20/20 Hindsight: Alabama vs Tennessee

As always, add any more links and quotes worth hitting in the comments section.

Crimson Tide turns 'oh, no,' into 'oh, yes!' | The Birmingham News

This many things have never gone this wrong in such a short span for this team this season, and it began to get inside their heads.

But not the way you think.

"Yes, it got in my head," said cornerback Javier Arenas. "I began to say, 'It's time to make a play. It's time to make something happen. It's time to play Alabama football.'"

Bama Notebook: Tiffin Just Fine Without the Tape | Mobile Press-Register

Fitzgerald used his finger for a spot Saturday, and Tiffin went 4-for-4 on field goal attempts, including kicks of 49 and 50 yards, to provide the winning margin in a 12-10 victory over Tennessee.

Said Tiffin, the tape was, "A detail that wasn't even worth mentioning, but he did, and that's fine."

Tennessee's Lane Kiffin Plays it Straight, and Smart | The Birmingham News

Warming up in white jerseys but switching to orange might have given the Vols an emotional boost to start the game, but those boosts are like eating donuts. You eventually get a sugar crash. Two 15-yard penalties could have kept Tennessee from being in position to win Saturday's game at the end.

Tide Needs to Rediscover Early Magic | Mobile Press Register

A win is a win is a win, right? And that's especially true if you're Alabama and the opponent is Tennessee, right?

Well, yes. But the Crimson Tide clearly has work to do during its bye week. The idea that this team is some juggernaut that can't be stopped was shed Saturday in a game Alabama was highly fortunate to win.

SEC Helmet Stickers: Week 8 | ESPN

Alabama nose guard Terrence Cody: He was already a cult hero on campus and with the fans, but the 354-pound Cody etched his name forever in Alabama lore with his two blocked field goals in the fourth quarter of the 12-10 win over Tennessee. The Crimson Tide needed both of them to survive and keep alive their national championship hopes, and you can bet Mount Cody’s last block will become legendary. He bulled his way through the middle of the Vols’ line and swatted down Daniel Lincoln’s 44-yard attempt as time expired.

'Bama Makes it Out Alive. for the First Time (But Maybe Not the Last) | Dr. Saturday

Every championship team has to win one like this, when its offense fails to reach the end zone all game, it's outgained two-to-one in the second half, its sure-handed, Heisman-bound tailback fumbles away the clock-killing drive in the final two minutes and its escape comes only via the nearly impossible combination of two 50-yard field goals in its favor and two field goal blocks on the other end. A perfect season is nothing without its death-defying moments.

Wildcat Helps With a Stagnant Passing Game | TideSports.com

UA coach Nick Saban said he was pleased with the wildcat results in the first half, but indicated the Crimson Tide must also begin making more plays down field in the passing game.

"We did a good job of running the ball in the first half with the wildcat, but certainly, we can’t be so risk aversive," Saban said. "We’ve just got to be more aggressive in what we’re doing on offense right now because they’re loading the box. We can’t block them all, we can’t get angles on them all and we need to create the balance that we had earlier in the season. That’s what we’ll work on doing during the bye week."

Blown Call Doesn't Matter as Alabama Edges Tennessee | Sports Illustrated

Howls erupted after Cody's goal block saved Alabama's bacon. Cody indeed removed his helmet while still in the field of play. That's a big no-no, and it usually merits a 15-yard penalty. But here's where the howlers are wrong. Even if officials had flagged Cody, Tennessee wouldn't have gotten another kick.

Because Alabama blocked and recovered the ball, Alabama had possession. The game can't end on a defensive penalty, but because of the possession change, Alabama wasn't on defense. We'll let SEC spokesman Charles Bloom take it from here.

"The foul for taking helmet off is a live ball foul treated as a dead-ball foul," Bloom wrote in an e-mail Saturday night. "That is, if it happens on a play where time does not expire then the penalty is enforced on the following play. However since the clock ran out on that play, then there is no next play, so there is no penalty to mark off."

Cody Blocks Volunteer's Upset Bid | ESPN

"After I blocked that thing," Cody said, "I knew I was like a big hero."

Lineman's Arm Save No. 1 Tide | New York Times

I told myself when I lined down, I mean, I was going to block that field goal," said Cody, who has lost 70 pounds since arriving at Alabama from a junior college.

Cody knocked down Sullins on the first block in the fourth quarter, but on the second block, Sullins said he was not knocked to the ground, but was on his feet and heard the awful thud of the ball being blocked.

"He must have just blocked with an arm," Sullins said. "He’s 6 foot 5, a big guy, but I don’t feel like he got as much push as the first block."

Style Doesn't Fit SEC Profile, Where Only Survival Matters | Tony Barnhart

When the end of October draws near in this league, it's all about resourcefulness. It's about finding different ways to win. It's about winning ugly and not caring because winning this time of year, when you're tired and beat up, is just so damned hard. Jim Valvano once said that you only have to do one thing during the NCAA basketball tournament: survive and advance. That's the stretch drive when you're trying to win an SEC championship.

What a Classic! | The Chattanoogan

Nick Saban, the ‘Bama mastermind, summed it up best: ``You talk about how fragile a season is. You're controlling a game, even though you may say it's winning ugly. We're still ahead 12-3 and totally controlling the game with 3 minutes, 29 seconds and the ball."

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