A capacity crowd of 92,746 that had been loud in support of Georgia progressively quieted down and cleared out as Alabama’s lead continued to mount.
Minutes after the game ended and the Tide’s 38-10 win was final, the only noise from the stands came from several rows of Alabama supporters behind the Tide’s sideline.
The fans chanted “Roll Tide.” Stationed nearby, Alabama’s band later led cheers of “Roll Tide Roll.”
Tide coach Nick Saban told his players all week that Alabama was being doubted and counted out on a national level.
There will be less of that after Saturday night. This was more than a win for No. 13 Alabama. It was a statement, a thorough domination of the No. 8 team in the country in what is widely considered one of the toughest road environments in college football.
“I think it shows a lot,” senior cornerback Cyrus Jones said. “We don’t come out to just win games. We try to come out and dominate them in every phase of the game — special teams, offense and defense — and I think you saw that here today.”
After falling to Ole Miss Sept. 19, a loss Saturday would have made the Tide an extreme long shot to reach the College Football Playoff.
Instead, Alabama improves to 4-1, will likely be ranked in the top-10 when the new polls are released Sunday, and looked the part of a legitimate national championship contender Saturday night.
Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer for the second straight year in a Wimbledon final, winning the tournament for the third time with a 7-6 (7-1) 6-7 (10-12), 6-4, 6-3 victory and rewarding himself by taking a bite out of Centre Court.
Djokovic, ranked No. 1 in the world, has now won nine Grand Slam tournaments and kept No. 2 Federer from becoming the oldest man to win Wimbledon at age 33. He regained his composure and rallied after Federer won an epic second-set tiebreak that left Djokovic yelling angrily from the bench.
“It’s a dream come true again. Even though I’ve won it for a third time, every time it feels like (the) first,” Djokovic said afterward. “Today, I knew that Roger was going to come out being very aggressive. I knew he was going to play as he always plays in finals and majors — at the highest possible level. If I wanted to have a chance to win, I needed to stay mentally tough.
Sims drove Alabama 55 yards in the final 50 seconds of regulation for a tying field goal, and threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to DeAndrew White in overtime to lift No. 5 Alabama to a 20-13 victory over No. 16 LSU on Saturday night.
The process Alabama used to beat LSU wasn’t pretty — it never is against the Tigers — but the result, an overtime win, certainly was.
Alabama found another way to break LSU fans’ hearts, kicking a game-tying field goal with three seconds left in regulation, then beating the Tigers 20-13 in overtime.
“He didn’t have one of his better games. It was tough,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said about Sims, who finished 20 of 45 for 209 yards and two TDs without an interception. “He hung in there. He made some great plays when he had to. … I’m really, really proud of way he hung in there.”
With the victory and Auburn’s upset loss to Texas A&M earlier in the day, Alabama (8-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference, No. 4 AP) is alone in second place in the SEC West Division with a game against first-place Mississippi State still on its schedule.
Amari Cooper had eight catches for 83 yards and a 23-yard touchdown while setting Alabama career and single-season records for yards receiving, as well as the school’s single-season mark for catches with 79.
T.J. Yeldon’s fumble deep in Alabama territory gave LSU (7-3, 3-3, No. 14 AP) the ball on the Alabama 6 with the score tied at 10 and 1:13 left, but the Tigers’ chances at a go-ahead touchdown diminished when offensive guard Vadal Alexander was called for unsportsmanlike conduct, moving the ball back to the 21.
That set up Colby Delahoussaye’s 39-yard field goal that gave LSU a 13-10 lead with 50 seconds left.
But LSU’s defense, which dominated much of night to the delight of a sellout crowd of 102,321, was unable to make one last stand after kickoff specialist Trent Domingue yanked his kick out of bounds, giving Alabama the ball on its 35 with 50 seconds to go.
Sims scrambled for one first down, then hit several clutch passes, none bigger than a 22-yarder to Christion Jones, who made a sprawling catch on the LSU 26. Sims then hit White along the sideline at the 10 to set up the tying kick, a 27-yarder by Adam Griffith — who missed from the same distance, and same right-to-left angle, in the first half.
