Thursday, October 19, 2006
Rebels’ play encouraging
First let me say that I agree with “Coach O” 100 percent.
I have had suspicions about the Rebels’ readiness and worthiness in the very near past; however, I was encouraged and emboldened by their play on Saturday against the Crimson Tide.
No one saw the Rebels as close contenders in this one. There was real reason for such gloom. Only one Rebel team has gone into the Tide’s ocean and come away a winner.
There was a reluctance to watch because the nagging fear of impending doom just would not go away. A massive Tide crowd at Bryant-Denny Stadium didn’t help at all with the noise level at the highest decibels. But the end of the world just didn’t materialize and the Rebels even quieted the loud and constant celebration among Tide supporters.
Almost 93,000 were stunned when the horn sounded for the end of regulation and the score was tied at 20 all. And to really make the unrest sink in as deeply as possible, the Rebels kicked a field goal on the first possession in overtime to give the Rebels a 23-20 advantage.
At that point a feeling of vindication rushed in. No matter what happened next the Rebels had validated their existence.
Slipped coverage on the defense of a very short pass play which gave the Tide the 26-23 win left a sense of dejection but not of defeat. The Rebels had great play from a dedicated squad.
The Memphis Tigers, which had given the Rebels their first win of this season, found themselves still in a major struggle to validate their season. The Arkansas State Indians have steadily improved since joining the the 1A ranks.
The ending to this one was classical to say the least. The Tigers had the game won (for all intents and purposes), then the really unthinkable happened. The Indians threw a last-ditch, last-second pass into the end zone. I counted seven Tigers defending the play. Just how the receiver came down with it is what defines the winning attitude. It was an uncanny catch.
It is still early in the season, but the BCS picture is already being painted; but don’t worry, it will probably have to be repainted a couple of times before January 8.
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