The Hogs took one square in the solar plexus last night with their last second loss in Tuscaloosa to the Alabama Crimson Tide, 41-38, on a touchdown pass with :08 remaining in the game.
My thoughts are wide and varied, including being pretty upset with our decision to pass the ball with 2:31 left. An incompletion stopped the clock and prevented about 30 seconds from running off. However, in retrospect, we lost the game on the little things.
1. Special teams. Fumble on a kickoff, giving Alabama great field position. Allowing an Alabama punt return down to our five yard line in the second half. One play, touchdown.
2. Turnovers. Tipped pass interception gave Bama a 9 yard field in the first half. 2 plays, touchdown.
3. Tough breaks. Alabama's field goal with 4 minutes remaining came after the play clock expired. A flag would have moved the distance from 42 to 47 yards and a 4th and 11. May have changed the game and the decision to kick at all. Kevin Woods' pass interference call in the end zone was questionable at best. The clock stopping for a measurement with :21 left, although the ball was clearly 2 yards short of a first down basically gave the Tide a 4th second half timeout. Had they simply wound the clock, I would have expected a 6-8 second rundown. As tough as these breaks are, they're part of football, however.
The bright side?
Darren McFadden. He may not win the Heisman, but he's the best player I've ever seen. No superlative is enough.
Casey Dick. He got very little help from his wide receivers, with dropped passes and fumbles. However, he looked downfield better and made some nice throws.
Our pass defense has to get well in a hurry before Kentucky comes to town. If we start slowly in the secondary next week, we may get down early.