“I got a team that played a great game and played a tough game,” Miles said. “That is a tough one. I got a bad taste in my mouth about that game.”
The comeback was reminiscent of Alabama’s 2012 victory in Tiger Stadium, decided by a drive that ended with Yeldon taking A.J. McCarron’s screen pass 28-yards for a winning touchdown in the final minute. Alabama is now 26-9-2 all-time in Tiger Stadium, with victories in three of its past four visits.
“I was happy that I had the opportunity to be in that situation,” Sims said. “I watched film on A.J. I saw the composure that he had and I was just glad I was able to do the same thing.”
In a heavy weight battle, Baylor and Georgia exchanged punches, but the Lady Bears advanced to their third Women’s College World Series with a 6-3 win over the Bulldogs Saturday at Jack Turner Stadium.
Baylor (47-14), the No. 13 seed, trailed 3-2 headed into the bottom of the fifth inning before Linsey Hays hit the go-ahead two-run homer deep over the rightfield wall that proved to be the game winner. As has been done her whole career, Whitney Canion battled through a 169-pitch effort to pick up her 31st win of the season and help carry the Lady Bears to their third WCWS appearance since 2007.
The last time BU went to Oklahoma City was also via Athens, Georgia when Baylor beat the Bulldogs in three games. This time, after Baylor’s 9-1 win Friday, the Lady Bears closed the door in two games, once again on the road, stunning the No. 4 seeded Bulldogs.
Georgia scored a run in the first, fourth and fifth innings and threatened all afternoon long, but in the end Canion stranded 12 UGA base runners nixing any big innings.
Canion scattered eight hits, walked five and struck out seven to tie Cristin Vitek’s (2004) and her own (2011) single-season record for 31 wins in a season.
Baylor added the final nail in the coffin scoring two runs on three Georgia (49-15) errors in the bottom of the sixth as the game became unraveled for the Bulldogs.
After a marathon win in game one, Alabama was more efficient in game two, defeating Nebraska 2-1 in the second game of the weekend to earn the Super Regional win and punch the Crimson Tide’s ninth ticket to the Women’s College World Series, Jaclyn Traina because she gutted out so many performances over the year. She was much better than yesterday and I think everyone saw that. The Super Regional win is Alabama’s (50-11) ninth in program history and the third for this senior class that includes Traina (23-3), who threw the complete-game victory with just one run off three hits. A first-inning rally provided all the runs that Alabama would need, with “I still had a lot of confidence in myself,” said Traina. “Days like yesterday happen and I just learn from it. We worked a lot on the off-speed in there today too and that kept them off-balance. We were just on the same page together and it worked out. Nebraska (44-18) could not get anything going against Triana on offense, putting just five baserunners on all game. Starter Tatum Edwards (24-13) went the distance in the circle and took the loss despite limiting Alabama to just two runs off seven hits.
The Baylor softball team will find itself in a familiar position for the NCAA Super Regional round Friday and Saturday: Athens, Ga. Baylor’s last Women’s College World Series appearance went through the Georgia Bulldogs in 2011 in Athens, and the Lady Bears will look to repeat history in a best-of-three series Friday and Saturday.
Baylor and Georgia each went 3-1 in their respective regionals with Baylor defeating Tulsa 3-1 Sunday in Waco at Getterman Stadium while the Bulldogs beat North Carolina State in the deciding game in Athens, Georgia 7-0 Sunday night.
The Lady Bears (45-14) were the No. 13 seed headed into the NCAA Tournament and will be matched up with the No. 4 seed Georgia (49-13). The two teams will play beginning Friday at 2 p.m., EDT on ESPNU and Saturday at Noon EDT with the if-necessary game immediately following Saturday with both games broadcast on ESPN.
Alabama will be one of just 16 Division-I programs playing softball next weekend, as the Crimson Tide defeated South Alabama, 3-0, in Sunday’s Tuscaloosa Regional Championship to advance to the program’s NCAA-record 10th straight Super Regional.
Alabama (48-11) is the only program in the country to advance to the Super Regional round every season since the round’s inception in 2005. This season will be the seventh time Alabama has hosted a Super Regional and the sixth time in the last seven years.