Daily Archives: September 3, 2006

Congratulations!

CNN.com – Capture a ‘severe blow’ to al Qaeda in Iraq – Sep 3, 2006

This marks the one hundredth time we’ve captured “al-Qaeda’s #2 man in Iraq”! Hooray!

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Alabama 25, Hawaii 17; Mike Shula is an idiot

ESPN.com – NCF – Recap

You know the old definition of insanity as “doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result”. So maybe he’s not an idiot, but a madman. Anyway, he really should let someone else call the plays.

I love Ken Darby. I hope he gets 1000 yards this year and gets the Alabama career rushing record. But it was obvious tonight that Hawaii was keying on him and that he wasn’t going to be able to be an effective runner. Darby carried the ball 16 times for 25 yards and spent most of the time smacking into the line completely ineffectively. Maybe his style just wasn’t suited to run against them, I don’t know. (He did have two good runs called back on holding calls. Nobody gets holding calls on run plays like us. Those were basically the only two runs to the outside he had in the game, while anything in the line was easily handled.)

What I do know is that Jimmy Johns was effective. He ran the ball eight times for 58 yards. Okay, he’s the backup. But he carried the ball only once, for three yards, in the second half. You have a guy go 7-55 and you let him touch the ball only once in the second half? Crazy. The fans were actually booing Darby in the fourth quarter though I prefer to think of it as booing Shula for continually running plays that wouldn’t work. When 90,000 people are telling you you’re making a mistake, you maybe should listen to them.

Anyway, Keith Brown saved us, and saved Shula. Despite having a touchdown overturned on replay, he wound up with six catches for 134 yards and a touchdown and also ran one ball for eight yards. The thing is that he wasn’t open and wasn’t getting easy catches. On his long catch of the night, 36 yards to set up a fieldgoal, he was hit on the head (technically illegal though they never call it) while making the catch. And on the touchdown he was interfered with, possibly by two players. He made a couple of great catches to keep drives going.

Shula also screwed up on a call that almost cost us the game. Leading 25-10, Matt Caddell was called a yard short on a 3rd-and-7 catch, making it fourth down at the Hawaii 37 with about ten minutes to go. (I thought he got a bad spot.) Shula dithered, eventually sent out the offense, but then let the play clock run out for a delay-of-game. It was really stupid, because Hawaii couldn’t stop Alabama’s power game, and if we get that first down the game is effectively over, barring a turnover; we’d probably get at least a fieldgoal, and even if Hawaii gets the ball back there wouldn’t be enough time for two drives.

Sure enough, Hawaii takes over at the 15 and drives for a touchdown. We get one first down on the next drive, then punt, and Hawaii has 2:28 to score. They got it as far as 26 before throwing an interception on the last play. They easily could have scored, and with a two-point conversion tied it. Shula played not to lose instead of to win, and as usual it backfired.