I guess it is no real surprise that Alabama beat Missouri Saturday with a final score of 42-10, retaining their number one spot in the BCS standings. The surprise came when Alabama red shirt freshman LaMichael Fanning body slammed Missouri RB Russell Hansborough in what could only be described as a pro wrestling move (actually it was called a suplex in that arena) with just two minutes left in the fourth quarter and the score set as the final. It was undoubtedly an unnecessary and dangerous display by the 6-foot-7, 297-lbs. defensive end that has garnered him a lot of negative attention.
The game announcers, CBS’ Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson were astounded and speculated that a suspension by the SEC was likely. No suspension has been announced as of yet.
The Tide traveled to Columbia, MO Memorial Stadium for their first games since the bye week to match up with the SEC newcomer. Alabama RB Eddie Lacy didn’t waste any time scoring a 73-yard touchdown on the second play, only 45 seconds into the game and the fastest of the season. With just a little over eight minutes left in the second quarter, the game was suspended for 40 minutes due to lightning strikes with the tide leading 27-0. With impending severe weather being predicted in the area, halftime was just a five minute break.
Alabama continued its domination and as expected, the Tide took the Tigers in an impressive, seemingly effortless fashion. Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel even commented, ” This is maybe the best team I have ever seen.”
When you combine this with the timing in the game of the wild defensive move, the size of the athletes involved (Hansborough is just 5’9″ and 185 lbs.) and Nick Saban‘s reputation for putting an inordinate amount of attention to player safety by modern NCAA football standards and you really have to scratch your head on this one.
The Missouri defense didn’t ponder the reasons why for long, defending their player by purposely tackling Fanning on the next two plays. Apologies by Saban and Fanning have since been made to the team.