Happy Monday, everyone. As you already know, the softball team won two of three over the weekend and the men’s basketball team took care of business in Auburn. The Gym Tide had their best showing of the season at the Metroplex challenge, finishing a close second behind top-ranked Oklahoma.
Kristy Curry’s women’s basketball squad beat Auburn for a ninth consecutive time yesterday to continue a historic season.
The Alabama women’s basketball team (19-6, 8-4 SEC) captured a 23-point victory over Auburn (13-11, 3-9 SEC) on Sunday, defeating the Tigers 69-46 inside Coleman Coliseum. The win marked a program-best nine straight victories over the Tigers as Alabama held Auburn to its second-lowest point total this season.
The last time the Alabama women finished with single digit losses was the 1996-97 season, and they have only done it five times overall. Barring an unlikely SEC Tournament title, they will need to close out the regular season 3-1 to achieve that. Two of the four games are against bottom feeding Florida and Vanderbilt, so the most likely path would be to win both of those and split Ole Miss and Mississippi State. The Tide already knocked off Ole Miss (19-5, 8-3) in Oxford this season and get them at home this time, so maybe they should just go ahead and win them all, eh?
In case you missed it, Nate Oats was talking some shit after beating Auburn in their little bandbox.
“I know it was their Super Bowl” says Alabama’s Nate Oats after beating Auburn. #RollTide #Alabama #AlabamaBasketball pic.twitter.com/pZYRUeRaY3— Alabama Crimson Tide | AL.com (@aldotcomTide) February 11, 2023
That is one difference in personality between Nate and Nick Saban. Saban would never stoke the flames of a rivalry in the same fashion. Antoine Pettway delivered an impassioned pregame speech to the fellas as well which we can’t embed here because of language in the text of the tweet, but you can watch it here. Be prepared to get fired up. With Nate seemingly entrenched in Tuscaloosa at this point, someone is going to steal Antoine from us and his recruiting prowess will be tough to replace.
The hype train is full steam ahead at this point.
Is Alabama really the best team in the country like Pearl said?
That’s hard to say for sure.
But what’s easy to say is that nobody is better equipped — based on a combination of personnel and style of play — than the Crimson Tide to bury a fellow quality team. They might not win every game going forward, but it should surprise nobody if Alabama wins the very last one that’s played this season.
Saturday was especially nice because Alabama got an actual win while Auburn got the moral victory they so covet.
Auburn fans showed out, and, yes, it was a loss, but that's probably the most impressive part.— Justin Lee (@ByJustinLee) February 11, 2023
Don't look now, but Auburn's creating this environment even when the stars aren't aligned.
Don't look now, because you don't need to:
You just need to listen.https://t.co/VIflLVx8E3
If you have a few minutes and want some good comedy, check out the replies on that one. Justin is getting rightfully roasted.
An unnamed head coach believes that Alabama is going to go run heavy this season.
“You’re not looking at a complete overhaul on either side of the ball,” one veteran head coach told ESPN. “Nick has adjusted and adapted a lot more than he’s been given credit for. He’s changed as the game has changed, but with the direction you’re seeing him go with his two coordinator hires, don’t be surprised if it looks a little bit more like what Alabama looked like six, seven, eight years ago, right in that time frame.
“At least, I’d say that’s the plan — running the football on offense, turning you over on defense and just generally punching you in the mouth.”
I will still be quite surprised if we don’t see a RPO-heavy scheme, in which case the run/pass mix in the box score will depend on how the opposing defense plays it. Low mentions that Tommy Rees did a good job of adapting his calls to match the strengths of whichever QB of the carousel he had last season happened to be on the field at the time.
Last, Jalen Hurts sadly didn’t become the first Alabama QB in 46 years to win a Super Bowl, though he did become the first former Crimson Tide player to cross the goal line in a Super Bowl. Former Alabama QBs have thrown TDs but until last night there had oddly been no rushing or receiving scores by a former Alabama player. It was a transcendent performance in which he thoroughly outplayed hobbled MVP Patrick Mahomes... except for one play.
Hurts on Sunday became the first quarterback in NFL history — in the regular season, postseason, Super Bowl, you name it — to complete 70 percent of his passes, throw for 300 yards with no interceptions, rush for 70 yards and score three TDs.
It was a monster performance in any game, much less by a 24-year-old second-year starter in a Super Bowl.
But knowing Jalen Hurts, the one play he’ll dwell on the most in the Eagles’ 38-35 loss to the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII Sunday won’t be one of his big throws down the field to A.J. Brown or DeVonta Smith or one of his mighty 4th-down keepers or one of his electrifying touchdown runs.
It’ll be the fumble.
That fumble was a heartbreaker, and he just flat out dropped the ball. It reminded me of Tua Tagovailoa’s first half fumble against LSU in 2019.
DeVonta Smith came oh-so-close to becoming the first Tide player to catch a TD, but came up just short to set up Jalen’s final rushing score.
WIDE OPEN.@Eagles on the 2-yard line!— NFL (@NFL) February 13, 2023
: #SBLVII on FOX
: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/d8gBDzRt2m pic.twitter.com/n87bgXrbf3
Smitty caught seven balls for 100 yards on the evening.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.