Nick Saban and Alabama football were dealt a tough blow in their quest to repeat last year’s National Championship when it was announced that senior linebacker Terrell Lewis would miss the rest of the season. Despite this, they still won out against Texas A&M without him on Saturday night. On Monday, though, things got worse for both teams as it was confirmed that running back Josh Jacobs will also be sidelined with an injury.,
Nick Saban and Alabama’s quest for back-to-back championships was stifled by key injuries. Nick Saban made $11 million in the 2016 season, while players like Derrick Henry, O.J. Howard, and Reuben Foster made over $1 million each. Read more in detail here: how much does nick saban make.
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIA — Early in the second quarter of the College Football Playoff National Championship game Monday night, Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams went behind the Georgia defense and found himself absolutely free with an opportunity to get his offense going.
Williams made a twisting grab, but his leg got trapped in the artificial grass as he pivoted to move up field. What could have been a drive-building 40-yard reception ended in misery for Alabama as he collapsed to the ground holding his left knee.
John Metchie III, who tore his ACL in the SEC championship game, was already out for the Crimson Tide. With Williams missing for the duration of the national championship game due to a knee injury, Alabama struggled to extend the field or score the manner it needed to defeat Georgia.
Bryce Young, the Heisman Trophy winner, could only do so much at that moment. Though Young later took responsibility for the defeat, the whole game strategy was changed as soon as Williams was injured in the 33-18 loss.
Alabama coach Nick Saban said of Williams, “This man contributed enormously to our squad all year.” “He has a lot of speed.” He’s a menace from above. This year, I believe our offensive coaches did an excellent job of using his abilities. He has been quite productive. When you lose guys like these, it has an effect on the rest of the squad.
“It provides possibilities for other players, and I’m not unhappy in how they reacted, but there’s no doubt that great players win. With outstanding people, you can win. And he’s been a fantastic teammate and player throughout the year. As a result, removing him from the lineup must have an effect.”
Slade Bolden said the wide receivers attempted to regroup as soon as Williams went down and told themselves, “Next man up.” When Williams and Metchie returned to the sideline, dressed in Alabama warm-ups, they attempted to provide as much assistance and support as they could.
The rookie wideouts did their best under the circumstances, but their lack of experience was evident at times.
Players who had not been counted on in games at any stage this season were suddenly called upon. Consider freshman Agiye Hall, who had three targets heading into Monday night’s game. However, he was targeted eight times in the championship game. Two receptions and multiple key drops were held in the hall. He tweeted after the game, ” “I’ll return… Please accept my apologies, Bama Nation.”
Bolden led the team in catches with seven for 44 yards.
“It wasn’t just one individual who had to stand up,” Bolden added. “I feel like I put my heart and soul into it, and I know everyone else did as well. It was just another one of those days.”
Alabama used tight end Cameron Latu more, in addition to a youthful bunch of wide receivers, and he ended with five grabs for 102 yards, a career best.
Out of the backfield, the Tide attempted to utilize veteran running back Brian Robinson Jr. In the game, Robinson had four targets and four catches, his most against an FBS opponent since catching four passes against Tennessee on Oct. 23.
“That’s part of my job,” Robinson said, “to be efficient in the passing game as well as the rushing game.” “With a major receiver gone, I knew I had to step up and be more effective in both my passing and running games.”
Nonetheless, as the game progressed, it became clear that Alabama lacked someone capable of making a long play down the field.
After Williams left the game, Young went 1-of-8 for 28 yards with two interceptions on passes that went 20 or more yards in the game, according to ESPN Stats & Information data. It also was the first time in Young’s career he threw multiple interceptions on throws of 15-plus yards.
Alabama had found a way to overcome injuries, as well as the team’s young, for the most of the season, particularly with Young having such a stellar season. However, there have been some offensive glitches along the road, including inconsistency that surfaced once again with Monday’s game on the line.
In the fourth quarter, Alabama had a chance to tie the game with a touchdown drive. With 3:33 remaining in the game, Young rallied Alabama to within 26-18 of Georgia’s 44. On second-and-10, though, he threw a pick-six that sealed the game.
Kelee Ringo intercepts Bryce Young and returns it for a touchdown to secure Georgia’s victory in the College Football Playoff National Championship game.
“It’s difficult to lose someone like J-Mo,” Young added. “But overcoming hardship has been a recurring theme for us. A number of players, even ones we were accustomed to, stood up at a critical time. I’m quite happy of how we played offensively and how everyone contributed. I’m quite pleased with how everyone else performed. It is up to me to improve my performance. People stood up when they were expected to at important times, and we had opportunities. At the end of the day, I’m responsible for not getting the ball into the end zone.”
This season, Williams’ growth as a wideout was one of the biggest stories on the Alabama offense, as he filled a large void left by the departures of DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle to the NFL. What made his season even more remarkable was what happened before he joined the Tide.
Williams has nine receptions as a reserve at Ohio State last season. He decided to transfer to Alabama because he wanted a new start and saw the opportunities with open starting places. During a press conference earlier this week, Williams declined to discuss the reasons for the move, preferring to focus on the national championship game.
His 2021 season deserved just as much attention, particularly down the stretch.
Williams wanted to play in the second half against Georgia, according to Saban, but the doctors said no. With Williams almost certain to enter the NFL draft, the young wideouts who were forced to stand up on the greatest stage of all, such as Hall, Ja’Corey Brooks, and Traeshon Holden, will have valuable experience to draw upon when the 2022 season arrives.
“It will be really beneficial to them,” Saban remarked. “The thing that makes it difficult is that we used several players today who didn’t receive much playing time throughout the season. So they didn’t have much experience heading in, but they were given some chances and made some plays. I’m certain it will boost their confidence, and they’ll grow and learn from it, making it a beneficial experience for them and their future growth.”
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