TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — When the Crimson team finally broke a scoreless tie in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s A-Day scrimmage, the White squad began visualizing the horrible fate that it would meet if the offense could not come up with a late score.
Facing a 3-0 deficit, wide receiver Cam Sims broke the game open with a 32-yard catch and run that led to the game-winning touchdown two plays later.
What propelled Sims and his teammates to victory?
“Eating them beans,” Sims said.
It’s an A-Day tradition: The winning team is treated to a steak dinner, while the losing team is forced to eat a vat of baked beans and weenies.
“When they had kicked the field goal, that’s all that went to my head: Eating them beans,” Sims said. “I made sure that we weren’t eating no beans.”
The rising junior made a spectacular leaping catch in the first half, and then made that key 32-yard catch to move his White squad into the red zone.
Freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts’ pass appeared to be underthrown, and linebacker Rashaan Evans got a hand on it, but the ball fell into Sims’ hands.
“I thought it was gonna be a pick,” Sims said. “I was (trying to) go tackle somebody. And the ball just came and landed in my hands, and I took off.”
Evans — who collected 17 tackles on the day — said he had a good break on the ball, and that he “felt kind of bad” that he couldn’t pick it off.
Now, he’s eating beans.
One might call it unfair: The losing defense allowed just seven points on the day. But Sims and Hurts — who threw a 7-yard touchdown to Derek Kief to win it — made the biggest plays in the fourth quarter.
Asked if he was embarrassed by the offense’s low-scoring performance, Sims smiled his “I’m eating steak” smile.
“No,” he said. “For one, what’s ‘Bama? Defense! That’s what we take pride on, and the defense made plays out there.”