University of Alabama

Alabama football: Keys to Crimson Tide's loss to South Carolina

GAMELINE

Key player

Stephen Garcia. The South Carolina quarterback, who has been subject of constant ridicule in two-plus seasons, found some level of redemption Saturday. He completed his first nine passes and went 17-for-20 overall for three touchdowns. His only interception was a drop by Alshon Jeffery, who had seven catches and 127 yards. But Garcia’s poise was the difference especially when avoiding tacklers in the backfield on a fourth-down play in the first quarter followed directly by a touchdown pass to Jeffery.

Key decision

The failed fake field goal. Though testing the range of kicker Jeremy Shelley, even Nick Saban said the attempted fake field goal was not the best decision. Even sending a linebacker (Ed Stinson) out on the pattern didn’t surprise the Gamecocks, who appeared to have been in position for a tackle before the pass was dropped.

KEY MOMENT

South Carolina capitalized on Alabama’s failure on the fake field goal. Garcia connected for 45 yards to Jeffery to the Bama 6. Later in the drive, Lattimore scored from the 2 for a 35-21 lead.

Quote of the game

“You just can’t show up and win.” — Mark Ingram

Numbers

2

Goalposts that avoided destruction by being lowered just before the final gun.

25

Percent of Alabama red zone trips that ended with touchdowns (1-for-4).

2

Touchdowns surrendered all season by Alabama defense after opponents reached red zone.

4

Red zone touchdowns scored by South Carolina on Saturday night.

41

Advantage in total yards for Alabama in defeat (351-311).

— Michael Casagrande

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