th-and-5 at the Alabama 43-yard-line with 1:05 remaining.
Jevan Snead puts up a floater to Dexter McCluster that was deflected by Alabama's Javier Arenas; provoking Alabama's victory formation that ended the game.
If there is one good thing that came out of this game, besides the win, it's that we now know that the depth at nose tackle is dependable.
Terrence "Mount" Cody, Alabama's 365-pound nose tackle, left the game on a stretcher in the third quarter with trainers giving signs of bad news.
All 92,000 at Bryant-Denny Stadium had the wind knocked out of them seeing No. 62 lying on the field. Alabama doesn't release injury information, so the news of his injury is still unknown.
One thing is for sure. With the health of Alabama's best defensive lineman in jeopardy, and with, yet, another poor second-half performance, the Tennessee game becomes a little scarier.
Don't let Tennessee's 3-4 record fool you. If there is a team that the Volunteers will give their all against, it's the Alabama Crimson Tide.
One thing is not for sure. For Alabama, the light at the end of the tunnel could be redemption...or it could be a delusion.
If Alabama continues to play only first half football...
If Alabama continues to allow their opponents to make a game out of a massacre...
If Alabama continues to be the overbearing and complacent hare...
Then the remainder of Alabama's 2008 football season will be one worth forgetting.
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