Alabama Escapes The Lonestar State With Second Win of 2022
The Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0) went on the road and edged out the Texas Longhorns (1-1) 20-19 in a marquee Week 2 matchup.
Alabama maintained its streak of non-conference regular season wins (54) despite being called for the most penalties in a game in the Nick Saban era (15).
"Well the one good thing you have to say about our team is that they showed tremendous resiliency today to do the things they needed to do late in the third quarter and fourth quarter to come back and win the game after not really playing Alabama football for the first three quarters of the game," said Saban. "You gotta give Texas a lot of credit, they had a good plan and did a good job executing it."
It was a heroic effort by Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young, who, despite the disfunction on the Alabama offensive line and in the receiving core, willed Alabama to victory with a 75-yard and 61-yard drive in the fourth quarter to steal the victory.
Young finished his day 27-of-39 for 213 yards and a touchdown pass, he also rushed for 38 yards on seven attempts. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner went 61-yards in the games final 1:29 to set up senior kicker Will Reichard for the game-winning 33-yard field goal.
Young was 5-of-7 for 41 yards and had a 20-yard rush in the game's final drive.
"That's where we love to be at. You know, we know what it takes. We have no wavering. I feel confident in that position as a unit, we all embrace those challenges but we know what it means, when its time to step up in those crunch-time moments, that's what we're made for," said Young.
Reichard scored eight Alabama points in front of a hostile crowd, converting on both his extra point tries and field goals of 52 and 33 yards. The Hoover-native's game-winner was the Crimson Tide's first game-winning kick since Jamie Christensen sealed a win over Texas Tech in the 2006 Cotton Bowl.
"Will's been a consistent performer for us for several years now. I mean I've never been around a guy who had a perfect season, he actually had a perfect season as a kicker, never missed an extra-point, never missed a field goal. You know, had a game-winner today, I don't know if that's his first but I had total confidence in him. He just did a great job on kickoffs," said Saban."But Will has done a phenomenal job for us. One of the most consistent performers on our team."
Texas native, and Alabama second-string running back Jase McClellan scored his third touchdown of the season near the end of the first quarter on an 81-yard scamper. It was McClellan's longest career rush in an Alabama uniform and put the Tide up 10-3.
The game turned for the Longhorns at the conclusion of its second offensive possession as starting quarterback Quinn Ewers was forced to leave the game with a shoulder injury.
Backup quarterback Hudson Card played admirably but the Alabama defense buckled down and kept Texas out of the endzone the rest of the day, holding the Longhorns to just three field goals.
The game had no turnovers between the two sides but both defenses played well as the Tide held Texas to just 25% on third-downs and Alabama was held to just a 33% conversion rate on third-downs.
Texas' lone touchdown of the day came from superstar tailback Bijan Robinson on a short run to cap the same drive that saw Ewers exit the game. Robinson finished the contest with 21 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown with three receptions for 73 yards receiving.
Alabama returns home to Bryant-Denny Stadium next Saturday to play Louisiana-Monroe on Sep. 17 at 3 p.m. CT.