Columbia, SC. (WBRC) - South Carolina pulled out all the stops to try and drag down the Tide, but for all their antics the Gamecocks came up short when it really mattered.
It was a game all about mindset and momentum.
The Tide scored a touchdown early after a short pass to Najee Harris in the first quarter. But the energy was quickly and deliberately followed up with a harrowing South Carolina drive, grinding out 14 plays and 6 first downs. It was an impressive effort, one that stirred up old memories of the 2010 upset where Bama lost to the Gamecocks 35 to 21, but the Gamecocks ultimately finished the drive by only put three on the board.
They may have failed to come up with a touchdown but by following up with a sack against Bama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa on the defense and the offense’s trick play on 4th down, that only came up short because of a holding call, the entire South Carolina team made their intentions loud and clear. They were not afraid of the giant and they came to play.
The Tide ultimately wore down the Gamecocks brute determination by maintaining a steady rhythm offensively. Tugaviloia passing for his career best, 444 yards.
The Tide offense ticked off a sailing an 81-yard pass to Henry Ruggs for their second touchdown of the game. And a truly standout moment came on 4th and 3rd, as Tua delivered a short pass to Najee Harris who stiff armed his way out of one tackle and hurdled over another, soaring into the endzone with the graceful finish of an olympic gymnast.
The GameCocks kept the tug-of-war going, matching bama touchdowns in both the first and second half. But their grip slipped, ultimately coming up short on crucial plays. A blown fourth and goal to end the first half, a fumble and an interception in the second and dropped passes on critical drives, made all the difference in Columbia, South Carolina Saturday evening.
The final score was 23-47 Bama.
It was a less that perfect, but certainly poised performance from the Crimson Tide. Working out the kinks as they forge through the season.