Looking past the disappointment of Saturday night’s 20-6 loss to the Crimson Tide, there are still some positives to take away from the game:
- Even though running back Mark Ingram managed to pick up 246 yards of rushing, the South Carolina defense battled all night to contain the Alabama offensive attack. The Tide had 356 yards of total offense, almost 100 yards lower than their season average. Until the final touchdown with just under five minutes to play, the defense kept the Gamecocks within striking distance.
- Alabama entered the game with just four turnovers all season. The Gamecock defense picked QB Greg McElroy off twice in the first ten minutes and finished the game with four turnovers, doubling Alabama’s season total.
- The 20-point output for the Tide was their lowest of the season.
- Alabama finished with only 92 yards receiving – the second-lowest output for an opposing team against the Gamecocks this year.
- While The Editor hasn’t been to every SEC stadium (only Auburn and Missisippi State remain to complete the circuit), I feel comfortable saying that the Alabama gameday experience is one of the best in the conference.
The people were friendly and the tailgating scene was incredible. The on-campus stadium creates a very different sort of atmosphere. Saturday was Homecoming at Alabama and despite the gray skies and cold weather, Alabama fans were in full force.
- Stadium atmosphere – The ‘Bama fans are die-hard and they bring a lot of noise on gameday. The Crimson Tide are adding an end zone addition with over 30 new suites and almost 10,000 more seats. Once that’s complete, it’ll be a huge wall of sound.
- The Paul W. Bryant Museum – Wow. Even if you aren’t an Alabama fan, it needs to be a stop on your tour. The place just oozes with history and tradition. The building is almost like a presidential library – there’s a full replica of the Bear’s office! The entryway to the museum has a huge bust of Bryant and behind it, a photo of every team he ever coached. More than just a look at program’s famous head coach, the museum is also a chronicle of the program’s overall history. Every coach’s “era” has a booth with photos, videos and memorabilia. Another neat thing about the museum was a display that they change out for each game. The display had photos and original programs from all the games South Carolina played at Alabama.