Arkansas Alabama: Selfish Quarterback and Horrible Defensive Game Plan

It’s like a guy trying to make the highlight films at the expense of his team.

Update 10/27/27 I will take one thing back. I watched the replay. On that last interception DJ was open. Mallet simply lofted way over his head. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that it got away from him and floated. Today on “Shawn and Wally” Wally also said it was 3rd and 11 instead of 2nd and 1, which also would make a big difference.
So, if that’s the case, I’ll take it back on that one that he was going for “heroics” against the odds. Because DJ was clearly open.  Still, I stand by my criticism of the first two. The second was especially the killer. Deep in our own territory with the lead, throwing into double coverage to a guy who wasn’t even looking for the ball. That gave them the lead. Also, I still stand by my defense criticism, unless I feel like watching the whole game over and see something that convinces me otherwise.

Yeah, the Mallet interceptions were bad, especially that last one on a 2nd and 1 with plenty of time left. I mean c’mon! Run it or fall on it if no one’s open, don’t loft it up in desperation like its 4 and forever with :03 left. And there’s also the sense of Mallet’s unfocused nature to finish. I’m thinking of that drive in the first half where we’re in the red zone and he forces it to a guy not open covered soundly by two Bama defenders. It’s like a guy trying to make the highlight reels at the expense of his team. The other interception in the 2nd half was the same way: guy’s not open over the middle, well covered by two defenders and he tries to thread the needle to be heroic, and it pretty much costs us the game. I mean we were leading at that point for heaven’s sake! The point is to win the game, not try to gamble on some outrageous throw to make yourself look good. That really felt selfish.

But to me the biggest mistake was really our defensive game plan. Almost the whole game we were lined up in a three man front against 7 hulks. It was like we were defending for a passing offense. Mclroy could have read a book back there with all the time we gave him. The one time I saw us blitz we actually stopped a crucial third down when Bama was deep in our territory that forced a field goal. Instead for most of the game he gashed us to death, which in turn only opened up everything for already the best running game in college football. Looked like we were in a “prevent” defense for most of the game. Instead we should have been pressuring, playing for the ball like some fighting Razorbacks. If we had played defense like that, I think we could have made a lot more stops and possibly won going away.

Tiger Woods’ always said the key to his success, what his father always instilled in him was that “You gotta finish.” Booming drives and heroic, highlight film quality iron shots aside, he knew the key was “bringing it to the house.”

Highlight films mean very little when the other team finishes the game with more points than you do.

I can take losing this game, what I can’t take, what’s keeping me up in the middle of the night, is how we played it.

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