Bowl Round Games
|1st Game Deadline
(Appalachian State -8.5)
San Josť State @
(San Josť State -3.5)
Arkansas State @
(Louisiana Tech -2.0)
Western Kentucky @
(Western Kentucky -3.0)
(Utah State -7.0)
Boise State @
(Boise State -8.0)
Georgia Southern @
(Bowling Green -7.5)
Middle Tennessee @
(Western Michigan -3.0)
San Diego State @
Miami (FL) @
(Washington State -3.0)
(Virginia Tech -13.5)
Central Michigan @
North Carolina @
(Colorado State -3.0)
NC State @
(Mississippi State -5.5)
Texas A&M @
(Texas A&M -1.0)
(Florida State -7.5)
Michigan State @
Notre Dame @
(Ohio State -7.0)
Oklahoma State @
(Ole Miss -7.5)
Penn State @
Kansas State @
West Virginia @
(Arizona State -0.0)
Tie Breaker: How many total yards of offense will Alabama get against Michigan State?
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|Bama Basketball: Attendance
It was a big win for the team last night but it wasn't as big as it could have been. It's hard to believe the team is playing at the level they are now, this is the best basketball that I have seen since Gottfried had a couple of good years. Actually, I think this team is playing a brand of basketball this school has never seen. Fundamentally they are playing at a level that a new coach and team shouldn't even be near. It's wonderful to sit in the stands and actually see the team run designed plays and not look like it's a pick up game and everybody wants the ball. CAJ has done a masterful job to this point in the season with his players and their record points to that 7-2. There have been wins against ranked teams and believe it or not there have been some games won on the road. Road wins are something that has been unheard of at Bama in quite sometime.
The most disappointing thing about the game last night though was where were the fans? There might have been 5,000 there last night and how disappointing is that. There were actually free tickets offered if you brought a couple od cans of food for the needy. All that I have heard about in the last six years is why doesn't Bama hire them a good coach and people will come to the games. Well, Bill Battle has hired a good coach and that coach has gotten the team to a level of winning against ranked teams and winning road games which has been unheard of. They have only played 10 games but in those 10 games the team has gained more respect from the sports media than any of us have witnessed in 10 years or better. This is what everyone complained about, Bama gets no respect from the media folks and weren't being treated fairly. It's a crying shame that when the team plays on tv the first thing the commentators notice is the size of the crowd at Coleman. I'm not complaining about the fans that live long distances from the campus for not coming as often and it was an 8 o'clock game as well. I'm complaining about the folks that live less than a hour away from the campus. The problem isn't the selling of the tickets, the majority of them are sold as season tickets, the problem is the season ticket holders don't come. The real reason that these tickets are bought in the first place by the "noshows" is it helps their status in TIDE PRIDE, their point total.
I know it's very early in the season but attendance shouldn't be where it is considering how the team has performed. Actually they've had very few games at home this season and you would think the fans would be very anxious to come see them considering how they have performed so far. I also understand they haven't played the likes of Kentucky or Florida but that is like all sports, every game isn't a premium game and true fans want to see their team play regardless of who it is. Personally I think AD Bill Battle needs to address this with those ticket holders and try to find some kind of a reasonable resolution with them to help use their unused tickets to help fill the seats. It's their money and they have every right to do as they like but I wish they would look at the big picture of the future of the basketball program and find a way to help with the attendance problem. CAJ has lived up to his side of the bargain in putting a very respectable team on the court which I think has surprised the college basketball world. Bama has an excellent chance now to return to the respected and feared side of the sport as they once were but the team is going to need some help from us fans to reach that level.
Bama plays Oregon in Birmingham Monday night in another late game and it will be interesting to see if the crowd will be there. I hope some of you that live so far from Tuscaloosa can find a way to make it to Birmingham. It will be like another road game for the team and they will need all the support that we can give them. Beating a Pac 12 team could be another big plus for the team and who knows, it might just help them come post season tournament time. RTR!!!!
|Alabama Football: The Derrick Henry Saga
When Alabama football is mentioned, excellence is the first word that comes to mind. Bear Bryant was hired in the mid 50's to restore a football program that merely had hit rock bottom. It didn't take Bear long to turn the program around as he installed a tough, no nonsense program that revitalized the Bama faithful and except for a bump in the road after his death, the football program has returned back to the tough no nonsense program it once had, thanks to Nick Saban. Life is wonderful again in T-town as the team battles for yet another national Championship.
