#1 for three touchdowns and no interceptions against a Saba von mary123 04.09.2019 10:59

Five years feels like 50 looking back on it now.It was early November 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The sun had set on clear skies and there was a slight chill in the air as No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama prepared for kickoff. Only one team would leave Bryant-Denny Stadium undefeated that night, and the hype for the game was unlike anything in recent memory.LSU coach Les Miles was positively giddy with excitement, while Alabama coach Nick Saban did his best to remain calm and keep things in focus.See ball, hit ball, Saban told CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson minutes before kickoff.And for one night, it was that simple. He who hit hardest, won. Check all manner of finesse at the door.But never again.It was called the Game of the Century. It also was the last game of an era. Final score in overtime: LSU 9, Alabama 6.Wed never see another defensive performance quite like it again, and its possible we never will.Saban celebrated his 65th birthday earlier this week on Halloween. And in his four decades coaching, he said he has never seen a matchup with as good of two college football teams as that regular-season game back in 2011.If you took a snapshot and said, OK, how many players are in the NFL now? I think it would be pretty alarming.All told, an astounding 42 players would get drafted, including 10 first-round picks on defense.?But Sabans snapshot belongs in a museum for reasons other than its eye-popping numbers. His is a portrait of a much different time in college football.Through two months of the 2016 season, more games have been won while allowing 35 points or more than in all of 2011. Back in 2006, only one FBS team averaged more than 40 points per game. By 2011, it was up to nine. But if this years numbers hold, it will be a record-setting 17, and that includes Alabama at 43.9 points per game.Back in 2011 against LSU, Alabama fielded the opening kickoff and its offense took the field using a position thats now basically extinct: H-back. Whats more, he was joined by not just one, but two tight ends -- and neither of them were split out wide. A stocky 230-pound running back set up a couple of yards behind the quarterback, who was doing something very strange. Rather than taking a shotgun snap, he actually got under center.AJ McCarron handed off to Trent Richardson, who ran for a first down. Then practically nothing happened. Everyone calmly regrouped, there was plenty of time to show a full replay of Richardsons carry, and the chains were carefully set. Thirty seconds later, with the play clock about to reach single-digits, McCarron, who was in no hurry, called for the snap.Then something even more rare than a deliberately paced offense happened: Defense was played, and lots of it.Despite plenty of future pros on both offenses, neither team scored a touchdown. The closest a ball got to the end zone was when LSU safety Eric Reid intercepted a trick play pass near the goal line, wrestling it away from tight end Michael Williams as the two fell to the turf.Of the many favorite memories former LSU defensive backs coach Ron Cooper has of the game, that might be at the top of the list. He called it a big-time pick. When the referee signaled the turnover, it was one of the few times he said the coaches could hear over their headsets.It was a defensive battle, Cooper said. It was a slugfest.I just remember a bunch of field goals, McCarron said.LSU made all three of its attempts. Alabama, meanwhile, went 2-of-6, which proved to be the difference in the game.That was, like, true SEC football, McCarron said, ground-and-pound, like it was back in the day.And everyone paid the price.Alabama offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland looked around the locker room after the loss and saw players who looked as if theyd been in back-to-back games.Guys were totally drained, he said.LSU defensive lineman Bennie Logan mustered the energy to wave an LSU flag in celebration, but he felt the totality of the heavyweight fight on the ride back to Baton Rouge. He had bruises and cuts everywhere. He said his shin was gashed when an Alabama defenders knee brace dug into him in a scrum.Still, its Logans favorite game of all time.A lot of people werent fans of that game because they want to see high-scoring games with no defense, he said. But that wasnt our style of play.Jonathan Allen was glued to the television screen from his home in Virginia in 2011.He was in high school at the time, only a glimmer of the hulking star Alabama defensive end he has become, yet he remembers the Game of the Century vividly.Afterward, he said he told himself, I want to be a part of those type of games.Just the tenacity both teams had, just the grit, he said. It was a nasty game. I loved every part of it.But Allen, who leads Alabama in sacks, can only dream of being in those kinds of games.Logan, who plays in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, said we wont see any more single-digit defensive games because people dont appreciate it.What was the game last week? Oklahoma and Texas Tech? Logan said. It was like 60 points and 1,000-something yards. ... Its all about scoring instead of stopping somebody.Its more nuanced than that, of course. The proliferation of spread offenses, the prevalence of the hurry-up and various rule changes have changed what constitutes good defense. The speed of the game has ratcheted up so much that 350-pound nose guards like former Alabama star Terrence Cody are obsolete.?Alabama used to be in a 3-4 alignment in 70 percent of its defensive snaps; now Saban is almost exclusively in some form of a nickel look to stop multiple-receiver formations. Matching personnel, which for so long was Sabans secret sauce, is no longer possible as teams refuse to huddle.More speed means more plays, which means more opportunity for points and yards. Last season, Alabama had to defend 243 more plays than it did in 2011. So naturally the Tides record-setting 8.15 points per game allowed in 2011 nearly doubled to 15.3 in 2015.And thats not a reflection of the quality of Alabamas defense, which remains one of the best units in college football. Its just that the goalposts have been moved on what equates to good defense.With two years of the College Football Playoff in the books, Alabama is the only program to reach the top four that finished the season in the top 10 in scoring defense.Miles got himself fired for not adapting on offense, while Saban has gone from a vocal proponent against up-tempo play to one of its most successful users. Two weeks ago, Alabama beat Texas A&M 33-14 with 451 yards of offense, and it was the least productive game of the season for the Tide.Football is not the same, McCarron said.McCarron, like all the former players and coaches who spoke to ESPN.com for this story, doubted whether wed ever see another game like that 9-6 masterpiece.While that game is a feather in the cap of former LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis career, its hardly the norm anymore.Its tougher now than there used to be, Chavis said. You dont have to go back too far, but you can dial it back a few years and if you gave up 300 yards as a defensive coordinator, you didnt feel very good about it. You gave up over 17 points, you didnt feel very good about it. Those were the landmarks you had to establish to be a winning football team.And yet it was only a couple of weeks ago that Chavis Texas A&M defense gave up nearly 700 yards of offense and beat Tennessee. Thats no knock on Chavis, who is regarded as one of the best defensive minds of his generation. Its just that the game has changed and people want to see the excitement of a shootout, Chavis said.The days of single-digit slugfests like Alabama-LSU may be long gone, but its not without some sorrow.I dont think its real likely, Chavis said, but if it is, I want to be a part of it. Raheem Sterling England Jersey . After a replay, the winner will meet Sunderland in the quarterfinals. 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OXFORD, Miss. -- The safe move would have been to run the ball on third-and-a-foot inside their own territory. Up 17-10 in the third quarter, on the road, against No. 2-ranked Alabama, no one would have blamed Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly for handing the ball off and hoping for a new set of downs. But then Eddie Jackson started cheating down into the box from his safety position. Laquon Treadwell and Quincy Adeboyejo were lined up to Kellys left, the defense was showing man-coverage and there was suddenly no longer any help over the top. Kelly couldnt pass that up. Armed with the run-pass option, he chose the latter.But then the snap shot wildly over his head. Kelly tipped it high into the night sky. Like Willie Mays on the warning track, he turned away from the line of scrimmage completely, jumped and caught the ball over his shoulder. Before his feet could touch the ground, he spun back around and in one motion fired the ball to his left just as he was tackled. It looked like pure desperation, but it wasnt. Somehow he knew that Treadwell would be there.Adeboyejo, who hadnt moved from the line of scrimmage as he watched Kelly gather himself and throw, woke up and started sprinting, following the path of the ball. He didnt see its intended target until Treadwell and defensive backs Cyrus Jones and Minkah Fitzpatrick collided. Jones got a piece of the ball, it caromed off Fitzpatricks helmet and hung there as if suspended in mid-air. Adeboyejo barely broke his stride. He caught it underhanded like a loaf of bread and kept on running past the defense, which had slowed down thinking the play was over. Ole Miss scored and went on to beat Alabama for the second year in a row, 43-37. (Watch the play again here.)Like everyone else, Javon Patterson initially thought it was a busted play. Ole Miss freshman left guard had let the pass-rush reach Kelly and said, Thats on me, thats my job. And afterward? He called it a blessing from the Lord.Chads a very, uh, energetic guy, Patterson said, so he can make plays like that.Dan Werner, from his seat high up in the press box as offensive coordinator, watched his quarterback in disbelief. He thought, Well, hes going to fall on it and were not going to get the first down. ... What in the world is he doing? ... We might get lucky on this deal and if Laquon catches it we get the first down. ... Ah, this is going to get intercepted. Finally, he said, Quincy catches it and ... Im back happy again.Werner phoned down to Kelly on the sideline. He chuckled into the receiver. That one worked out, he told him, but dont ever do that again.Nearly a year later, Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze agrees. He shouldnt have done that, he said on Monday, previewing Saturdays matchup of No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 19 Ole Miss in Oxford.And Kelly? Well, he sees things differently. Everyone he spoke to afterward, including friends and family, asked, Why throw it? His response: I mean, why not throw it, right?I was just trying to make some plays, he said. Thats part of who I am.Hows that for confidence? He doesnt like his nickname Swag Kelly, but boy does it fit. Its that bravado, that self-belief, that unflinching ability to hurl the ball downfield that allowed Ole Miss to beat the eventual national champs last year. And its the same ability he shares with his predecessor, Bo Wallace, who led a furious second-half comeback against Alabama the year before.While the rest of college football struggles to find an answer for Nick Sabans defense, Ole Miss has it figured out. Before Clemson coach Dabo Swinney famously coined the term B.Y.O.G. it was a pair of SEC quarterbacks who won with nothing but pure guts.Bo Wallace is coaching now. Two years removed from his playing days at Ole Miss, hes at home in Tennessee working as an assistant coach on his younger brothers high school football team.He watched only bits and pieces of last years Alabama-Ole Miss game, but he knows what it must have felt like for Kelly to win. Asked what he remembers most about beating the Tide in 2014, Wallace said, It was a heck of a party after the game.It wasnt his favorite win, but he knows its the one hes most known for. Its my signature win, he said.Alabama was ranked No. 3?at the time. Ole Miss was No. 11. It had been more than a decade since the Rebs had knocked off their SEC West rivals. When it was all saidd and done, the fans would rush the field, the goal posts would be carried out of the stadium and pop star Katy Perry would be seen in a few local bars soaking in the celebration.ddddddddddddWallace wasnt surprised by the outcome. He said he honestly thought their receivers were better than Alabamas defensive backs. Whereas most teams play it conservative against Sabans defense, their plan was to attack and try to move the ball downfield. Trailing 14-3 in the third quarter, Wallace stepped on the gas. First he found tight end Evan Engram down the middle for a big gain. Then he threw into tight coverage, a back-shoulder pass to Treadwell in the red zone that went for a touchdown.Alabamas DBs were too well coached to let anything get behind them, Wallace said. But then in the fourth quarter, Wallace looked off a safety, saw him bite toward the line of scrimmage and fired the ball over the top to Vince Sanders for the score. Werner said that most quarterbacks would have hit the check down, but not Wallace, who earned the nickname Dr. Bo for his often sporadic but never insecure style of play.Like Kelly, Wallace was a quarterback with a big arm and good legs. The two went to the same junior college, East Mississippi. And when Kelly was looking at Ole Miss as a recruit, it was Wallace who hosted him on his visit.More importantly, though, theyre both tough as nails.His competitive makeup is something you dont see in a lot of quarterbacks, Wallace said of Kelly.Dan Werner doesnt coach fear.Ole Miss veteran offensive coordinator doesnt even say the word interception in his quarterback meeting room. Instead, he talks about going through the progressions and taking the shot if its there.I dont want negative thoughts, he explained. Instead of telling them what I dont want them to do, I tell them what I do want to do.The end result is a confident quarterback.Since 2014, Ole Miss ranks seventh among Power 5 schools in completions of 20 or more yards. At the same time, the Rebs interception-per-attemmpt ratio is the 14th highest among Power 5 teams at 3.3 percent.The big thing is for a quarterback to feel like his coach is confident in him and trusts him, Wallace said, and if I make one mistake, let me go out and still sling it around.I think thats huge and something that Hugh is going to let Chad do. You saw it against Florida State.Its true. After Kelly fired off four first-half touchdown passes against the Seminoles, he went into a slump. He wound up with three picks. But Ole Miss kept passing and Kelly hit Van Jefferson for a 20-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter that made it a one-score game. The Rebs lost, but Kellys belief wasnt shaken.Its that same belief that gives Ole Miss a glimmer of hope against an Alabama team thats once again ranked No. 1 in the nation. The Tide defense, with pass-rushers like Tim Williams and Jonathan Allen, is downright menacing. But Kelly isnt scared. He and Wallace are two of only five quarterbacks to throw for three touchdowns and no interceptions against a Saban-coached Alabama defense. Why not do it again?Its a mindset, Kelly said of beating Alabama.Where many people watched Alabamas season-opening 52-6 win against USC and saw dominance on the part of the Tide, Kelly saw opportunity. USC was moving the ball downfield early and then slowed up, Kelly said. He wasnt sure why.They play a lot of man coverage and I feel confident in our wide receivers that they can beat man coverage, he said. Thats why theyre here. Thats their job.Theres that confidence again. Listening to Kelly and Wallace, its all so matter-of-fact. The mystique around Alabama disappears. Theyve beaten them twice, so they know theyre human.And, truth be told, that belief is what it takes.Werner said that dinking and dunking the ball against Alabama is playing right into their hands. Taking shots downfield is a must for Kelly. If theres a receiver in single coverage deep, Werner said, Throw it.Hes got the same attitude that most good quarterbacks have, Werner said of Kelly. Which is: Put the ball in my hands and let me make some plays. Its not like hes thinking: Man, these guys are really good and I cant do this and I cant do that. Hes trying to find the positive. ' ' '

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