First: First congrats to the Bama team for the victory. This was a great game for Bama considering what they had to come back from, the physical play from the game last week.
Offense: The offense only had 335 total yards in the game and missed some opportunities to score more. They had 5 tackles for losses, and 1 sack for 6 total negative plays. They had sic total 3 and outs and out which equated to 3 each half. Two of the three and outs in the first half were on back to back series. The only put together a couple of long drive, but one was crucial in the second half to seal the game. They had a total of 4 runs of 10+ yards and 8 passes for 10+ yards. Bama got to the red zone 5 times and had 1 field goa l and 3 touchdowns. There was a missed field goal again that could have been costly if not for the defense. In my opinion this wasnít one of Bamaís better played games which I will address in the individual sections. The most worrying part is Bamaís offense did not give the defense very good breaks by sustaining drive in the second half when they had the 13 point lead. The biggest high point was the important drive that put the game back to a 2 score game.
QB : Blake completed 61% of his passes. I think he played a pretty good game. The drops were not his fault, but he did miss a couple of open rec. The biggest complaint was the underthrown balls that could have been a touchdown, especially the one to AS. The biggest plus was his directing and making plays on the drive that put the game back to a two score game in the 4th quarter. He made some huge plays on the scrambles and checking down to his recs.
RB: They ran hard and pass blocked well when called upon. The problem was there wasnít a lot of room at times which I will address in the OL. They caught the ball and made big plays when it counted.
REC: In my opinion this was not on of the better blocking games by the recs. There was one play AC doesnít block on an outside run to him. Also it looked like he was running a route. On the outside screen BV missed a block where he had the perfect angle on him.. On the plus side AC made some big catches by going up and getting the ball. In other words he high pointed the ball. I am not completely sure he didnít score on the long pass because it looked like he was laying on the defender when he went down. There were drops by AC and OJH which were big. If OJH makes the catch Bama does not have one of their three and outs in the second half. I think it would have been a huge momentum builder and given the D a little more rest. DW missed a big block on the wide rec screen to AC which looked like he had room to run.
OL: This is where I think Bama didnít play well. I know there were not many negative plays , but I saw too many mistakes. On one play running to the right, AK goes left. Would this have made a huge difference, probably not. Many times the center was hit in the mouth and driven back. There were opportunities for combo blocks that were not made. The MSU LB ran thru when LB didnít come off the combo block to take the LB. I donít think they took good angles to get to the second level. One on play run to the right for a short gain there were 4 or 5 MSU players and only 2 crimson shirts, where the OL? When they did make the blocks and sustained them Bama moved the ball well.
Defense: As much as they were on the field they played well. They had to defend 88 plays and gave up 428 yards. You can look at this a couple of ways. First they were on the field for 88 plays which breaks down to 4.9 yards per play. You can also take the incomplete passes out and say they gained 428 yards on 67 plays which equates to 6.4 yards per play. You also have to take in account the last drive where Bama was playing safe and not letting them score quickly and MSU moved the ball 70 yards. Bamaís defense had 7 tackles for losses, on sack and 3 interceptions for negative plays. They had 4 three and outs and one 2 and out when they got the safety early in the game. MSU got into the red zone 6 times and came away with 2 field goals and 2 touchdowns. They also had two of the 3 ints in the red zone. These guys in my opinion deserve a hell of a lot of credit coming off last weekís physical game and playing 88 snaps in this game. They were aided by the special teams which I will talk about later.
DL: I thought these guys played a very good game. They help hold two powerful runners to a total of 119 yards on 32 carries. I thought JR played well again along with AR. They played their positioning well and allowed the LB to make plays if they got to them.
LB: You didnít hear their name much. I thought TD played up and down. It looked like he was spying on Dak and didnít come hard to make the hit a couple of times. He also missed a big tackle that would have forced a three and out.
DB: I thought they played well here. CJ always seems to be in position and so was EJ most of the time when he wasnít getting pushed. They had three picks that stopped drives and two were in the red zone. I had both CJ and EJ for two PBUís. They were aided by a pass rush that may not have gotten to the QB, but put enough pressure on him to hurry some throws.
Penalties: Bama had 7 penalties in the game. Most of them were overcome. The ones that hurt were the false start by CR that didnít allow Bama to go for a 4th and 4. They were forced to punt because of this. The face mask penalty help move MSU in the drive before half time where they kicked a field goal. This was tough because TD was going to make the tackle and DP dove and his hand just went to the face mask. The big one that didnít hurt because Bama got a three and out was the personal foul by DD where Bama had MSU pinned on the 5 and then the ball was moved to the 21.