The difference in the Bryant years and the now Saban years is that something that all fans wanted back in the Bryant era is now happening, to win a Heisman Trophy. Under the guidance of Nick Saban, Alabama seems to have found the formula for recruiting and signing athletes that have managed to excel on and off the field and have a chance at winning the highly touted trophy with Mark Ingram finally winning the first for the Bama program. Others have been close, namely Trent Richardson, McCarron, and Amari Cooper that followed Ingram but neither could muster enough votes to win the coveted trophy.
Four years ago I happened to be surfing the television channels on a Friday night, trying to find something entertaining to watch and just happened to see a high school football game listed. I thought what the heck so let's see what the game had to offer. As the game started, it was Yulee High School (Yulee,Fla) versus another Florida high school and I think it was for the State Championship and I had no idea as to who was supposed to win. Well it didn't take long to recognize who had the better team because of a running back named Derrick Henry. This young man was a beast running the football and the other team had no answer in stopping him. When the game ended I immediately started researching this phenom of a running back because I had never seen a high school player with so much talent and I wasn't surprised when I looked at his stats. This young man was very special and I only dreamed that maybe Alabama could recruit and get get him to play for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama did recruit and get Henry to join the Crimson Tide and like most fans we expected instant success as a player. As his first season began he wasn't very noticeable as a player to my surprise because I, like many, thought that this beast of a player would come in and make an immediate impact and earn lots of playing time, wrong. Nick Saban has said many times that the young players, especially running backs and receivers, come in and they can all run and catch the ball but how many of them can really play the whole game which includes blocking, tackling, and being in their right place by the play's design? He explained that is why most newcomers are assigned to the special teams because it teaches them so much about the expectations of being a good player and helps the coaches grade them as they progress with their careers.
Derrick Henry's first chance to play was with the special teams which he still plays on today. Bama already had a stable of good running backs with Richardson, Yeldon, and Drake being the core of the team but yet I thought Henry would get some chances of showing his highly touted skills and beat out one of the two and play early in his career as a running back. There were also rumors that he might be moved to the defense because of his size, speed, and aggressiveness. This was not what I had dreamed of when I watched him play in high school and disappointed me very much.
As time went by and Richardson graduated, I then thought this would be the magic moment and Derrick Henry would soon become the big star that I thought he would become, wrong again. He still was behind in the pecking order of the running backs playing behind Kenyon Drake, a truly great running back for the Crimson Tide. Fate has a way of playing it's role in sports and Alabama football is no exception to that rule. Coaches always tell the players on the sidelines that they are only one play away from being needed so always be ready. This was the case with Derrick Henry and his big chance to showcase his abilities that everyone had been waiting on. Kenyon Drake suffered a serious injury in the Ole Miss game and Henry was about to be introduced as the next Alabama phenom at running back.
Henry's chance to play regularly didn't get off to a blazing start as those things that Coach Saban had said earlier in his career about blocking and being in the right place where the play is designed exposed itself. Henry did struggle with his responsibilities but seemed to improve as the season progressed but still he wasn't the player that I thought he would be coming out of high school. His running skills seemed to improve as he got more carries against the tough SEC defenses and the hope of seeing a breakout year this year was imminent as Bama lost in the first round of the playoffs to Ohio State. Drake was still the expected player for Henry to follow this year as he had made an astounding recovery from his devastating injury.
During Spring practice of this year, I attended a practice and the first thing I noticed was the leadership on the field that Henry was showing. He was second in line during the warm up drills behind Drake but he looked every bit as quick as Drake and was showing a leadership about him that hadn't been seen in the years before. Could this be the breakout year for Derrick that everyone had been waiting on? On the first play from scrimmage, the offense was playing against the #1 defense, Derrick ran over the first three tacklers and was finally gang tackled to the ground. I was sitting with a group of friends and we all looked at each other and said yes, this is his year. Derrick had many critics that complained he was slow to the line of scrimmage, easy to tackle if you hit him around his feet, not running to the assigned hole of the play, etc.. I also heard that he wasn't that fast on the Finebaum show and someone was quick to point out how many folks had caught him from behind and the answer was zero. Derrick Henry, the Yulee High School phenom had finally arrived.
