Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Despite mid-game drop-off, Tide wins convincingly over Missouri


COLUMBIA, Mo. — Alabama head coach Nick Saban’s message to his team heading into Saturday’s game against the Missouri Tigers was that it provided a fresh start to the season. And, for most of the first quarter, Alabama appeared to take that message to heart.

On the second play from scrimmage, junior running back Eddie Lacy burst through the line of scrimmage for a 73-yard touchdown run, setting an early tone for the team. Indeed, the play inspired a dominant performance from the rest of the Alabama team.

The offense scored three more touchdowns in quick succession, establishing a running game it had missed for weeks. Defensively, the unit remained stout in pass coverage while the front seven battered, bruised and abused Missouri backup quarterback Corbin Berkstresser. It looked like it would take a force of nature to stop the Tide from completely demolishing the Tigers.

And that’s exactly what happened.

Midway through the second quarter, lightning in the area forced the teams to take a 40- minute delay, all but destroying Alabama’s momentum.

The delay in play had an obvious effect on Alabama, as it suddenly gave up 10 points to a previously immobile Tigers team. And the Alabama offense, which had been scoring at will, was now plagued with fumbles, penalties and injuries.

“When we’ve had good intensity, a good sense of urgency, right mental energy, we have been a very good team,” Saban said. “And this game was, in some way sort of the epitome of that. We played extremely well until we had the rain delay. We came out a little flat.” Center Barrett Jones shared his coach’s sentiments about the team’s performance after the delay.

“Obviously, we knew it couldn’t do anything but hurt us,” Jones said. “We had all the momentum going into that. We hated to be off the field. When you have all the momentum, you want to be on the field.”

Still, much like the passing lightning, Missouri’s uprising turned out to harmless in the grand scheme of the game. The Tigers didn’t threaten to score again, and the offense was able to score more touchdowns to give the Tide a convincing 42-10 win. The team was led offensively by Lacy and freshman running back T.J. Yeldon, who combined for 322 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns.

Still, while the offense was struggling to regain some consistency, the defense, led by C.J. Mosley and Adrian Hubbard, kept the game out of hand for the Tigers, making big plays when the defense needed it most. The defense held the Tigers to a mere 129 total yards of offense.

Hubbard said his defense’s mentality remained unchanged, even after the delay. It wanted to get the Missouri offense off the field, and give its offense enough time to get its bearings. Even so, Hubbard said he was pleased with the way his entire team was able to handle the difficult situation.

“It’s not really what the kind of conditions are we playing in,” Hubbard said. “We just got to go out and execute our job… You just got to be able to handle what’s thrown at you.”

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