Despite the miles I was able to track the second half of the Rose Bowl for a wild ride that went from write off to edge of your seat play into a great Rose Bowl win for Alabama and further cementing the SEC as the premier conference for college football in America. While the game was played during my work day I was able to follow along during my lunch hour and see the Texas Longhorns stage an impressive come from behind effort to threaten Bama with a 3 point game before Nick Sabin was able to get the team calmed down and working on the fundamentals.
While the final score, 37 to 21 does not sound close, the game was wide open until the last minute of the game. Looking at the stats the game looks far closer until 2 crucial items are compared; turn overs and penalties.
The first half saw Texas’ starting QB, McCoy go down with a separated shoulder during an option play. Alabama’s Ingram ran the ball effectively through the Texas D. Second half stated with Alabama’s Defense looking groggy and Ingram suffering from cramps, causing no offensive output for the 3rd quarter. Texas used this and a calmer backup QB Gilbert to stage a 3rd quarter score and shutdown of the Bama offense to bring the game within 2 touchdowns.
The fourth quarter started with Texas capitalizing on that momentum to pick apart the Bama defense in over the middle passing moving the ball at will and scoring a touchdown and getting a 2 point conversion to make the game a 21 to 24 game with 6 minutes left. Bama’s offense continued to struggle and penalties began to come into play on both sides. It wasn’t until Alabama’s Anders forced a fumble with just over 3 minutes on the clock that Alabama could begin to calm down. Alabama went ahead and controlled the clock while getting an Ingram 1 yard TD run 1 minute later to put the game out of reach. After a kick off Alabama picked off a pass and sealed the win with another touchdown, scoring 13 points in 2 minutes and taking the Rose Bowl and national championship back to Tuscaloosa.
Early on from half time many people were discussing how Texas was done because McCoy was out of the game. I believed this was premature as Texas is not known for giving up during games, reason for their great record of winning close games. Having played football, albeit high school championship and not college, I was worried before and during Texas’ rally and Alabama’s failure to move the ball or stop the up the middle passing attack. This is one game I really wish I could have watched instead of following over the internet. Well done Crimson Tide and Texas can hold their heads up high as they never quite and gave it their best all the way to the end. Games like this are why football is such a great sport!
Alabama Crimson Tide, 2009 BCS National Champions and winners of the Rose Bowl, Perfect Season 14-0
Team Stats Texas | Alabama 1st Downs 15 16 3rd down efficiency 6-17 2-12 4th down efficiency 0-0 0-1 Total Yards 276 263 Passing 195 58 Comp-Att 17-42 6-12 Yards per pass 4.6 4.8 Rushing 81 205 Rushing Attempts 28 51 Yards per rush 2.9 4.0 Penalties 8-77 5-38 Turnovers 5 2 Fumbles lost 1 1 Interceptions thrown 4 1 Possession 26:21 33:39