Saturday, August 30, Labor Day Weekend 2008. 70,097 college football fans converged upon the Georgia Dome in Atlanta to watch the Chick-fil-A College Football Kickoff (televised by ESPN via my local ABC station). While Crimson Tide and Tigers fans were milling about the ATL, hordes of Dragoncon cosplayers and non-cosplayers descended upon downtown as well. But that’s not all, folks. The construction on 75/85, which runs right through downtown, would not be suspended for the duration of the weekend.
Amidst the crowds of gridiron followers and sci-fi/fantasy disciples, representatives of the SEC and the ACC stared each other in the face. Alabama’s Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers came, they saw; and the SEC school conquered. 34 to 10 final score.
John Parker Wilson quarterbacked for Alabama; Cullen Harper went on for Clemson. The Tigers’ defense was able to hold the Crimson Tide’s offense to two field goals (as opposed to two touch downs) in the first quarter. By the end of the first, though, Alabama’s own quarterback put one in the end zone. Thirteen to nothing. The top of the second quarter brought with it a field goal by Clemson. Tight end Nick Walker made a TD for Alabama. By the end of the second quarter, Crimson Tide increased its number to 23. Tigers? 3.
The third quarter began with a ninety-six yard kickoff-return TD by Clemson running back C.J. Spiller. Whatever verbal lashing or wake-up call the Tigers received in the locker room during halftime likely did the trick. Oui?
Alabama made another TD in the third quarter by wide receiver Julio Jones–his first for the team. Crimson Tide went for and reeled in a two-point conversion (thanks to running back Mark Ingram). Alabama 31. Clemson 10. At the end of the fourth quarter, Alabama got another field goal. Clemson would not ring any bells or do any more addition.
Observations & Miscellania:
1. According to the commentators, 1975 was the last time Alabama played Clemson.
2. There was a Mercenaries 2 commericial–the graphics were so mesmerizing.
3. There were highlights and a clip of UGA VII during halftime–what an adorable bulldog! His name is Loran’s Best.
4. 1st and Ten line as well as the blue line of scrimmage were in the house, on the screen rather.
5. Speaking of TV graphics, there was a play in the second quarter where Alabama were on offense and running back Roy Upchurch successfully kept one of the Clemson linebackers away from his teammates. It happened not long after Alabama defensive back Marquis Johnson intercepted Cullen Harper’s pass (which happened with just under four minutes on the clock). Anywheres, there was an instant replay treatment in real time that was accompanied by a pillar of white light that highlighted where Upchurch was on the field (edge of screen left). I hadn’t seen this graphic before and it made another appearance on Nick Walker in the third quarter.
6. Alabama’s kickoff to Clemson at about four minutes was televised entirely from a mostly still Skycam perspective (it hovered but didn’t roam). Most of the field (end zone to end zone in vertical orientation) was on screen.
7. You know the chuckles or smirks you experience when you look in the society pages and see whose marital unions have produced punny or silly last names? Tonight’s game has yielded a Coffee-Spiller (they both got field time). Taking a quick sweep through the team’s rosters, you also get Stone–Dial, Gentry–Sapp, Price–King, Clear–Love, Early–Pounds, and Hunter–Arenas among others.
Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.
Click here to find out who will no longer be a Falcon come the start of the 2008 regular season.