Alabama Football: Despite injuries and mistakes the Tide found itself

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports /

In an unusual college football game, Alabama Football overcame injuries and its own mistakes to destroy a good Arkansas team. The game had three phases that were almost like three different games.

In the game’s first 27 minutes, the Crimson Tide raced out to a 28-0 lead. A late 2nd quarter drive by Arkansas narrowed the score to 28-7 at the half.

Arkansas dominated the third quarter. Two touchdowns and a field goal by the Hogs narrowed the score to 28-23.

When the fourth quarter started in Fayetteville, momentum was on the side of Arkansas. With Bryce Young watching from the sideline, the Alabama Football offense had produced minus one yard of 3rd quarter offense.

Alabama Football Jalen Milroe Offense

On the second play of the fourth quarter, Alabama faced a 3rd-and-10 from its own twenty. Jalen Milroe looked to pass, scrambled, and ran 77 yards to the Arkansas three-yard line. The play turned the game around for the third time.

After a scary tipped pass incompletion on 1st-and-goal, and a penalty on Arkansas, the Tide had first down inside the two. Nick Saban screamed for the Tide to run the ball. The Tide did and was stuffed. On second down, the Tide opened a wide hole for Jase McClellan to scamper through untouched.

At that point, Arkansas was beaten, but to their credit, they fought on. On the next possession, the Hogs made a first down, but three plays later were forced to punt. At its own 28-yard line, the Tide’s first down play was an explosion by Jahmyr Gibbs for a 72-yard touchdown.

Minutes later, after an Arkansas field goal that cut the lead to 42-26, Gibbs exploded again through a wide gap in the Arkansas defense, for a 76-yard touchdown run. After the Crimson Tide offense’s anemic third quarter, it dominated the 4th quarter, producing 242 yards.

In his post-game review, Nick Saban made the understatement of the season,

"I think the offense did a good job of continuing to score points in a different way."

Credit goes to Jalen Milroe, Jahmyr Gibbs and the Crimson Tide offensive line. Without Bryce, the Alabama football offense was not the same. It was very different, but in a way, more sensational than any time during this season’s five games.

Talking about Bryce, Saban said,

"Bryce has a little AC sprain in his (right) shoulder, we’ll have to take it day-to-day. … He’s had these before and in a few days he starts to respond pretty well, so we’ll have to see how it goes, and, you know, play it day-to-day."

Next. 12-team Playoff could have mid-week games. dark

Alabama may have learned some things about itself, facing a tough, road-game situation, to reach 5-0. No one wants the Crimson Tide to have to win without Bryce Young, but on Saturday afternoon, the team learned, if necessary, it can.