Henry has shown he is more than a highly rated football player on and off the field. When he first arrived on the scene at Bama, he announced that he wanted to labeled as a leader on the team and serve on the team's leadership committee of players. It was evident during his three years that he has played for Bama that Derrick was raised in a good home. His good mannerisms just jump out at you but no one really knew much about Derrick and his family life. Recently Derrick's early life was exposed on an SEC special report and really shocked me as well as many others. Having been born to a fifteen year old mother and a sixteen year old father isn't exactly the easy way to start your life. The best than can be hoped for in a situation as that is that there would be someone special to be there for the three of them and this was exactly what happened, his grandmother. In listening to her speak of her surprise of his unexpected birth and the role that she knew she had to play in his upbringing fully explains why Derrick Henry is such a good young man. She told of the many things that she advised him when he was growing up and it is no wonder to me of why he was standing there last night accepting the highest award possible in college football. Derrick knows how to be humble and appreciate all the good things he is now enjoying in his football career because he understands where all of the good teaching that he got came from. To hear him thank all the folks in his life that has made all of this possible was humbling to me. There are so many people that do well in life but never take the time to appreciate the reasons for their success.
Barring any unforeseen reason, I think Derrick has a bright future even after his college days are over and his professional football career. Grandma taught him well and it's good to see his love for her and he'll never forget how he got to where he is today. Good luck Derrick Henry, you have earned everything that you are now enjoying.
There is one more goal for him this year and that is to win another National Championship for his football team and I'm sure that when he left the stage last night, that was weighing heavily on his mind. It's time to take care of some more business, Michigan State.
|CRS Coach's Corner: SEC Championship
The game was pretty much labeled as a David versus Goliath battle due to the lack of offense that Florida had shown this season but for a long time the Florida defense made the game look like two Goliaths were battling each other as neither team got to the end zone very often. I'm not sure though if the Florida defense was that good or Alabama was just missing their blocking assignments again, which has been somewhat of a common occurrence this year. We can all thank God that we have a running back named Derrick Henry who has bailed us out of those not so good game days so far.
Derrick Henry has got to be the best running back in Alabama history. There have been some very good running backs play for Bama but none with the energy and physicality that Henry possesses. This young man is none tiring as he pounds the line of scrimmage play after play, when there aren't any holes to run through, but refuses to come out. Players like Derrick are very rare, especially to have been in the game for so many plays and have very few injuries. If there is a player that will missed on the team next year, it is Derrick Henry.
There were some big plays yesterday that bailed Bama out of a big jam. Two of the plays were long passes to the goal line which really kept the game from being a nail biter at the end. Steward and Ridley came through when it was most needed with their superb catches and I do mean much needed. Anytime you play a team and you are a prolific favorite, it's best not to let the opponent hang around because bad things seem to happen and before you know it, you are beat. I had started to get that queasy feeling until Henry began to make his now expected second half rushing performances to allow Bama to do more things offensively and we got the two passes that accounted for fourteen points. I didn't think Florida could overcome Bama at that point and time in the game even though they did get some points late in the game to make the game seem closer than it was.
It was a big win yesterday because it was for a conference championship which puts Bama back in the National Championship playoffs again. The SEC Championship was their first team goal for the season and now the real test is here, their second goal which is another National Championship. We all remember last year as Alabama laid an egg against Ohio State in a game that everyone thought would be a cake walk for Bama. I wonder how many folks and players think that Michigan State will be a cake walk in the upcoming game? I hope the team hasn't forgotten last year and can remember that feeling after the Ohio State blowout and how it felt after the game when everyone wanted to know what had happened to them. How could they have lost to Ohio State? It was plain and simple, Ohio State wanted it more. They didn't have a resume declaring themselves unbeatable and should have have been playing in the NFL on Sundays. This is what Bama has got to remember and let this prepare them for another big battle, they have got to play as the underdog, with lots of energy and desire and not as the favorite as I think the team played like yesterday.
I am somewhat concerned with the latest incidents with the team, the talk of coaching changes. Distractions are something that CNS fights against every day but sometimes he has no control of the matter(s). This is the case now as Kirby Smart is rumored to be the next head coach at Georgia and the possibility of Kiffen and Cristobal leaving as well. It's bad timing for the team preparations for the playoffs but again, it's part of the game as coaches come and go and you never know when it might happen. It will take some very good coaching in the days ahead to keep the players minds where they need to be but Bama has the best at doing that in CNS.
