For three years, the 'Bama faithful have been waiting for Coach Mike Shula to produce a signature win. For the first two of those years, they met with nothing other than heartbreak. But this season, they came into their game against the Florida Gators with a 4-0 record and atop the SEC West, and were ranked 15th in the nation in Division I-A football. They came to this game knowing they were facing a Florida team that was also undefeated and ranked 5th in the nation in Division I-A. Florida's quarterback, Leak, was closing in on Danny Wuerffel's record for most consecutive passes thrown without an interception, and the Gators had been nothing less than dominant in each of their four wins, while the Crimson Tide, though similarly undefeated, had some hiccups in their performances.
The titans clashed yesterday, and Shula walked away with his signature win at long last. 'Bama scored twice in its first four plays and 1:33 of possession, getting out to a very early 14-0 lead. By halftime, the Crimson Tide was up 24-3 and did not let go. With a final score of 31-3, Coach Shula became the first coach to keep a team coached by Urban Meyer out of the end zone, and the first coach to keep a Florida team out of the end zone since 1992.
Though Tyrone Prothro is out for the rest of the season with a broken tibia and fibula, and that will leave them wanting at the wide receiver position, it was, in line with 'Bama tradition dating all they way back to the Bear, the defense that was an extremely important part of this victory. This humble blogger wishes Mr. Prothro well and thanks him for an amazing season. And to NFL scouts, take a look at this remarkable young man. He's worth your time. This is at least as true of 'Bama quarterback Brodie Croyle, who now owns the 'Bama record for most career touchdown passes.