Michael Casagrande has a nice piece out today about how Alabama’s shutout of LSU caused some of the changes that led to this year’s title run, chiefly their embrace of the spread offense and hiring of Joe Brady to install it. From tight end Thaddeus Moss:
“And we got goose egged,” Moss said. “I mean, it was embarrassing for everybody affiliated with the program. I wasn’t even playing, and I was embarrassed. So, I really think that’s what it took to get to this point.”
You may remember that it was Moss who caught a ball on the sideline in Tuscaloosa this season after supposedly being forced out of bounds. Head coach Ed Orgeron weighed in as well:
“It was a low point,” Orgeron said Dec. 24 before the Peach Bowl semifinal in Atlanta, “and I told him, I said, listen, we’ve got to go to the spread. And he said, you’re right. I said, are you going to be receptive, someone coming in teaching us the spread? He said yes, I will.”
Alabama doesn’t have to be at the playoff for people at the playoff to talk about Alabama. LSU has managed to have a magical season behind a transcendent 23-year-old quarterback in Joe Burrow who was old enough to buy his coaches a round after his first practice in Baton Rouge if he so desired, but replicating it next year will be difficult. Hopefully Alabama, with three prominent linebackers on the team hailing from Baton Rouge, will manage to get back to those shutdown ways in 2020. By then it will have been six years since LSU scored on Alabama in Tiger Stadium.
November is a long time off, of course. Hopefully Alabama players and coaches are similarly motivated by LSU’s win in Tuscaloosa to do the things necessary between now and then to restore order.