The Alabama Crimson Tide’s win over LSU Saturday night wasn’t pretty, but it was beautiful. It wasn’t the dominant performance Alabama had delivered all season, but it was a perfect boxing movie with the defending champion against the ropes mustering enough strength to deliver a knockout blow just before the final bell. It was the largest TV audience of the college football season so far, and Alabama grew up as the nation watched.
Alabama had dominated opponents all season and had trailed on the scoreboard for a total of fifteen seconds all year. On Saturday, they trailed early before taking a 14-3 lead at the half. Fans, always an optimistic bunch, began to breathe easy but the smiles of success soon disappeared when LSU scored and the Tide didn’t immediately answer. Then, there was the fumble on a drive that would have put the game away. Then LSU took the lead and time was running out. No one in crimson was smiling.
With only a few seconds to play and no time outs, a Tide team that no one knew existed stepped onto the field. A team that had struggled and stumbled all night executed one of the easiest-looking scoring drives of the season, against perhaps the best defense they will ever face.
Alabama grew up on Saturday night. Character comes from the struggles and, frankly, Alabama had never struggled. Against a good LSU team, Alabama struggled. They showed more than just “the Process,” they showed passion. It was the game Alabama needed.
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