So, what’re you doing today? That’s a great question. With so much uncertainty about, well, everything – why not take some time and make our “Filling The Void” series a part of whatever daily routine you’re attempting to re-establish in your life.
Today: #1 LSU vs. #2 Alabama – November 5, 2011
One word – defense. From the very beginning of the broadcast, this game was set up as a battle of two of the best defenses in the land. Coming into the season, both teams were ranked in the top 5 in both the AP and Coaches’ Polls (LSU was ranked 4th in both, Alabama was ranked 2nd).
As the season kicked off, both programs proved everyone right. LSU went undefeated through their first 8 contests (five of which were against ranked opponents). Coming into this game, their defense was ranked near the top in every defensive metric, both nationally and in the SEC. Alamaba? Same thing. Though they only faced three ranked opponents in their first 8 games, they were just as dominant as LSU. Their defense had even posted two shutouts as they prepared to welcome the Tigers to Tuscaloosa.
This game would mark the first time that two SEC teams entered a regular season matchup undefeated and ranked #1 and #2 in the nation. While the teams had clashed numerous times over the years (Alabama led the all time series), the game took on a deeper rivalry when Nick Saban, who had left LSU for the NFL, was hired at Alabama in 2007. No wonder 101,821 people showed up to watch! (another 20 million or so tuned in on TV).
I’ll be honest – my first instinct was to follow form here and just list “offense” under this heading. But after watching and having a look at the statistics, I can’t do that in good conscience. Both teams put up decent numbers on the offensive side of the ball. For me, there was nothing exceedingly terrible either side’s offenses. Which brings me to…
For a second, I considered lumping the “bad” and “ugly” together, but that didn’t feel right. Suffice it to say that if you were a member of a special teams unit in this game, there wasn’t a whole lot to brag about. More likely, the game tape was probably burned and never spoken of again – especially for Alabama. I need say no more.
Throughout the re-watch I couldn’t decide how I felt about the game. The hype was through the roof coming in, and neither team disappointed. Not once did I look up to see how much time was left. It was a really enticing back and forth between two dominant collegiate programs. But by the time it was over, I was glad I’d sat down to watch. It won’t surprise anybody to learn that 45 different players from this game would go on to be drafted in the NFL. It was great to look back and see where they all came from.
See You Tomorrow. Stay Safe. Stay Smart. Wash Your Hands. Wear a Mask.
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