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

Tide rebounds from flat first half


Vanderbilt limited the Crimson Tide in the first half. To a certain extent, the Commodores embarrassed the Tide, holding Alabama to just 14 points and 189 yards. Heisman candidate Trent Richardson was held to only 32 yards in the first half, and what was supposed to be a blowout for the Tide became uncomfortably close.

“We obviously did not play our best football game, especially in the first half,” head coach Nick Saban said. “We didn’t sort of have the mental energy and things that we would like to have to play with the kind of consistency we need to improve as a team.”

Saban questioned the team’s mental focus at halftime, Richardson said.

“He basically told us that we had a mindset that we were going to just run them over,” Richardson said. “He was telling us, ‘this is what happens when you don’t practice the way you are supposed to practice and are not ready the way you are supposed to be.’”

Saban’s message was not lost on the team.

“We heard that, and that is something coming from coach,” Richardson said. “That is something we try to bring to our program, to be relentless, and that is something we strive on.”

In the second half the Tide was just that, relentless. After stuffing Vanderbilt on its first drive of the half, Alabama began a 12-play 94-yard drive resulting in a Richardson touchdown­­­­­­ – a drive Richardson said showed the Tide’s true identity.

Alabama pounded the ball against Vanderbilt. A six-yard run by Richardson started the drive, followed by three yards, then six, then three. Like a heavyweight boxer, Alabama continued to deliver blows to a tired Vanderbilt defense all the way down the field.

“It really shows where your mind set is at,” Richardson said. “You bang ‘em up, and you push it and shove it down their throat the whole time. You know that you are the better man out there and that you want it more, and that’s what we showed them.”

After a seven-yard pass from McCarron to Maze, the only pass of the drive, the Tide continued to pound it on the ground to Vanderbilt. An increasingly tired Commodore defense gave up 19, then 24 yards to Richardson on back-to-back plays before being punished by bruising fullback Jalston Fowler for six, 10 and six yards. By the time Trent Richardson muscled his way into the end zone from one yard out, the Vanderbilt defense was done, and so was the rest of Vanderbilt.

“We just wanted to be relentless, man,” Richardson said. “We want to have it so every team fears us and just don’t want to play us.”

After that drive the Tide would go on to score on its next two possessions, wrapping up the Commodores and taking control of the game. Alabama finished with 419 yards, beating Vanderbilt 34-0 to move to 6-0 (3-0) on the season.

“We made some adjustments and played a lot better in the second half,” Saban said. “We certainly have a lot of things we need to improve on and we will continue to work on that. Everybody’s got to take the same ownership and responsibility to do that so we can get better as a team.”

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