Bryce Young’s composure under pressure saves No. 1 Alabama from a potential upset at Texas

Sweating, stuffiness, oppression Darrell K. The most succinct summary of this century of football success Saturday at the Royal Stadium: If you’ve got a football, you’ve got a chance. No. in a day. 1 Alabama Forever playing its worst game, Bryce Young provided a compelling reminder of that mantra. Owned in the fourth quarter against the reigning Heisman Trophy winner Texas.

In the end, it was enough when the Crimson Tide played long enough that day as they knew they were three-touchdown favorites. Don’t worry: Nick Saban had plenty to say about that after the game.

At this point, when Texas’ best quarterback was standing on the sideline with his left arm in a sling, it was all about Young being sterling. Redshirt freshman Quinn Evers appeared to be on his way to his own magical afternoon when he was knocked out by Bama linebacker Dallas Turner following a hit late in the first quarter.

It’s easy to imagine a comfortable Texas win if Evers was playing in his second career start. The Ohio State He completed 9 of 12 passes for 134 yards, including a huge 46-yard toss to wide receiver Xavier Worthy.

The Longhorns rose high enough in the first meeting between the powerhouse programs in 12 years to get what many Orangebloods considered winning the game: progress.

Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said, “If that’s the best team in the country, we came down to the wire. That should instill a lot of confidence.”

Texas has been down for so long that moral victories, if not generally accepted, can be secured on this remarkable Saturday. Backup QB Hudson Card was game, fumbling most of the game after being hit. Card had enough left to lead the Horns on a 49-yard field goal from Bert Auburn with 1:29 left.

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DKR was ready to explode. Headlines are pre-written: Auburn beats Alabama. After all, Auburn scored 12 of Texas’ 19 points in the game.

But it was Young who got the desired, dramatic finish with Tide on his back. Alabama’s Will Reichardt hit a 33-yard field goal with 10 seconds left in the 20-19 win.

That’s Saban’s first year of performance (2007 vs. Louisiana-Monroe) committed 15 penalties, a record for a Saban-coached team in the SEC (Bama, LSU). It eluded the brilliant game plan of Texas defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski and linebacker Gary Patterson (a defensive analyst and former). TCU Training Purana).

With his team trailing 16-10 in the fourth quarter, Young completed 15 of his final 19 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown in the game’s final 13 minutes. More importantly, he set up a sputtering offense mostly for Richard’s kick. All 61 yards on Young’s eight attempts on the game-winning drive came via six completions.

“It’s kind of game over,” Saban said.

“We train for moments like this,” linebacker Will Anderson Jr. said.

“We don’t have any hustle,” Young said.

In fact, there was a lot of fuss. The Young Tide won’t let it fall. His 213 yards (27 of 39 carries) were the third-fewest of his career since becoming the starter last season. It comes off the back of a Heisman-winning campaign that saw him pass for nearly 5,000 yards and 47 touchdowns, riding Alabama to the College Football Playoff national championship. Georgia That led to the fourth quarter.

Young should now be considered the best quarterback in Bama history. Last season, his legs helped restore Alabama’s inconsistent offensive line that gave up 41 sacks. Texas added two more Saturday, proof safeties are determined not to let themselves be part of the young Heismans again.

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With time running out and his wide receivers not consistently coming into the game, Young had a reprieve.

“When you’re in these positions, you learn about yourself as a group,” he said.

The 15 penalties committed by Bama since 2022 are the most in the Dennis Franchione era. Not since 2006 has an Alabama kicker made a game-winning boot with less than 5 minutes to play. Why is he? The tide is usually comfortably ahead.

And so it should be. In a meeting more about brands than backyard brawls, Alabama held on for 20 points. When Jace McClellan broke off an 81-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, it looked like it was doomed.

Then Texas proved itself equal to Bama. At the very least. The TKR crowd kicked in four false starts by the Tide offensive linemen. The secondary — Saban’s baby as its position coach — was nailed for two pass interference penalties on consecutive plays (defensive back Kool-Aid McKinstry). Big 12 crews may have missed a few more.

Young’s biggest play was avoiding third-quarter defenses. With the game tied 10-10, Texas’ De’Vondre Sweat appeared to sack Young in the end zone. On the same play, ‘Horns linebacker DeMarvian Overshon was called for hard hitting the passer.

None of them were accurate. A Big 12 referee overruled the goal and oddly overruled the tough call, explaining that he had been misinformed. (Try to figure it out.) Young had avoided a defense in desperation. He tossed the ball off Overshon’s helmet, which rolled incomplete on Sweat’s back before touching the ground.

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It’s gymnastics. It was athletic. It might have saved the game considering the way Texas would have finished, safely getting the ball back in a low-scoring grinder of a game.

“Why is he so good? If I could tell you that, I don’t know if I would do this,” Saban said of Young. “It’s a good job for me. [Seriously], the boy studies, he prepares well for the game. He understands what the defense is at and what they’re going to do … and he’s very intuitive. He plays quarterback like a point guard in basketball.”

That point guard is expanding his portfolio. As brilliant as Young is on the field, his latest series, Dr. Pepper “Fansville” commercials prove kid can act. They are legitimately funny.

On Saturday it was no big deal. In that sweatbox stadium — and the Alabama dynasty — the quarterback looked down the field late in the fourth quarter as his team trailed and found victory.

“That’s where we want to be,” Young said.

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