But if you wanted to sum up the feeling Tide fans had about the most recent edition of LSU vs Alabama- just watch Nick Saban sail into the arms of Bama quarterback AJ McCarron after the game.
And there it is… A SMILE.
That’s right- a simple smile tells the story of what Nick Saban loves to see in a college football game. It had it’s adversity: the Tide trailed 7-3 early in the first half, then early in the third quarter LSU tied the game at 17.
It had its moments for his players to show their character- and his team executed their jobs against a talented offense. Throw in a trick play- a fake punt for a first down and you’ve got a Tide team feeling good.
And that makes Nick Saban very happy.
“Didn’t play great in the first half but man I’ll tell you what- a lot of character out there in the second half to control the line of scrimmage,” Saban said after the game.
“What we did on offense, we got some stops on defense especially after the kick off return could have gotten them back in the game. So no matter what the record is in this game it always seems like teams come out of this game and they have high expectations for how they want to play and what they want to do. But our guys did a good job of keeping their poise.”
This performance was a historic one for Alabama football. The Tide scored the most points on LSU since they scored 41 against them back in 1947.
On defense, Bama racked up eight stops for losses. Four quarterback sacks, four pass breakups and a forced fumble by second string senior linebacker Tana Patrick (Who forced the fumble in his first play of the game).
CJ Mosley recorded 12 tackles, while on the other side of the ball running back T.J. Yeldon carried the pigskin a career-high 25 times for 133 yards and two touchdowns.
Perhaps the most refreshing part about his new accolade is that he’s staying classy in front of the cameras.
“My teammates brought me there,” he told reporters saying it was an honor to be enshrined into Alabama football history but that he couldn’t have done it with out the players around him.
Perhaps Saban’s smile was a result of seeing a player he has struggled with emerge as the leader and player he knew he could be. Because after the game, Saban was still gleaming in the press conference when he had a chance to talk about his quarterback.
“AJ and I have been through a lot. Some that you’ve seen- some that you haven’t,” he said.
For the players this was a game that seemed to solidify that they were exactly who they and many people thought they were- Champions.
They don’t have the Crystal Ball yet, but its games like Saturday’s that bring goosebumps to arms, and draw the true character of a team out into the open.
As the scoreboard read 38-17 in favor of the Tide, fiery shouts of Rammer Jammer filled Bryant-Denny stadium. Bama fans were unleashing all the worry and angst they had for the Tigers- whether it be years of pent up frustration, or just the result of a week’s worth of rivalry hype. Some fans took to twitter to express their happines. One of my personal favorites was from a coffee shop in Starkville, MS who tweeted, “Louisiana hasn’t been owned this bad since the Louisiana purchase. #RollTide”
Les Miles is now 5-5 in his LSU career against Alabama, one step closer to a losing record.
“When you prepare hard you want for victory,” Miles said quietly after Saturday’s game.
“It’s not fun to finish second,” he added taking a long pause. “Today, we finished second.”
A simple but true statement from college football’s mad hatter who also admitted after the game that his team was not prepared. The same could not be said about Nick Saban- whose specialty is preparation.
Get your ears prepared for the over done saying, “they control their own destiny”. Because it’s the University of Alabama’s National Championship for the taking.