The table has been set for the Crimson Tide and they should know how to handle it but only time will tell. Roll Tide!!!
|Game notes: Florida vs Bama
First: Congrats to the Bama players and coaches on the victory. This was old fashion slobber knocking football.
Offense: The offense rolled up 437 yards of total offense, 204 yards passing and 233 rushing. They started out slow and made crucial mistakes early to stop drives, especially when they had good field position. As far as negative plays, they had 2 sacks and 6 tackles for losses. Both sacks were in the first half of the game. They also had 2 fumbles, one of which was on a sack, one of which was lost. This was also when they had very good field position. I also have them for 6 three and outs. As far as plays for over 10 yards, Bama had there were 6 pass plays and 6 running plays. Bama got into UFís red zone 6 times. They scored 2 touchdowns and 2 field goals. They also missed 1 field goal. The other time was late in the game when they let time expire. One of the touchdowns was scored from outside the red zone.
QB: Coker had a good game. He was hurt by a couple of drops, but they were not perfect passes. I thought early in the game he had a little happy feet and was not focusing downfield. He did end up completing 69 percent of his passes, but remember those little forward tosses count as pass completions. I just thought he could have done a little better job setting his feet at times. To be honest here there were a couple of throws that could have been intercepted. First the underthrow where Ridley went up and got the ball, if this had been thrown sooner it probably would have been a TD. Another throw that could have been picked was underthrown to the sideline and Hargraves had a chance but Ridley helped knock the ball away. Finally, on the TD that pass was thrown into double coverage.
RB: The repeating pattern is Henry is the man. He had a good game even though he fumbles once. This was a hard hitting game and he still ran the ball 44 times. One of his best plays was his block on the TD throw which gave Coker the time to make the throw.
REC: They made some very good catches and actually helped Coker have a good game. If you notice the last part of the QB write up you can see why they recís helped him have a good game. They had some good blocks.
OL: Overall they played a pretty good game. I say this for a couple of reasons. First, this is a pretty good front seven. Second, UF had 7 to 8 in the box early. Third, the safeties were filling very fast especially #42. There were times when they were driven back or made a mistake on blocking. For instance, on the pass play Robinson had one outside and the guard was uncovered. For some reason Robinson went to the inside player instead of the outside player. The only reason he should have done this would be if the back had the outside guy. This is why I think he busted there. Both guards got blown up at least once. Taylor also had 2 false start penalties one that went from 3rd and short to 3rd and long.
Defense: They played a good game, where they could concentrate on the running game because of the limited passing ability of the UF QB. UF only had 180 yards of total offense, 165 passing and 15 rushing. As far as negative plays, I have Bama for 6 sacks and 5 tackles for losses. They were also credited with an interception and a caused fumble (on the punt but recovered by UF). The interception led to points. The defense was credited with 8 three and outs and 1 two and outs. The two and out was a result of the interception. As far as plays for 10+ yards, I only have UF for 1 run and 6 pass plays. On the bad side they did miss a couple of tackles. Bama also seem to play a little too soft on the drive where UF made the deep throw for the touchdown. UF did try to create some mismatches with the DBís by putting the TEís outside and wide recs inside. They contained the outside game pretty well and only allowed one big game when they allowed the QB to scramble.
DL: They played a very good game. Everyone who played here contributed. The players that stood out too me were Williams and Anderson. I would also say Allen again had a good game.
LB: They played a solid game. They had to play the running game and that was also accounting for the QB. I did think they got lost in coverage a couple of times when balls were completed over the middle or passes were missed over the middle.
DB: Most of the day they were in positon to make the play. This is vastly aided by the pass rush which if I saw correctly, Bama leads the nation with 45 sacks. The big mistake was allowing the long TD pass. It is hard to tell who was really supposed to have the coverage, but I thought a safety should have had enough depth to come up and make a play. I will say the rec did a good job going up and high pointing the ball for the catch. There were a couple of times they busted coverage. There was a wide open rec that dropped a pass and no DB in sight. I do want to point out on Humphreyís interception did anyone else see how high Alex Morris jumped?
Penalties: There were some big penalties in this game. Bama lost considerable yardage/field positon because of penalties. Blocks in the back cost Bama as well as the false starts. On the false starts, Bama was put in the hole and had to punt at least once because they didnít come thru. This could have been saved if a ball hadnít been dropped on a pass play.
