In this week’s paper, we’re debuting a “A boy named Sooie,” a new sports column from frequent contributor Derek Jenkins. It doesn’t yet have a spot on the web, so here tis. Flame away!
Clear eyes, full backfield — can’t lose.
Houston Nutt’s greatest strength is also his greatest weakness: The man’s a romantic. His dogged faith in playing field position — a conservative approach that relies on perfect execution and leaves literally nothing up in the air — at times inspires his team to equal his simple vision. Other times, those same instincts compel him to take baffling chances.
When two teams rack up exactly 450 yards total offense apiece, the game’s bound to come down to one bad play call. Saban had sent in his kicking squad for a meaningless field goal with less than five minutes left moments before Nutt topped him. The game was over, and all of the sudden it wasn’t. On third and 12, with less than two-and-a-half minutes left in the game, Casey Dick swung outside and passed into double coverage in an unsuccessful attempt to convert. Nutt took credit for the call, but not the mistake.
He explained to Rivals.com that he “told Casey to run it if it wasn’t open … I wish he had run it. Maybe he could have used up 10 more seconds. That’s 20/20 hindsight.”
A run would’ve ticked off more than 10 seconds — likely enough time for the Downy-soft prevent zone we ran for the rest of the game to live up to its name. That may be 20/20 in hindsight, but only because some things are pretty clear any way you look at them.