02 December 2008
36-0. Let me say it again. 36-0. Boy, that won’t get old anytime soon. It really seems like the world is getting back to normal with the trouncing of the boys from the Plains.
At this point in the season there are not a whole lot of options when you want to talk about players who contribute and still fly under the radar. Look for a future piece that touts Alabama’s Unsung Heroes for the season along with some special season ending awards, as most if not all of the players recognized were not household names at the beginning of the season – even amongst Bama fans.
Anyway, there are three guys who deserve special mention in the Iron Bowl edition of UH.
The epitome of Alabama football, no one loves the University of Alabama more than Stover. The senior from Hartselle was a Rivals.com four star recruit from Hartselle that stuck by his commitment to Alabama even after a detour through the junior college ranks.
Stover could have gotten frustrated with his lack of playing time over his three years at the Capstone but instead did whatever was asked of him by coaches Mike Shula and Nick Saban.
A perfect example of this is the block he made to spring Glenn Coffee’s second quarter touchdown Saturday afternoon. Stover clamped down on the Tiger corner and it allowed Coffee to bounce outside and take it to the house.
Another standout play by Stover was his improvised route on a John Parker Wilson scramble that lead to a pass interference penalty followed up by running the same route a few plays later that resulted in a 39 yard touchdown catch.
While he was never an all American or may not ever play pro football, the University of Alabama has been fortunate to have a person the caliber of Nikita Stover wear the crimson jersey.
Look at his stats and you see that Travis McCall had only one catch for nine yards. Not very impressive, I’ll admit. But what the stat sheet doesn’t tell you is his value to the Crimson Tide running game.
McCall blocking from his tight end position contributed to Bama’s 255 yards rushing and 4.7 yard per carry average.
Truth be told, Terrance Cody got a lot of cheers and hoopla when he came in as a fullback on the goaline in the third quarter but McCall was the one who made the key block on Mark Ingram’s touchdown run. Cody didn’t even have the opportunity to hit anyone after McCall cleared out the Tiger defense.
The junior from Morristown, TN is perhaps the least recognizable starter on the 4th ranked Alabama defense. While he is not flashy, Fanney is one of the steadiest defenders from his jack linebacker position.
In fact, if you took Fanney in your leading tackler pool you would have won as he tallied eight on Saturday. Rarely out of position, Fanney is exactly the kind of steady defender that allows guys like Rolando McClain and Don’t’a Hightower to fly around and wreak havoc on opposing offenses.