Sunday, October 08, 2006

Alabama 30 Duke 14

Game Stats -

Alabama Notebook - Huntsville Times

Alabama Football Downs Duke 30-14 Release: 10/07/2006

Alabama sends Duke to 13th-straight loss

A Devil of a Time

Devils Give Tide a Scare - Charlotte Observer

Crimson Tide is really not getting better - Ray Melick, Birmingham News

Robinson lowers boom with speech, interception

Saturday October 7, 2006

Saturday morning David and I left the house at about 9 and arrived in Tuscaloosa a little before 11. We stopped at the Chevron and grabbed a burger and a burger and frosty at Wendy's. After parking a block off Hackberry Lane, we walked over to the Bryant Museum and picked up some programs from prior games. After going back to the car we walked across campus to the Ferguson Center and watched the Auburn-Arkansas game with some friends, including Tee and Gary. That place was rocking with Bama fans cheering on the Razorbacks, who defeated the Auburn Tigers 27-10. David also wanted to shop in the Supe Store. He got the book, "Bloodfeud", about the Alabama-Auburn rivalry. I got a new Alabama cap. It is a white cap with "U of A". Gary gave us two tickets for some good seats, which was real nice. David and I walked across campus and sold our other two tickets for $20 each on the street corner behind the Tutwiler parking lot. We walked back across campus and watched the end of the Auburn loss. We then ate Mexican at the Bama Dining center at the Ferguson Center. I had the burrito and David had a cheese quesedilla. I bought him a strawberry shortcake for dessert. He was real nice to share it with me. After dessert we walked over to the Quad where we watched the band warm up and perform on the steps of the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library. After the band finished, we walked back to the car, got some drinks, and walked to Bryant Denny Stadium.

The game itself was a huge letdown. Alabama came in 3-2. They have looked good at times, but inconsistent. With a little luck they could have easily defeated one of the two games they lost. Both of the teams that defeated Alabama, Arkansas and Florida, were predicted to win. Despite that, Bama dominated both games and could have won. Duke brought the nation's worst offense to Tuscaloosa Saturday night, ranked 119 out of 119. David and I were expecting a blowout, perhaps something along the lines of 42-0. After all, Duke had been shut out in three of their first four games. The way it turned out, Bama had to mount a comeback in the second half, outscoring Duke 20-0, to finish with a 30-14 victory. Boos were reigning down in Bryant-Denny throughout the first half. As a fan, it appeared to me the boos were directed primarily at the Bama coaching staff. Many of the fans have been very vocal about the team running up the middle on third and long. The team was very flat and uninspired in the first half. Today the sports talk shows, such as the Paul Finebaum Show, are fielding calls from disillusioned fans. Even though I was really down on the coaching staff during the game, maybe we should sit back and take a deep breath before asking for Shula to be ousted. After all the team did win, and this happens every Saturday and always has. I know that even Bear Bryant had games that he had trouble winning against poor opponents. Bama (and Shula) is not as bad as people think. Now if the Tide plays like this against Ole Miss and lose, Shula may be digging his own grave. On the other hand, if the Tide wins the games they are supposed to win, and then wins one or two of the games they are not supposed to win, people will change their tune. College football is very interesting. Parity rules in the SEC. The top 7 or 8 teams in the SEC can all defeat each other on a given day. Anyway, back to Bama, I sure hope that Shula gets a grip on this team. Alabama need to come out and have a decisive victory against Ole Miss. Then, if the Tide can upset Tennessee, they will potentially be in real good shape for a decent season, because after the Vols, Bama has two more easy games before facing LSU and Auburn. Alabama then could go into those last two games with an 8-2 record, which will be basically what was expected of this team at the beginning of the season. Alabama then would have a chance to exceed expectations with a victory over one of the Tigers. On the surface, he team's performance against Duke does not give much reason for hope. Nevertheless, we can only hope that the scare that Duke put into the team (and hopefully the coaches) will provide the added motivation needed to reel of a long string of victories.

David and I were frustrated, but he said over and over what a great day that he had. He enjoyed seeing the Tide win. We left the stadium with about 4 minutes left in the game. We missed the final touchdown that came on Lionel Mitchell's interception return. We got out of town and beat the traffic. After a stop at the Gardendale Wal-Mart, we got home around 11:30. We were pumped up and stayed up until 2:30 watching some of the replay of the game, reading, and playing on David's Xbox. All that really mattered at the end of the day was hearing David say this, "Dad, it's been a great day!"


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