After the 90th edition of the Third Saturday in October, many fans were wondering why nobody dressed in orange was covering D.J. Hall. Heck, even John Parker Wilson thought so himself:
Wilson remained calm in the pocket, often floating dump passes over the heads of blitzing defenders, and Hall was nearly unstoppable when he lined up in the slot. Ten of Hall’s catches came in the first half.
“They weren’t covering him,” Wilson said. “I don’t know what they were doing.”
At first glance, it is easy to claim that Hall had a field day since he went against a porous defense. However, one could make the arguement that Hall simply did what he does best- making big catches against Tennessee. Let’s take a look at the stats for Hall:
2004: Did Not Play
2005: 139 yards, 10 catches, 0 TDs
2006: 102 yards, 7 catches, 0 TDs
2007: 185 yards, 13 catches, 2 TDs
Total: 426 yards, 14.2 yards per catch, 2 TDs
While he hasn’t scored every year, he has played a huge part in Alabama’s offensive game plan against Tennessee. Plus, his scoreless outings weren’t without huge plays. Observe:
Though this game will be forever remembered as a defensive slug fest (or two poor offenses), D.J. Hall made the biggest offensive play of the game against a very talented defense, helping to set up the winning field goal.
About as close to a Prothro catch as you’ll ever seen anytime soon. Though Alabama lost this game, Hall’s amazing catch kept the Tide in the game with this drive that set up a touchdown. This was from a lame duck pass, which makes the catch even more impressive.
So, did D.J. benefit from a bad defense, or does he just have what it takes on Third Saturday? Well, it is certainly a mixture of both, although I’d have to say Hall would’ve dominated no matter what. He was certainly fired up to show up UT ‘s defense, which told him that he wouldn’t catch a single pass that day. But, the cushion given to Hall at times is unexplainable. He was on pace to have 20 catches until Tennessee adjusted slightly. This may be a performance Tide fans remember for a long time in regards to our all time leading receiver. Hopefully, it won’t be the last.