ATHENS, Ga. — On Monday, Alabama wasn’t supposed to beat Georgia. After a 72 game streak, the Crimson Tide opened as an underdog to the Bulldogs.
At halftime on Saturday, when Alabama led 24-3, the team didn’t look like much of an underdog. When the game finished and the 38-10 rout was complete, the team admitted to taking the Vegas slight personally.
“We don’t think we’re underdogs any game we go to play in, but at the same time, it’s not about what outside people say,” senior cornerback Cyrus Jones said. “We know what type of team we have and we just wanted to come in here and make a statement, dominate every phase of the game and I think we did that.”
Jones, who helped anchor the secondary, watched as three freshmen on defense and special teams came into their own.
Defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick blocked a punt and returned it one yard for a touchdown. Redshirt freshman cornerback Marlon Humphrey snagged his first career interception. Ronnie Clark closed out Georgia quarterback Greyson Lambert’s day with an interception late in the fourth quarter.
Jones said the freshmen are poised out on the field, not nervous.
“I think it just attributes to the older guys helping out, just making sure that they know what they’re doing and just letting them know that it’s nothing,” Jones said. “I mean, it’s a big stage, but it’s just like practice. Just go out there, focus on what you got to do and it’ll be that much easier and we can have fun.”
So was it fun?
“Definitely,” Jones said.
And that was just on defense.
Freshman wide receiver Calvin Ridley showcased his talents on a 45-yard touchdown catch. He finished with a game-leading 120 yards on five receptions.
“Calvin’s played well for us all year long,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “He’s obviously getting more opportunities now that Robert Foster’s out [shoulder], but he shows a lot of maturity for a freshman in terms of the way he plays and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and made a really big play today and just played well all year.”
Ridley leads the team with 245 yards on 22 catches this season. He has two receiving touchdowns and averages 49 yards receiving per game, which also leads the team.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports