I watched the first two quarters increasingly anxious. The Razorbacks took a 20-7 lead into halftime and it seemed the momentum was aaaaaall theirs — especially when the Tide began the third quarter with a punt following its first possession.
But something happened, and I don’t know what exactly. Bama’s defense, something of a sieve the first 30 minutes just about absolutely stifled Arkansas in the second half. It also helped that QB McElroy, who threw two interceptions in the second quarter (including one in the end zone), didn’t throw any more.
In the end, Bama won 24-20. And while I’m prepared for local sportswriter Chris “Doof” Dufresne to ramp up his deathless disrespect against my favorite team and it’s No. 1 ranking over that narrow margin of victory (last week he hated on them for winning too big), fuck him. You come to expect nothing more from such mono-dimensional haters, who won’t see much less even acknowledge that such a remarkable come-from-behind roll over its first true test of the season on the road against a very good 10th-ranked Arkansas team, might just be the catalyst that powers them onward to another undefeated season and shot at repeating as national champions.
Sure, it’s early yet and there’s a lot of football left to play and win. But yesterday Alabama showed me something with a hard-fought success that is bigger and more telling than any blowout. On both sides of the half they respectively fell apart and came together, and on both sides of the ball after the break they regrouped and Â demonstrated cohesive patience, poise, and resolve — and all so very quietly and methodically as to leave me surprised at the final outcome and no doubt every Arkansas fan in shock and ready to file a police report over the Tide’s theft of victory from their beloved Hogs.