A few random observations inspired by last night’s ass kicking…
- The end result reminded me a little of LSU’s trip to Athens in 2004, fresh off a national championship. Georgia’s offensive line gave David Greene time to throw and he destroyed Saban’s secondary with the intermediate and deep passing game. Lawrence was Greene with a massively better arm and deeper receiving corps.
- Many are pointing to the botched field goal as the sign of Saban’s panic, but for my money, that hand was tipped in the second quarter, when Saban elected to go for it on fourth down on Alabama’s 34. Fowler and Herbstreit noted it was an unusual call for Saban, but thought it gave credit to Alabama’s offensive line. They undersold it. What it really said was that Saban realized his defense wasn’t capable of stopping Clemson’s offense.
- The main reason for that is because the Alabama defensive front didn’t control the line of scrimmage.
- I guess it doesn’t take a dual-threat quarterback to beat Alabama. Just a really good one.
- Georgia did a better job defending Tua than Clemson did. Which is saying a lot.
- Here’s the thing about strength of schedule: sometimes a team like Clemson beats up a P5 conference because it’s weak and sometimes a team like Clemson beats up a P5 conference because it’s dominant. Those are not conflicting observations.
- One thing I believe Wolken really gets right is that Saban’s emphasis on advancing recruiters into coordinator positions really bit him in the ass last night. Yeah, it’s a Jimmys and Joes game, for sure, but when the other guy matches your talent, you better have the Xs and Os to counter.
- Venables was so far ahead of Locksley for most of the night, constantly changing in and out of looks, that it was embarrassing. Clemson’s defense did a fantastic job of turning Tua’s uncanny sense of anticipation against him. And on the other side, once it was clear that nobody on Alabama’s defensive front was capable of disrupting Clemson’s offense other than Quinnen Williams, Lupoi looked a little lost trying to counter.
- If there’s one thing Kirby Smart should take note of from the game is that you have to play Alabama without an ounce of fear. Never take your foot off the gas, because once you do, it’s an invitation to get rolled. Clemson stayed aggressive until the bitter end and Alabama didn’t take advantage of the opportunities that presented.