Game Changing Play and “Bad Call” from the Last Bama vs. LSU Match-Up Still In the Minds and Conversation of Many.
This is a copy of an article from the Decatur Daily that I read this morning and wanted to share it with all of you. Let me say that I personally believe the play referred to in this article was indeed a BAD CALL. When two players come down with the ball the “tie” so to speak goes to the Offense. That wasn’t the case with this play.
TUSCALOOSA — Fluttering in the air for what seemed like a minute, one pass on one trick play defined the biggest game in SEC regular-season history.
Alabama was tied with LSU with more than 11 minutes left when Tide receiver Marquis Maze cocked back for the infamous and debatable throw of the season. A jump ball turned into an interception, and that ended what could’ve turned into the only touchdown drive of the game. The Tigers escaped with a 9-6 overtime win and their perfect record intact.
No, the momentum never returned for the Tide that Nov. 5 night. LSU safety Eric Reid made the play of the game when he wrestled the ball from Alabama tight end Michael Williams near the goal line. A few fortunate bounces and upsets in the following weeks brought Alabama back from the depths and set up the Jan. 9 rematch with LSU in the BCS National Championship Game.But the biggest play from Round 1 remains a conversation piece.
Maze, who threw from the Wildcat formation after faking the handoff, still questions the outcome of the play even though he said he has moved past it. He thought it was a “bad call. “”I think, Mike Williams, if both people have possession of the ball, the possession goes to the receiver,” Maze said Wednesday.
Officials on the field and the video replay booth disagreed with Maze’s assessment. The possession went to LSU, and the wind left Alabama’s sails. An overtime field goal won it as neither team found the end zone all night. Reexamination of that single five-second football play reveals how many factors combined perfectly to create a season-changing moment.
First, consider the timing of it all. Alabama was coming off a game-altering play, but the flow was interrupted by an injury.
Trent Richardson’s 28-yard run through the right side of the Tigers’ defense had the Tide offense in gear, but LSU lineman Josh Downs was shaken up, requiring a stop in play. That timeout with Alabama on the LSU 28-yard line created extra time for the Tide to think about its next move.
After the break, Maze came out as the Wildcat quarterback, while traditional passer AJ McCarron lined up at receiver on the left side.Reid was 7 yards off the line, guarding slot receiver Brandon Gibson, who lined up inside McCarron. Williams was in a three-point stance on the right side of the line.Faking the end around to receiver DeAndrew White, Maze spotted Williams breaking open as he streaked straight up the field.
Gibson angled toward Williams’ path with his assigned route, which changed the whole dynamic of the play.”Basically, I was just supposed to affect the safety, bring my corner that was covering me to the other side of the field,” Gibson said Wednesday. “I had an over route. I can just remember the ball going there. I remember Michael going up and getting it. I couldn’t see what happened once they hit the ground.” Gibson said he ran the route just how it was designed. Reid’s instincts and hands were just too strong.”I was on my man, but then I saw the tight end running free,” Reid told reporters after the game. “It was a deep route, so I knew they was going to take that shot, so I just went to cover him and the ball got in my hands.”
The trajectory of the throw was another major contributing factor. Unblocked Tiger Barkevious Mingo ran straight for Maze as he loaded up for the throw. This sped up the process. In addition, Maze said he threw off the ankle he had hurt earlier in the game.
“I think I could have threw it out, or drilled it more,” Maze said. “But I had pressure with a bum ankle, and I couldn’t move. So I just threw it up the best way I could instead of taking a sack.”
It’s a wash at this point, Maze said.
The next game with LSU is far more important than the last one at this point.”Things happen,” the senior said. “You just have to focus on this game now. We have another opportunity, and another chance to show the world that we’re the best team in the country.”
Auburn’s Offensive Coordinator Gus Malzahn is said to be the new Head Coach of Arkansas State. The press conference today will confirm it. Some people are wondering why in the world he would pass on a head coaching gig at Vandy and later accept the gig at Ark St. Could it be because he formerly coached on the staff of the Razorbacks and wanted to return to the state he calls home? I am sure he will let everyone know the answer but he did say that he wants to go somewhere different and “get out of Auburn” . Most Auburn fans I have spoken to are feeling insulted and betrayed by Malzahn. Is there anything he can do to smooth things over with the AU people and does he even want to? We’ll see what he has to say at the press conference. I will bring more news on this as soon as I have it.