There were a lot of shocking moments in the Alabama Crimson Tide’s 44-16 loss to the Clemson Tigers in the National Championship Game on Monday night.
But one of the most memorable moments came midway through the third quarter when Alabama attempted a fake field goal against what appeared to be a base defense from Clemson.
The results were not good.
— Someone’s An Idiot (@SomeonesAnIdiot) January 8, 2019
After the game, Alabama offensive lineman Chris Owens admirably took blame for the busted play.
I take full responsibility for that unsuccessful fake FG attempt. You gotta be locked in every play because you never know when a big play is coming. That’s 100% on me.
— Chris Owens (@BGChrisOwens) January 8, 2019
Nick Saban doubled down on the call after the game, saying the Tide got the defensive look they wanted. Saban blamed the play not working on someone not blocking their man. Presumably, Saban was talking about Owens.
Nick Saban on the fake FG: “We thought we had a really, really good fake, and somebody didn’t block the guy they were supposed to block, so it didn’t work, so it was a bad call.”
— Aaron Suttles (@AaronSuttles) January 8, 2019
Let’s be clear here — even if Owens properly blocks his man, the play would’ve still been a disaster. When the holder was tackled, there were two other Clemson players in close proximity. And another player was coming off the edge. It was a terrible call against a defense designed to play against the run, not against a field goal.
The wise decision for Saban would’ve been to take the three points (it was a two score game at that point), or go for it on fourth and six with a play call that didn’t involve the kicker as the lead blocker.
Either way, it’s a shame Saban couldn’t own the bad call without casting blame on one of his players.
Coaches are suppose to put their players in good situations. Saban clearly put his players in some bad situations on Monday night in Santa Clara.
And it likely cost Alabama a ring.
Featured image via Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports