In Nick Saban’s run in Tuscaloosa, he has produced a prodigious line of running backs. Ask most people and they will bring up the players you know by one name: Ingram, Trent, Lacy, Henry, Bo. But mixed in the middle of that pack was the blue collar running of T.J. Yeldon. What is it about Yeldon that does not leave his name on the tip of tongues? He only ran for 3,322 yards and 37 touchdowns in three seasons! That first number puts him fifth in career Bama yards. The second number is fourth on the Crimson Tide list.
Despite all his accomplishments for carrying the rock, the play he might be best remembered for was a reception - his first of only two career receiving scores.
As a true freshman in 2012, Yeldon played in all 14 games, sharing time and the spotlight with the whirling twirling Eddie Lacy. After running roughshod through the first eight games of their schedule, the top-ranked Crimson Tide found themselves in some deep trouble in Baton Rouge against the #5 Bayou Bengals.
After taking a 14-3 lead, the Tide came out of the locker room a little flat with two straight three-and-outs. Thanks to head-scratching Les Miles onside kick following a third quarter touchdown, Bama took the ball at the LSU 40 and drove down into the red zone. However, Yeldon lost a fumble at the LSU 10. The Tigers would drive the length of the field for a fourth quarter go-ahead touchdown 17-14. Alabama’s next two possessions were again three-and-outs. At this point, AJ McCarron was 1 for 7 passing for 0 yards for the second half.
After a missed 45 yard field goal by LSU, Bama took possession at their own 28 with 1:34 remaining. Suddenly, AJ and Kevin Norwood began a little play of pitch-and-catch with three straight first down connections of 18, 15, and 11 yards. In an flash, the Tide was down on the Tigers' 28 yard line with 60 ticks to go. And then...
Yeldon, looking like something out of a video game, took a screen pass to the left and juked his way past defenders into the end zone. With cornerback Jalen Mills (#28) blitzing and the two other DBs on that side giving 10 yard cushions, it was the perfect call.
Eli Gold gave another amazing performance on the radio waves. Color analyst Phil Savage can be heard yelling “Make a Man Miss!” adding the cherry on top of a memorable call.
You may recall that shortly after this play, reserve RB/QB Blake Sims trolled the Tigers crowd that had been heckling him and his teammates all night.
Fittingly, the game ended with Damion Square sacking Zach Mettenberger, a sign of things to come.
So, forget about getting anything done for the next two and a half hours and rewatch this classic: