TURNING POINTS

A GAME OR A SEASON CAN SOMETIMES SWING ON A SINGLE PLAY. HERE ARE THREE KEY MOMENTS IN ALABAMA'S RUN TO THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF
December 29, 2014

1. FLAGGED TIGERS

The Crimson Tide's chances seemed dead on Nov. 8 in Baton Rouge. LSU had the ball at Bama's six-yard line with 1:13 to go in a 10--10 game. Then Tigers guard Vadal Alexander shoved a player after the whistle and was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct, and a chance for a knockout TD became a 39-yard field goal. On the ensuing drive the Tide evened the score with three seconds left and won 20--13 in overtime.

2. THE SLOPPY HOGS

The pivotal moment in Alabama's 14--13 win at Arkansas on Oct. 11 wasn't the block of a Razorbacks extra point in the second quarter. It came earlier, when Arkansas fullback Kody Walker caught a swing pass on the second drive of the game. Walker was inches from the goal line when linebacker Trey DePriest speared the ball loose, forcing a fumble that spilled out of the end zone to keep the Razorbacks from taking an early lead.

3. THE IRON CONVERSION

When QB Blake Sims lined up on fourth-and-three early in the third quarter of the Iron Bowl on Nov. 29, Alabama needed a jolt. Auburn was leading 33--21, and the Tide couldn't seem to slow the Tigers' offense. Sims tossed a pass in the flat to receiver DeAndrew White, who was knocked out of bounds just beyond the first-down marker. Bama's subsequent TD was part of a 34-point second-half outburst, fueling a 55--44 win.

PHOTODAVID QUINN/AP

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)