We all remember Alabama’s onside kick in the 2016 National Title Game, or maybe we don’t. If you’re in the latter group, here’s the play that stunned Clemson and pushed Bama closer towards the title.
Don’t ever say Nick Saban doesn’t have guts or a pair of items just south of there. Tied at 24 against a game Clemson team, Saban saw an alignment issue in film study, sat on it, and then at the right time, he made the call. The result not only meant that Bama got the ball back but also meant that Clemson didn’t In a game where possessions are precious, stealing one is a huge bonus.
Fast forward to Saturday night and UTSA taking on its rival Texas State in the Alamodome.
The Roadrunners just kicked a field goal to go up 20-14 over the Bobcats.
Beyond the score, here’s what else is going on, Texas State’s freshman quarterback Tyler Vitt is settling in. After coming into the game for the inefficient Jaylen Gipson, who himself replaced the injured Willie Jones, Vitt led the ‘Cats on an 82-yard, ten play drive to cut the lead to three, 17-14.
UTSA’s inconsistent offense had just put together its best drive of the second half, an eleven play 47, going for it on fourth and one, grinder. After Jared Sackett hit from 40, Wilson decided to attempt the onside kick. The same kick Saban ordered three years ago.
Wilson, in his postgame presser, noted that he saw something in Texas State’s kick return alignment in film study, he sat on that knowledge and waited for the perfect time to spring his onside kick. Playing on the narrow alignment of Texas State’s return team, he had Hunter Duplessis place the ball just over the outside man where Dadrian Taylor ran under it.
The decision and the execution gave UTSA an extra possession that they turned into another Sackett field goal to make the game a two-score proposition. More importantly, it took a possession away from Texas State and shortened the game for any possible Bobcat comeback. The timing surprised everyone from Texas State to the TV crew.
The play was perfectly called, perfectly executed and showed once again that Wilson has the guts, not to mention the pair of items just south of there, to make decisive calls.