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Alabama's Will Anderson Jr.: 'I Cried My Eyes Out' After OT Loss to LSU

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 29, 2022

OXFORD, MS - NOVEMBER 12: Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Will Anderson Jr. (31) lines up on defense during a college football game against the Mississippi Rebels on November 12, 2022 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

College football is an emotional sport, even for the best players in the country.

Alabama pass-rusher Will Anderson Jr. revealed he broke down into tears following the Crimson Tide's second loss of the season in November against LSU. That loss essentially knocked Alabama out of the College Football Playoff, which meant it hit that much harder.

Mike Rodak of AL.com shared Anderson's comments:

"I cried after both, but I cried harder after the LSU game. That was one of the games where we were so close. We just didn't see us losing another game the rest of the year after everything had happened.

"It just hurts a little differently than any other game that we've played. I think it's because it was our second loss. I just thought our whole week of preparation was good. The guys were on it. Everyone was locked in. We didn't have any trouble that week."

It was one of the most memorable games of the season, as it was a back-and-forth affair that went to overtime after a 46-yard field goal from Alabama kicker Will Reichard in the final seconds.

It seemed as if the Crimson Tide would parlay that momentum into a victory when Roydell Williams scored a touchdown in overtime, but LSU answered with a touchdown of its own when Jayden Daniels ran it in from 25 yards out.

Tigers head coach Brian Kelly elected to go for the two-point conversion and the win instead of forcing a second overtime, and his team responded when Daniels found Mason Taylor for the two points.

"The Tennessee gameβ€”I'm gonna be honest with you, the Tennessee game hurt," Anderson said of Alabama's first loss. "But I think the LSU game, it hurt everybody a little bit more. I think for me, like, that's one of the games where I cried my eyes out.

"I couldn't stop thinking about it, just how close we were. People don't see how much hard work this team puts in Monday through Friday, and it eats us alive that we didn't make our goals."

The Crimson Tide finished with wins against Ole Miss, Austin Peay and Auburn, but that was only good enough to climb to No. 5 in the final College Football Playoff rankings. Georgia and Michigan were locks for the CFP with undefeated marks, while TCU and Ohio State each made it with a single loss.

Anderson will have the opportunity to finish out his collegiate career on a strong note with Saturday's Sugar Bowl matchup against Kansas State, but he surely had eyes on the CFP at the start of the campaign.

The emotional loss to LSU prevented him from chasing a national title.