Alabama Holds On To Beat Colorado
by Mike Mitchell
December 30, 2007
Alabama scored the game's first 27 points, then held on for a 30-24 Independence Bowl win over Colorado.
The Crimson Tide had two field goals on the board before the Buffaloes had ran a second offensive play. Alabama took the opening kick-off and marched 44 yards on just 8 plays to set up a 40-yard kick. Colorado QB Cody Hawkins was then intercepted on his first play to set up a 24-yard field goal.
The Buffs went four-and-out on the next series and 'Bama finally found the end zone on a 15-yard TD pass from John Parker Wilson to Keith Brown. Colorado's next series was three-and-out, and Alabama struck paydirt again on Wilson's 34-yard pass to Matt Caddell for a 20-0 lead.
The ensuing Colorado possession again ended in just four plays and Alabama took a 27-0 lead on Wilson's 31-yard throw to Nikita Stover.
The Tide turned when the Buffs took over at the 50-yard line after intercepting a Wilson pass with 5:40 left in the half. Colorado was able to mount two touchdown drives before halftime, each ending in Hawkins touchdown passes of 3 and 25 yards, to cut the gap to 27-14.
The Buffaloes began the second half with a pair of ball control drives that ventured well into Alabama territory, but the first ended with a missed 48-yard field goal and the second only produced a 39-yard field goal.
Alabama had a golden opportunity to put the game away when an interception of Hawkins gave the Tide the ball at the Buffalo 22-yard line with under 8 minutes remaining. However, the drive stalled at the 9-yard line and Alabama settled for another Leigh Tiffin field goal from 26 yards out for a 30-17 lead with 4:31 to play.
Hawkins quickly brought Colorado back, needing only 40 seconds and five plays to move his team into the end zone. A 14-yard pass to Tyson DeVree drew the Buffaloes to within 6 points at 30-24.
Colorado's chances at completing the comeback vanished when Alabama was able to kill most of the clock by holding onto the football for eight plays. By the time the Buffaloes got the ball back at their own 20 after a 'Bama punt, only one second remained. A desperation pass and multi-lateral play was halted after a 25-yard gain.
Alabama finished 7-6 with the win, while Colorado fell to 6-7.