Despite coming up short in the national semifinals that season, the 2014 version of the Tide is often cited by fans as one of the most fun teams to follow. In the preseason, it was widely assumed that hyped FSU grad transfer Jacob Coker would come in and immediately win the starting QB job, but converted RB and fifth-year senior Blake Sims would not be denied. Sims, already beloved by Tide faithful for his infectious personality, had shown little ability to pass the football in his four year career, but he formed a connection with otherworldly Amari Cooper and set a school record for yards from scrimmage under the tutelage of OC Lane Kiffin.
It was not an easy season, to be sure. In October the Tide lost a low scoring affair to Ole Miss in Oxford, then had to survive a rain-soaked game in Fayetteville by one point, setting off an epic rant about fan entitlement from Nick Saban. As usual, the calendar changing to November meant LSU week, and the #5 Crimson Tide rolled into Baton Rouge to face the #16 Tigers on November 8.
Like many of the recent games in this series, this game was a brutal slugfest. When Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon fumbled the football inside his own ten yard line with under two minutes to go in a 10-10 game, it was almost inevitable that LSU would stop Saban’s stranglehold on them at a modest three games. Unfortunately for the Tigers, this happened on their first attempt to punch it in. Keep an eye on LSU #74 Vadal Alexander and watch until the end. If there are children around, you may want to shield their eyes.
Can you believe that sonofabitch committed such an egregious act of senseless violence? There is simply no room in a gentleman’s game for that nonsense. He was correctly flagged for a 15 yard personal foul, and was probably fortunate to avoid suspension.
After LSU managed to send the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, Sims led a clean drive down the field, free of all controversy, with a diving grab by Christion Jones the key play. Always steady kicker Adam Griffith once again flashed the ice stored in his veins, drilling the tying field goal.
LSU had one last chance to win in regulation as noted ‘Bama killer Leonard Fournette lined up deep to receive a kickoff with three seconds left. Leonard got off to a reasonably fast start.
I’m thinking that left a mark.
LSU won the toss in overtime and chose defense first. On the very first play from scrimmage, Kiffin dialed up some trickeration. Big 300 lb. Brandon Greene came into the game and lined up at left tackle, with usual LT Cam Robinson in the right slot. Sims snapped the ball quickly before LSU could decipher what was happening, CamRob pretended he was getting the ball, and Greene came mere inches from a fat guy touchdown.
What a pitch and catch. After a bit of calamity, the Tide would go on to punch it in the end zone with a short toss from Sims to DeAndrew White for a 20-13 lead. The defense held on the other end, and another TIde victory was in the books. The Bayou Bengals have lost by double digits in the series every year since.
Thanks for the memories, men.