No. 5 Alabama Used Strong Defense to Defeat No. 1 Mississippi State to earn Academy’s Game of the Week

By November 18, 2014News & Events
game of the year

In a game that was billed to be a clash of the SEC West Titans, the Alabama Crimson Tide’s defense locked down Mississippi State’s highly vaunted offense led by Heisman Candidate QB Dak Prescott with a 25-20 victory earning the Tide Game of the Week honors in the United States Sports Academy’s Game of the Year Award.

Alabama jumped out to a 19-0 lead, but the determined Bulldogs climbed back into the game in the second half to close the margin to 19-13.  The Tide was coming off a hard-hitting game the previous week at LSU and it took a mighty effort by Alabama QB Blake Sims who led the Tide down the field in a drive which Coach Nick Saban called, “One of the greatest drives in Alabama history, probably.”  It ended with T.J. Yeldon carrying it in on a 7-yard run with 8:09 left.

It was Sims mobility and quick thinking that kept the historic drive alive, and even though Mississippi State scored with 0:15 to go in the game, the great effort by Alabama’s Crimson Tide earned them Game of the Week by the United States Sports Academy’s Game of the Year Committee.

Oregon State’s 35-27 victory over No. 6 ranked Arizona State came in second in the balloting, while Northwestern’s thrilling 43-40 overtime victory over No. 18 ranked Notre Dame came in third.

A national panel of experts chaired by Jack Lengyel, the former athletic director at the United States Naval Academy and coach who resurrected the Marshall University football program, selects the weekly winner of the Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Award. The eminent panel consists of former and legendary coaches and sport administrators, such as Vince Dooley, Mike Lude, and Dr. Dick Young.

Each week’s winner is considered for the award honoring the best College Football Game of the Year at the end of the season. Past winners include such memorable games as Appalachian State over Michigan in 2007, Texas Tech over Texas in 2008, Alabama over LSU in 2011, and Auburn over Alabama in 2013.

With the new FBS four-team playoff instituted this year, the promise of many more memorable games is assured.

Daniel Moore, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy each year to create a painting honoring the selected College Football Game of the Year. The Academy, also known as America’s Sports University, donates the painting and $5,000 to the general scholarship fund of the annual winner.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission Sports University created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit