I guess someone forgot to tell OU.
That the scored only turned out to be 45-31 is really a major feat considering the Tide defense was pillorized for 429 yards and the offense turned the ball over five times. Those 429 yards also included allowing touchdown passes of 45 and 43 yards over a suspect ‘Bama secondary.
The five turnovers included two off-the-back-foot ill-advised throws by senior quarterback AJ McCarron. These interceptions – one into triple coverage and one weak and one while under pressure – were possibly the worst of his Alabama career. T.J. Yeldon’s late first half fumble was another of the worst-time-possible type fumbles that are becoming all too frequent. These turnovers negated 516 yards of offense by the Tide offense.
So, the defense gave up over 400 yards of offense and the offense turned the ball over five times? Is that all there is to the story?
Not by a long shot.
The keys to this game were the same as most other ‘Bama games. Sure, winning the turnover battle is key. But for Alabama to be successful, it starts with controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. That simply didn’t happen against the Sooners.
Defensively, there was no pass rush on OU quarterback Trevor Knight. Yes, he’s a dual threat quarterback, but the ‘Bama defense turned the struggling redshirt freshman into a 2014 Heisman candidate.
Alabama’s secondary again struggled and struggled mightily. Problems at cornerback will do that. But no pass rush exacerbates the problem.
Offensively, yes, the Tide gained 500+ yards, but the offensive line had trouble at times providing McCarron time to throw. Fast forward the DVR to the second quarter for a reminder of this.
In the end, Oklahoma was the better team and “wanted” the game more. Though they struggled some defensively, they played with more intensity and made plays when plays needed to be made.
For Alabama seniors McCarron and C.J. Mosley, this was the worst possible way to end their Alabama careers. But I’m sure their multiple national titles will eventually soothe their memories.
For the returning members of the Alabama team, there is much work to be done. The team is very talented – and will soon add even more talent – but new leaders will need to emerge and the team will need to grow a collective heart. That was the problem with this edition of the Tide. Though certain members of the team had multiple titles and awards, the team never grew a collective heart and soul.