Being No. 2: How not being at the top fuels the Crimson Tide 

Adam Baranovsky, Contributing Writer

Gameplay was not characteristic of Alabama last Saturday when the Crimson Tide  defeated the Texas Longhorns 20-19, behind the game-winning field goal by Will Reichard. The two teams last met in the 2010 BCS National Championship game where Alabama won its first national title under head coach Nick Saban. 

Despite offensive struggles for most of the game, running backs Jahmyr Gibbs and Jase McClellan showed lots of versatility over the weekend in running and receiving the ball out of the backfield. 

“I think we did a pretty good job, but we always have stuff we need to work on,” Gibbs said. “We’ll just go back in the film room and improve this week.”  

Despite the win, Alabama fell to No. 2 in the AP Poll for the first time after a win since Oct. 26, 2019, when then-quarterback Tua Tagovailoa missed the start due to an ankle injury.  

The Crimson Tide has not lost many games over the past two seasons, but in the lone game that it has won resulting in a fall from No. 1 to No. 2, the Alabama offense has put on an absolute clinic the following game — most notably the 2019 thriller at Bryant-Denny Stadium against then-No.1 and eventual champion LSU Tigers. 

Alabama now looks ahead to their next matchup with the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks, a team that beat the Crimson Tide 21-14 in Saban’s first season in 2007. 

“This is a very well coached team, and I think they’re a lot better this year than they were last year,” Saban said. “I see significant improvement on both sides of the ball, and have a good quarterback who’s athletic, can make plays, and is a good passer. They play good fundamental football, and we certainly have respect for these guys.” 

Despite losing the game following the last drop in AP poll ranking after a win, the Crimson Tide looks forward to taking the field against UL-Monroe on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.

Questions or comments? Email Austin Hannon (Sports Editor) at [email protected]