Author: Tony Tsoukalas

Tide crush Auburn, claim Iron Bowl

AUBURN| The Crimson Tide took the motto, “never again” into the 2011 season after losing 28-27 in last year’s Iron Bowl. Saturday the Tide made true to its words, beating the Auburn Tigers 42-14. “We knew what was at stake,” quarterback AJ McCarron said. “We had to come out and play our game and that is what we did. We came out with a victory. The Tide got on the board first in an unusual manner, when quarterback AJ McCarron connected on a 41-yard pass to wide receiver Kenny Bell off of a flea-flicker play. “That’s a play we called and it was the right time,” McCarron said. “Coach McElwain made a great call. We felt like they were going to give us a certain defense and they did. Kenny [Bell] just went up and made a play for me.” Brad Smelley would answer next for the Tide, catching a wide-open 35-yard pass and taking it into the end zone. The catch was one of six for the tight end for a total of 86 yards. “It was huge,” Smelley said. “This was one of the most important games of the year. This game really had a lot riding on it and I’m glad we were able to come out here and do well.” Auburn capitalized on a McCarron fumble, falling on it in the end zone and scoring...

Read More

Tide suffers its first loss

TUSCALOOSA| For Alabama Saturday night’s 9-6 overtime loss to LSU was a story of missed opportunities. The Crimson Tide missed four field goals on the night, including a 52-yard attempt by Cade Foster in over time. The Tigers would then end the game, as LSU kicked knocked in a 25-yard field goal to win the game. “We had lots of opportunities in the game that we did not take advantage of,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. Alabama found itself driving in LSU territory early in the fourth quarter as a 24-yard run from running back Trent Richardson took the Tide to the LSU 28. The Tide appeared ready to score and take control of the game. However, the next play would turn any bit of momentum the Tide had in reverse. On first down, Alabama came out with their bobcat package– a package that features wide receiver Marquis Maze taking the snap. Maze surprisingly dropped back to pass, floating a ball to the one-yard line where LSU defender Eric Reid snatched it out of the hands of Alabama tight end Michael Williams. “I got a little pressure so I had to get it up,” Maze said. “I though (Williams) came down with it, but the call on the feel stood up. It is a hurtful feeling giving up a turnover.” The play had proved successful in the past...

Read More

Richardson, Tide rip Rebels

OXFORD|Alabama shut down the Ole Miss Rebels Saturday night, defeating the Rebels 52-7. However, the start of the game had many Tide fans in panic, as the Crimson Tide appeared destined for yet another slow start. When Ole Miss quarterback Randall Mackey connected with Nickolas Brassell for a 59-yard strike on the third play of the game, the thought for Alabama was “oh not again.” The play showed shades of previous games this season when the Tide had got off to poor starts. “They had two weeks to prepare for us,” safety Robert Lester said. “We knew we were going to see something that we haven’t seen. We just had to adjust to it and come out and keep playing ball.” After Ole Miss running back Jeff Scott ran in a three-yard touchdown, the thought among the Tide was “not again”­– as in not going to happen again. Alabama quickly responded on a five-play, 72-yard scoring drive capped off by a Trent Richardson eight-yard touchdown run. “I think it is critical, especially on the road to get the game back,” head coach Nick Saban said. “When you a good team, you have to be able to overcome adversity on the road. I think it was critical that we scored, and the defense really settled down after that.” Alabama’s defense certainly did settle down, forcing the Ole Miss offense to...

Read More

Alabama Stomps Gators in the Swamp

GAINSEVILLE| What looked like a possible stumbling block in Alabama’s season turned out to be one more stepping stone for the Crimson Tide, as the Tide beat Florida 38-10 to bring its record to 5-0 (2-0). It started off rocky for the Tide when Florida quarterback John Brantley connected with receiver Andre Dubose for a 65-yard touchdown strike on the first play from scrimmage. “I think at the beginning of the game we were a little bit too hyped up,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “We made some mistakes defensively, but it really shows the resilience of our team.” In front of 90,888 fans, the second largest crowd in University of Florida history, it was quarterback AJ McCarron’s job to settle the offense and come back and respond. “I just communicated with my guys,” McCarron said. “They like for me to communicate with them. We got a bunch of older guys, and I am the youngin’. I just try to throw my little two cents in and establish myself as a leader.” Alabama would answer with a field goal on the drive, and Florida answered with a field goal of its own on the following drive. However, Trent Richardson would run in his first of two touchdowns on the day to bring the score even at 10. Richardson had another stellar day for the Tide, rushing for 181...

Read More

Tony’s Taste of the Town: Hooligan’s

There is no question that game days in Tuscaloosa are hectic. Between the tailgating and the hustle and bustle of getting to Bryant-Denny Stadium, many fans lose the chance to sit back and relax on Saturday. Hooligans, located at 1915 University Blvd., might very well be Tuscaloosa’s cure to the fast paced stress of game days. “Hooligans is awesome because it has this really great combination of really good and affordable food,” said Alex Hollinghead, a senior majoring in math and philosophy. “They have this whole environment where you can go and hang out with your friends. They have a patio where you always see people hanging out with their friends. It is just really good.” The restaurant that specializes in both Mediterranean and American cuisine offers Alabama fans a more relaxed setting for game days. However just because Hooligans offers a change of pace from the norm does not mean they lose out on any of Alabama’s football traditions. “I think it is just because everybody here loves football,” manager Khalid Ismael said. “90 percent of workers are not American, they didn’t grow up with football, but everybody over here loves football. The atmosphere over here is like you are at the stadium.” Just like the Crimson Tide, Hooligans has had its share of success in recent years. The restaurant has had its burger voted best in the...

Read More