Alabama’s players have been pretty adamant about wanting to focus on this year’s edition of Alabama-Ole Miss. At times they’ve cracked and admitted they haven’t forgotten about last season’s loss to the Rebels, but perhaps no other player on the Tide has held onto his memory of last year more than tight end OJ Howard.
Howard didn’t exactly finish last year’s game on a strong note. On the Tide’s final drive, they had the ball on the Ole Miss 22-yard line when quarterback Blake Sims scrambled to the right to pick up the first down, but the play was wiped out by a holding call on Howard. Sims then missed Howard when he was open over the middle, only to then pass to Howard in the end zone while he was draped in coverage. That play would result in the interception that would seal the win for Ole Miss.
“It’s something that I’ve kind of grown to forget about,” Howard told AL.com. “But at first, it was something that I had a hard time letting go, but I don’t really worry about it much. I’m a much improved player since that play, so it’s nothing that really affects me anymore.”
Howard has admitted that the game has more significance for him than some of his teammates, but added, “I can’t let that [dictate] how I’m going to play this year because that was last year, so I had to move on from it.”
“But I still remember what happened.”
Let’s hope he plays like it.