30 September 2008
Huge win in Athens on Saturday night. Sure I am stating the obvious but it really was a big win between the hedges. A win that not only thrust Alabama back into the national spotlight, but also gave life to those national championship dreams that we Bama fans love to have.
The more the Tide continues to win, the harder it is to find true unsung heroes. More and more players are getting the publicity that comes with a top five team. A problem I will gladly endure, but a problem nonetheless. What I will do is point out some players who might not get as much recognition as some of the other players.
It is easy to get overlooked when you play between Andre Smith and Antoine Caldwell but Johnson has done more than hold his own this season.
After serviceable years as a tackle, Johnson has found a home a guard this year. Johnson combined with Smith to lead the way for the Bama running backs against one of the top run defenses in the country.
Johnson could often be found pulling from his guard spot to plow over the Georgia defense during that explosive first half Saturday night.
Johnson has been much maligned coming into the season due to his poor performance against Florida State last year. Johnson has shown no hang-over from that performance and has developed into a top-tier corner for the Tide.
He has his share of balls thrown his way due to teams wanting to stay away from Kareem Jackson and has performed admirably. Johnson finished the night with three tackles and a pass break up but did a great job in limiting Georgia’s receiving corp to 274 yards receiving, much of it in the second half when the game was out of reach.
Upchurch has had his share of problems since arriving at the Capstone. A much hyped player out of high school, Upchurch could have been regarded as a bust until this season.
Working his way up the depth chart, Upchurch has been very productive in the third tailback spot. After an injury to Mark Ingram in the first half of the Georgia game, Upchurch stepped in to finish with 69 yards total offense and a touchdown.
Anders has slowly worked his way past some highly touted freshman this season to become a valued pass rush specialist for the Bama defense. Anders only recorded two tackles and a half sack Saturday night but seemed to be in the backfield on every play he was on the field for.
Anders contributions to special teams are far more important to the Tide, however. He is a whirling dervish on the coverage units and was in position to make the tackle on Prince Miller’s punt return for touchdown had he not been blocked in the back. The SEC even apologized for referees not making the call on the play.