Ryan Fowler’s Reaction: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Iron Bowl Edition
Every Monday, Nick Saban spends part of the afternoon showing his players the good plays, bad plays, and ugly plays from the previous Saturday.
The good section highlights what the team did well in the game; individual plays, series of plays, or moments of the game that went well for the Crimson Tide.
The bad section focuses on plays that were run incorrectly, maybe a play designed to pick up more yardage but failed. It might include simple mistakes, a turnover or just a simple missed block or tackle.
The ugly section could also be called the disaster section, plays that went completely wrong, or injuries. Ugly plays are learning moments for the team. Part of discussing the bad and ugly plays includes thinking through what they could have done differently.
Alabama vs. Auburn
Beating Auburn for the third straight time in the annual Iron Bowl is not just good, it is a great feeling in Tuscaloosa. That means Bryce Young and Will Anderson never lost to the Tigers and this senior class, counting some redshirt years, has won four out of the last five games vs. Auburn. I thought Bill O’Brien called his best game this year, maybe his offense was going up against a weaker Auburn defense or maybe because Young is closer to being 100% with his shoulder. Either way, Alabama stuck to the rushing attack and it paid off in opening up the passing lanes. The Crimson Tide had over 500 yards of offense. Young was a distribution center to several receivers and Young was simply taking what the defense was willing to give him. After the game was over, I watched Young walk off the field saluting and thanking the Crimson Tide fans for their support. Was that the final time we will see Young take a snap inside Bryant-Denny Stadium? If I were a betting person, I would say this was his final game in Tuscaloosa. Huge credit to the Tide fans who were not afraid of the weather forecast and created a fun atmosphere inside Bryant-Denny Stadium.
I don’t subscribe to the premium statistical websites, but I would love to know how many missed tackles this Crimson Tide defense tallied up throughout the 2022 regular season. More importantly, how did we arrive at this destination? Is it because of the current limitations to contact practices during preseason camp and daily practices or is this just a trend with this team? Auburn came into the game with a limited coaching roster and an offense that ranked No. 78 in college football and the Tigers were still able to go beyond their averages in several offensive categories. Many of these positives came after a missed tackle from Alabama. I have a hard time believing Nick Saban is truly happy with the way his defense played throughout many parts of this season. We all know the attention Saban gives to the defense side of the ball, now the question will be what adjustments he will make to get this unit playing Saban-style defense in the future.
When I watch college football, I feel like this team missed a huge opportunity to win another national championship. I understand all of the excuses, I think I have most of them memorized. College football parity is here and I think it is here to stay which will mean winning a championship will now become harder. Some of these rules were created to slow down Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide from continuing the greatest dynasty in college football history. When we reflect on this season, there will be several positives that define the 2022 team, but my biggest takeaway will be defined by missed opportunity. Another ugly for me is having to watch and hope for this to happen, watching another team trip up to help keep Alabama’s sliver of playoff hope alive for another few hours. This is what happens when you don’t control your own destiny and depend on another team to bail you out of the trouble you created.
Coming up Monday on The Game with Ryan Fowler on Tide 100.9, we will discuss the good, bad, and ugly. You will also have a chance to win prizes from Daniel Moore Art, starting at 2pm on Tide 100.9 and on the free Tide 100.9 app.