Alabama Football: 30 Greatest Games in Crimson Tide History

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
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Alabama Football
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Alabama Football Greatest Game

August 30, 2008 – Georgia Dome vs. Clemson

For Alabama football, the first Chick-fil-A Kickoff game was the beginning. Looking back, the 2009 National Championship and all the Crimson Tide Dynasty that followed, started in the Georgia Dome against Clemson.

For Clemson, Head Coach Tommy Bowden it proved to be the end. It was not an immediate end, but Bowden would not last through the 2008 season.

Clemson was the favored team. The Tigers had a redshirt senior at quarterback in Cullen Harper. Some preseason projections listed Harper as the future ACC Play of the year. More impressive was the running back tandem of C.J. Spiller and James Davis. The duo carried the nickname, ‘Thunder and Lightning.’ Coming off a 9-4 season in 2007, the Tigers were pre-season ranked at No. 9.

In 2007, the Alabama Crimson Tide had scrapped to winning season at 7-6. Almost solely based on Nick Saban’s reputation, the Crimson Tide was preseason ranked at No. 24.

Two first-quarter field goals by Leigh Tiffin and a quarterback sneak from John Parker Wilson gave the Crimson Tide a 13-0 lead. A Wilson TD pass and another Tiffen field goal made the first half score 23-3.

Clemson opened the third quarter with kick return touchdown by Spiller. The Crimson Tide iced the game away later in the third quarter with a Wilson to Julio Jones touchdown pass.

Spiller and Davis rushed eight times in the game for a total of 20 yards. Except for the 96-yard kickoff return, Clemson offered no thunder or lightning. The minus yardage on three sacks of Cullen Harper, resulted in the Tigers having zero net rushing yards for the game. The Crimson Tide rushed for 247 yards, led by Mark Ingram and Glen Coffee. Wilson passed for 180 yards. Leigh Tiffen made four field goals.

The total offense disparity was 419 yards for the Tide, to 188 for Clemson. To go along with the three sacks, the Tide had three more tackles-for-a-loss and a fumble recovery.

The win pushed the Crimson Tide to No. 13 in the nation.

Final Score – Alabama Crimson Tide 34 – Clemson Tigers 10