November 17, 2007
Johns' fumbles away opportunity
The long-awaited debut of Jimmy Johns as the Tide's starting running back began with a bang and ended with a nightmare. The junior running back who has seen almost no playing time this season earned his first career start against Louisiana Monroe but fumbled the ball on a crucial late drive, ending the Tide's hopes of a comeback against the Warhawks.
"Mistakes are going to happen," said Johns' teammate and fellow running back Jonathan Lowe. "That was a crucial point during the game, and I wouldn't wish that upon anybody. But that's the game of football. Anything can happen."
"We trusted Jimmy Johns today and gave him an opportunity to play," said head coach Nick Saban after the game. "Roy Upchurch didn't play because he was hurt and we didn't practice Terry Grant a lot this week because he was hurt. We needed him to play and we were only going to play him if we had to play him. Jimmy did okay when he played but that was a critical error he made on the fumble. I think he did okay in most of the other things he did."
On the Crimson Tide's following offensive drive the Tide moved the ball down to the ULM 18 before being stopped on two consecutive rushing attempts with the smaller Grant carrying the ball. Saban said the decision to go with Grant in the short-yardage situation was affected by Johns' fumble on the previous possession.
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