Three Things You Need to Know about Alabama’s 2017 Season
The 2017 college football season gave Alabama fans a lot to look at from the sudden change of coordinators and numerous injuries to the emerging presence of potential stars for the future.
Through the injuries, Alabama rattled off 11 consecutive wins before falling in the regular season finale at Auburn.
The Crimson Tide’s selection into the College Football Playoff gave the team new life going into the new calendar year.
After handling Clemson in New Orleans and the comeback against Georgia, Crimson Tide spectators are looking ahead to see what 2018 has in store.
Over a week removed from the national title game, let’s take a look back at the three things that you need to know about Alabama’s national championship season in 2017.
Promising Corps of Young Talent on Offense Comes to the Forefront
The 2017 season saw the promise of numerous freshman come to the spotlight on the offensive side of the ball.
While Hawaii native Tua Tagovailoa took center stage after halftime against Georgia, several of his young teammates on offense contributed in the game and throughout the season.
In addition to Tagovailoa, Alex Leatherwood, Najee Harris, DeVonta Smith and Henry Ruggs played pivotal roles in the Crimson Tide’s triumph over Georgia.
Going into the 2018 season, the wide receiver position could become one of the top positions for Alabama.
Although Calvin Ridley hauled in the vast majority of the production at wide receiver this past season, Ruggs, Smith and Jerry Jeudy showed their potential to make the big play.
The trio of receivers combined for 11 touchdown grabs including Smith’s two go-ahead scores against Mississippi State and Georgia. Each receiver also averaged at least 18.9 yards per catch as freshman in 2017.
First National Championship that Included a Loss to Auburn
In recent years, the Iron Bowl has played a large role in determining whether Auburn or Alabama would be in position to play for an SEC title and national championship.
The 2017 season set a new precedent for Alabama football. For the first time in program history, the Crimson Tide overcame a loss to Auburn to win a national championship.
Before the renewal of the Alabama-Auburn series in 1948, the Crimson Tide built their national profile without having to play their cross-state rival thanks to Rose Bowl wins under Wallace Wade and Frank Thomas.
With the exceptions of the 1964, 1979 and 2009 championship seasons, Alabama’s national championship seasons since 1961 had included a double digit win over Auburn.
Comeback vs. Georgia Largest in the 2nd Half since 2010
While Alabama's comeback against Georgia wasn't the largest comeback since Nick Saban's arrival in Tuscaloosa in 2007, it was their largest comeback in terms of second half comebacks since 2010.
Thanks to the efforts of Tagovailoa's arm and a stingy defense, the Crimson Tide outscored the Bulldogs 19-3 in the final 23:08 of regulation and overtime.
Prior to the national championship game, Alabama's largest comeback in the second half came against Arkansas in 2010 when the Crimson Tide battled back from a 20-7 second half deficit en route to a 24-20 win.