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College football is an emotional sport, even for the best players in the country.
Alabama pass-rusher Will Anderson Jr. announced that he broke down in tears after the Crimson Tide’s second loss of the season to LSU in November. That loss essentially knocked Alabama out of the college football playoffs, which meant it was hit all the harder.
AL.com’s Mike Rodak shared Anderson’s comments:
“I cried after both of them, but I cried even more after the LSU game. That was one of the games where we came so close. We just didn’t see that we lost another game the rest of the year after it all happened.
“It just hurts a little bit differently than any other game we’ve played. I think that’s because it was our second loss. I just loved our whole week of preparation. The boys were there. Everyone was locked in. We had no problems this week.”
It was one of the most memorable games of the season as it was a back-and-forth going into overtime after a 46-yard field goal from Alabama kicker Will Reichard in the closing seconds.
It seemed like the Crimson Tide would turn that momentum into a win when Roydell Williams scored for a touchdown in overtime, but LSU responded with a touchdown of their own when Jayden Daniels ran from 25 yards.
Tigers head coach Brian Kelly opted for the two-point conversion and the win rather than forcing a second overtime, and his team responded when Daniels found Mason Taylor for the two points.
“The Tennessee game — I’ll be honest with you, the Tennessee game hurt,” Anderson said of Alabama’s first loss. “But I think the LSU game hurt everyone a little bit more. I think for me this is one of those games that made me cry my eyes out.
“I couldn’t stop thinking about how close we were. People don’t see how much hard work this team puts in from Monday to Friday and it’s eating away at us that we didn’t achieve our goals.”
The Crimson Tide ended in victories over Ole Miss, Austin Peay and Auburn, but that was only good enough to move up to No. 5 in the final College Football Playoff rankings. Georgia and Michigan were suspended for the CFP with undefeated marks, while TCU and Ohio State each made it with a single loss.
Anderson will have an opportunity to end his college career strong with Saturday’s Sugar Bowl match against Kansas State, but he certainly had his eye on the CFP early in the campaign.
The emotional loss to LSU prevented him from chasing a national title.