Alabama Football: Bryce Young shines in gutsy win after scare in Austin

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Two of College Football’s top ten teams went down this weekend, and Alabama Football was nearly the third.

Alabama Football gets all it can handle from Texas Longhorns

It was an ugly win in Austin, Texas. The Alabama team playing was not the Alabama team that fans have come to expect.

The offense went three and out for what felt like two quarters straight and couldn’t string together two consecutive positive plays to save their lives. Veteran players were making mental mistakes, and for every yard that was gained, 5 more were lost on penalties.

The Tide had more penalties than ever before in the Saban era, and at one point in the third quarter, the Bama offense had more penalty yards than passing yards. It was sloppy and undisciplined- the one thing Saban preaches the most.

Admittedly, the Texas atmosphere was deafening. Will Anderson Jr said it was the loudest and craziest game he has ever played in so far in his career, and Anderson was there last year in College Station and the National Championship. Hats off to the Texas fans for bringing it for four quarters straight. Many of those mental errors were due to mishandling the environment.

The 120° field temperature and 11 am CT kickoff didn’t bode well for Alabama Football either. Neither did the lack of air conditioning in the team’s locker room nor the lack of opposing team ticket sales.

But take a deep breath. The Tide found a way to win despite everything about the game saying they shouldn’t have. Big time players make big time plays in big time games.

Neither Bryce Young nor Will Anderson Jr- two Heisman favorites- played their best games. However, when the game needed their best, they gave it. Young finally found his rhythm late in the game and started picking apart the Texas defense. Young converted several critical downs with his legs and stood in the pocket to make big plays. He managed the two-minute drill perfectly. On Texas’ last offensive drive, Will Anderson Jr exploded off the line for a huge sack forcing the Longhorns into a field goal. Veteran kicker Will Reichard sealed the win with a game-winning field goal with under 5 minutes to play for the first time in the Saban era.

Elite teams find ways to win. In every season in recent memory, there is at least one heart attack-inducing game. In 2009, Alabama Football needed two blocked field goals to preserve a win over Tennessee. In 2011, Alabama lost to LSU 9-6. In 2012, the Tide barely escaped Death Valley against LSU with a win and then did lose against A&M. In 2015, Bama lost to Ole Miss and barely escaped Tennessee. In 2017, Alabama Football lost to Auburn in the Iron Bowl. In 2020, Mac Jones went drive for drive against Ole Miss and just barely won and then struggled to take down Florida in the SEC Championship Game.

What did all those teams have in common?

They all went on to win the National Championship.

So- it’s not time to panic. It’s not time to write off the season. It’s not time to throw in the towel and say “maybe next year”.  Today was only the second game of the season. It had trap game written all over it.

Today’s win built character. As Bryce Young and Will Anderson, both said in their post-game conferences, when someone makes a mistake, the team rallies together. They have each other’s backs. Today proved that.

Saban is the greatest college football coach of all time, and today’s game gave him gold for practice motivation for the rest of the season.

Next. More thoughts on the Texas game. dark

The Crimson Tide players will be ready. The road to Championship 19 continues.