Special teams: Scott did a great job pinning MSU back on their side of the field and deep. Also, the coverage team on both the kick offs and punts did well except for one. After the 5 yard delay, Scott punted for 46 yards but MSU returned it to the Bama 38 and they later scored their first touchdown. AG again missed a makeable field goal. I canít see what the problem is, he hit one from practically the same distance earlier. This was 3 important points left on the field.
Finally: This game was also a battle. My hat is off to MSU who played hard and never gave up even when Bama was up 19-0. Bama made the big drive when needed. The areas that need to be cleaned up are the OL run blocking, the rec blocking, the dropped passes, and penalties. I also hope Bama gets a good lead early and can get some backups in as rest for the starters.
Please feel free to comment.
Good Luck and Roll Tide Roll
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Great analysis by hs coach again, let me add some thoughts as well.
Offense: This was the first game at BDS that we did not score on our opening possession this year.
But at the same time in the first half I thought that they played pretty well. In the second half we kinda got bogged down again after MS St. came out strong and tried to shut us down. They did a decent job of it for the most part but again when we had to have that one drive to put the game out of reach they dug down and made the plays that were needed to do just that. is there room for improvement? Without a doubt there is but they are doing some good things it just has to be on a more consistent basis.
QB: Coach pretty much covered this and I agree with what he said. Again when it came down to the nitty gritty it was Blake making plays with his legs that kept the drive going.
RB: Overall I thought that both TJ & DH played very well. They did not always have a lot of room to run in but they took advantage of the openings they had and made good runs!!!
REC: For the most part this was a good game for them. Amari made some huge plays but also had a couple of drops as did OJH. On the blocking that coach referred to I agree with him but the one missed block that he did not mention was the missed block by DeAndrew white on the bubble screen to AC. If he makes that block AC has a huge amount of open space in front of him. Again not a great game for them as a group but it still was a good game!!
OL: Our boys had a very tough task with this group from MS St. Their front seven are very big and strong and gave us problems during the game. There were some missed assignments and maybe even some missed calls as well. But again I have to say that when it came down to the drive that we had to have they may not been great on that drive but they did what was needed to to put the ball in the end zone.
Defense: They had a tough task all day but they were up to the challenge for the most part. Still let them convert too many third downs and all of the fourth down attempts. State came out in the second half and proceeded to march down the field but they forced the field goal which was HUGE!!!
And then on MS St. final drive that ended up for the TD but the big thing was that they made the tackles to keep the clock running and again that was a huge factor!!! I still do not know why CDM did not use his TO's but I am sure glad that he did not!!!
DL: This group of guys were playing some of the best football they have played all year!!! They held MS St. to 85 yds rushing in between the tackles where they have been getting almost 200 yds a game if I am not mistaken!! They also put up a decent pass rush all day and were a factor all day long!!
LB: Here is where I differ on what coach said, I thought that both TD & RR had huge games. They combined for 11 solo tackles and 19 total tackles and it was TD that hit the Bowling Ball to keep him in the end zone until help arrived to get the safety which was a very pivotal play early in the game!! Their tackles were only bested by Nick Perry who had 9 solo and three assists for a total of 12 tackles. Yes there were a couple of missed tackles thrown in there but again I thought they played very well.
DB: This may have been the best game so far logged in for the group. Even though MS St. had almost 300 yds passing for the day the biggest portion of that was on the last couple of drives they made the plays that had to be made to win this game!! The three picks by DP was the major turning points in this game!! if we don't come up with those I am not sure we win this game!! They were strong on run support all day which was huge as well!!
Penalties: I agree with what coach said about them. on the Face mask one it was made by a diving attempt for the tackle and just did catch it. Denzell Duvall had the Bone Head Penalty of the day and was LIT UP by CNS out on the field when we had them pinned at the 5 yd line. If we can have clean games and not hurt ourselves then life would be so much less stressful!!!!
Special Teams: AG missed one that I think the reason was there was an St. player that came in untouched from the right hand side of the formation right in AG's field of view and I think he hurried that kick resulting in the miss. JK Scott had a good day even on the one punt he did not hit well he got the good roll that resulted in a 40 plus yard effort instead of somewhere around 30 yds. he ended up with 7 punts for 319 yds, averaging 45.6 yds with a long of 56 yds and placing 5 of those inside the 20 yd line!!!
Final Thoughts: This was a very physical and hard fought game!! MS St. was ready to go to war and that is exactly what it was!! Our guys stood tall when the game was on the line and the crowd was a huge factor as well. I am not sure if you could tell on TV how loud it was in BDS but it was one of the best atmosphere's we have had in there.
Let me know what yall think and Roll Tide!!