The Third Time is the Charm: Alabama and LSU Finally Live Up to the Hype
The 2011 college football season left such a foul taste in the mouths of fans that it became the catalyst for the four team playoff that will begin in 2014.
Fans felt they were sold a lemon when Alabama and LSU first met last November in Tuscaloosa. A game that was branded as the game of the century…(of the year)…..was a field goal fest that ended when LSU upset the Crimson Tide 9-6 in overtime. Fans, and presidents of universities not named Alabama or LSU, became outraged when they met a month and half later in New Orleans for the national championship.
No one wants to hear or believe this, but the computers were right. ‘Bama and LSU were the two best teams in 2011, but one thing the computers can’t do is take human emotions and feelings into consideration. People just wanted someone else to get their shot at LSU.
That’s all ancient history now. Last night in Baton Rouge, fans finally got a game that lived up the the hype. This game had everything: bone crushing SEC defense, great quarterback play, and a dramatic finish.
LSU, nearly unbeatable in night time home games, rallied from a 14-3 halftime deficit to take a 17-14 lead late in the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter alone had more excitement than the previous two meetings combined. LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger was doing something that hadn’t been done since the George W. Bush administration: move the ball at will on the vaunted Alabama defense.
The SEC and national championship appeared to be slipping away for Alabama until LSU kicker Drew Alleman missed a 45 yard field goal with just over a minute and a half remaining.
What happened next was the stuff of legends. Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron certainly saved his best for last. Other than one drive that ended with a fumble deep in Tigers territory, ‘Bama had done nothing offensively in the second half. McCarron came alive and hit Kevin Norwood for three straight first downs. Freshman running back T.J. Yeldon more than made up for his earlier fumble by taking a McCarron screen pass 28 yards to paydirt.
For your enjoyment (unless you root for the Bayou Bengals) here is the Yeldon touchdown with Eli Gold’s radio call.