Here is the thing……
USUALLY, a wide margin of victory by teams mostly physically matched is because of an exploit- and it only takes one. One receiver that the CB can’t handle due to some sort of move; a single DE who dominates a tackle and breaks up a passing team’s rhythm (and game plan- removes them from their comfort zone of play- makes them play a game they aren’t prepared to play or aren’t well rehearsed playing)… this usually is 99.9% accurate, and the other tenth is because you simply overestimated the losing team.
ND being blown out was an example of the tenth… Bama being blown out is a whole new animal.
Don’t get me wrong, I despise the Tide- I respect them, but i don’t like them even a little… it’s a third Saturday in October thing… last night, Bama was dismantled… and even with the worst game of Tua’s career, it doesn’t add up.
They weren’t mismatched, but players fell down too much… They weren’t out of position but players were out hustled… With the Oline Bama has, they should be able to pull a Nebraska of latter day Osborne fame and approach the LoS, announce to the D the intended play, and still run that play with at least 3 yards- but they were stood up on the goal line and red zone multiple times.
Add to this- Bama resorted to trickery? really? BAMA RESORTED TO TRICKERY… Ringing in my noggin’ right now is the voice of John Madden, a great football mind, saying “Trick Plays tells the offense the coach has no confidence in them”…
Bottom line: All season I’ve talked about the “GOAT” when discussing Bama… Last night Bama proved to be not only less than the greatest of all time, they proved to be less than other Bama squads over the years….. and more importantly, Clemson may have just proven to be the best of this era.
I just don’t know what to make of it…. is it laziness on Saban&Co part by simply having bigger horses than anyone else they’ve played and fully purchasing into “Johnny’s and Joe’s ~not~ X’s and O’s”? … What gives? Is it their O is so transparent that Clemson completely out maneuvered them? Did they crack the code of the flip board play calls? Did they hack into the comm’s system? Did someone get to Tua to toss the game? …. and no, I don’t believe that… What i believe is Bama got the crap kicked out of them in every aspect of the game. And that is just hard to believe.
On Clemson’s side of the prism:
They came to play. They weren’t intimidated. They let it all hang out with reckless abandon. This is a proven key to beating Bama, but for it to work you’ve gotta have the ponies. They do. Clemson’s ponies are every bit as good as Bama’s.
Dumbfounded I sat with the only movement exerted was between the play and rewind buttons on the remote. At least ten times I watched the goal line stand. It literally appeared like just about any other team Bama has played this season lining up against them, knowing they’re out-manned, but still stubbornly attempting to push that wall into the paint.
It isn’t only the effort and ‘drive’ Clemson brought. With only that, the game would have still been in the two score margins… The first interception- two things happened at once- the interceptor broke on the ball and the covering corner picked the intended receiver. Do any of y’all have any sense of the awareness that is required for that to happen? A lessor example- a Bama LB broke off pursuit and threw a hand in the air to bat down the pass, and slapped it good with the back of his hand- the intended receiver caught the ball. He had opportunity to stand his ground for the perhaps second and a half to two long seconds for that ball to fall.
Where was the Bama D?
Bama’s prowess on D isn’t only ‘Johnny’s and Joe’s”, it’s superior scheme and positioning. It’s not that you can’t pass on them, it’s that there is a crowd waiting for you when the ball lands- and if there isn’t? There soon will be within fractions of a second. Through past DC’s of Smart through Pruitt to the current flavor, this has held true. Last night, a common target in the Clemson receiving corps was left to his own devices long enough to wait for at least a full second if not more. This doesn’t make a lot of sense. It is just void of reasoning and in wild contrast to the Bama team’s we’ve seen in the past and what we thought this one was.
Wow- Clemson. You guys are an amazing team with talent to make NFL rosters jealous. Never again will I underestimate you guys. You’re loaded with talent, supremely coached and rehearsed, play hungry, and balanced in all aspects. 44-16. I have a new hero in Dabo.