Saturday, November 29, 2008

Howdy from Bryant-Denny-Saban Stadium

Greetings and salutations from the currently named Bryant-Denny Stadium, site of today's Alabama-Auburn showdown that will give too many fans a sense of self-worth for the next year.

Check back for updates periodically. I can share that Alabama coach Nick Saban arrived about 10 minutes ago and actually responded to the student section's cheers for him.

12:53 p.m.: The students have a decidedly different reaction to Tommy Tuberville and the Tigers. Tuberville pumped his fist to the boos. Some Auburn players held six fingers aloft and meandered toward that corner of the end zone.

12:58: One Auburn player jumped on the A at midfield. One of the previous six-fingered Tigers returned for a little more action. I don't know who it was, but he had long hair that looked like it was almost in ponytails and what appeared a wrap on his left leg.

2:04: Not really cold here in Tuscaloosa, but it is dreery. Here's where you can review last year's live blog, if you have the desire. Coaches have done the pregame handshake thing. The stadium is about half full, which is more than you can say for some stadiums.

2:09: Let us pause for a moment while Alabama plays its 120 years of highlights. We have now heard the word from the Prophet Bryant.

2:13: The highlights end with what's still a jawdropping catch. See Tyrone Prothro, right.

2:16: Here's a representation as to how today's game should go and how one end zone may appear soon, I bravely predict. Tide 37, Tigers 13.

2:21: The Advertiser is a multi-faceted online operation for today's game. Look for other goodies at the HABOTN.

2:23: More mumblings from Bryant followed by a sound bite from Saban.

2:24: The fog is really starting to roll in. Tutwiler Hall is just across the street and it's hard to make out the building. It's easy to make out some empty seats. Where's the enthusiasm?

2:33: Country music singer Sara Evans sings the national anthem. She has a small connection to the program -- she's married to Jay Barker. Evans wore a Barker jersey for her lengthy rendition.

2:44: Former Alabama running back Siran Stacy was part of the coin toss. He was involved in a car accident a year ago that killed his wife, the former Ellen Bible, and four of their children. Auburn held a moment of silence before last year's game in his honor. Shelly, the couple's only surviving child, joined her dad. Good to see.

2:55: Auburn tried to establish the run on its first drive, converted two third-down opportunities and was near midfield before punting. Tide takes over at the 7.

3:05: It's turning into a punt-fest. Tide punts, Auburn punts, Tide takes over at the 4.

3:21: Alabama went all Pac-Man on the Tigers and used 15 plays to go 76 yards for a 37-yard field goal. Leigh Tiffin's kick came on the final play of the first quarter. The Tide had a third-and-two near its own goal and Glen Coffee ran for 10 yards. Alabama also did the fourth-down thing with a John Parker Wilson sneak at the Auburn 30.

3:39: When one player seals off two defenders, that's good, right? Coffee just scored on a long run that included such a block from Travis McCall. Tide 10-0.

3:46: Auburn's offense now looks like an unsecured firehose. It just squirts all over the place. Tide has the ball back.

4:11: Alabama blocks a last-play field goal (the snap may have been a little low, too) and takes a 10-0 lead into halftime. Now, time for the boring part of any game ... the bands.

4:47: Alabama touchdown. Auburn couldn't score with $100 in Amsterdam's red-light district. A corner blitz blew up an Auburn play, the Tigers fumbled and the Tide went to the end zone on the next play. It's 16-0 and this one is about over.

5:03: How bad will it get? It's 22-0 halfway through the third quarter. The Tide could hold Auburn scoreless through the end of the Bush administration.

5:10: Make that 29-0. Ladies and gentlemen, the Auburn Tigers ...

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