Special Teams: Overall pretty good. There were the couple of problems and the punt return for a TD was the big one. UF did a great job holding up the cover guys and Scott boomed a punt which allowed the return guy to pick his path. The other glitch was the missed FG by Griffith. He hit the ball well but the alignment was off.
Finally: Hopefully, Bama can get healed. I just see that Bama will be playing MSU in the playoffs. Too me this is a very good draw for Bama. If Bama is to win the National Championship they are going to have to do a better job in the red zone. I also just want to throw this out here. Does anyone think Bama throws the ball sometimes just to give Henry a break? Congrats to Bama for again going into the playoffs.
Please feel free to comment.
Good Luck and Roll Tide Roll
15 and counting
|Game notes: Bama vs AU
First: Congrats to the Bama players and coaches on the victory. This was a hard fought victory which is representative of a great rival game.
Offense: Bama quietly put up 465 yards of total offense (179 passing and 286 rushing), however this game was kept close because of Bamaís inability to finish drives in the red zone. Bama, cut back on the negative plays this game and only had 3 tackles for losses. As far as 3 and outs they only had one, but this only happened because of the pass interference call against Stewart. For plays of 10 plus yards, Bama had 6 runs and 5 passes that covered that distance. Scoring touchdowns was the problem. Both touchdowns came from outside the red zone. They only go into the red zone twice and settled for field goals both times. This is extremely bad since they had the ball on the 1 yard line and it was second down. They had 3 field goals from outside the red zone.
QB: Coker made some great plays and he made some not so good plays. The scramble for the touchdown was a great job keeping his eyes down field and finding the open rec. Also the throw deep to Ridley was thrown where the rec was the only one to make the play. He has a tendency to guide the ball when throwing the wide rec screen to the right. Some of his misses were way off the mark and was fortunate one of those throws wasnít carried back to the house for the TD. Defensives have started giving up backside pursuit on the boot unless they are completely sure the running back has the ball and taken this play away. There was also a time where I thought he could have checked the ball down to Henry, but I am not sure because of the angle of the tv shot.
RB: Henry had a great game. Even when there was contact in the backfield he generally gained positive yards. Pass blocking was ok, but could be better. I am going to say here another running back is going to have to step up and take some of the pressure off of Henry.
REC: Ridley and Stewart were the main targets for the day. Most of the passes were short. I guess Bama doesnít trust the pass blocking of the OL. They made some big catches on balls that were not on the money. I do think they need to do a better job blocking on the wide rec screens. They were also beat on the toss down in the red zone.
OL: They did a pretty good job especially when running the ball right at them. There were no sacks, but some of this had to do with Cokerís scrambling. They got to the second level several times and made some very good combo block. They did miss one combo blocks that was crucial when Jackson looked inside and the threat was outside. The TE got blown up on the goal line where Bama had a 2nd and 1 from the 1. This is an area where Bama has to improve, the blocking TEís.
Defense: The defense play a solid game. They gave up 260 yards of total offense, 91 rushing and 169 passing. We all know 77 of that passing came on 1 play. The bad part is that it was on a 3rd and 12. Bama had 3 three and outs, but one was given another play because of the roughing the kicker penalty. They had a four and out at the end of the game when AU had to go for it. AU tried to attack wide and take a few yards inside to keep them honest. As far as plays over 10 yards, AU had 1 run and 4 passes. I think Bama played a better second half than they did the first. For negative plays I have Bama getting 3 sacks, 4 tackles for losses, and 2 fumbles, one was recovered. This recovery was probably unnoticed since it was on the last play of the game when AU was trying to lateral all over the place.
DL: They played well and all of them contributed. This was a mosh pit and bodies were everywhere.
LB: They were forced to play sideline to sideline and still be a force in the middle. I thought Foster had a very good game.
DB: I thought they played pretty well here. They did give the one deep ball, which should have been knocked down or the rec tackled. It looked like one safety thought the ball was going to be overthrown and was looking to make a diving interception and the other was looking not to run into his own player.
Penalties: Bama had an offensive pass interference call which took away a first down and eventually led to their only three and out. The roughing the kicker was not really a problem. Most of the penalties were overcome by Bama and a couple could have been avoided completely.
Special Teams: They were great all day. I was especially happy for AG on his kicking for the day. He only had one kick off returned the whole day and it was at the end of the game. The 5 field goals were perfect. I just wish he had one more to give a new meaning to kick 6. Scott actually punted too well as he didnít pin AU inside the 20.
Finally: Bama is going to have to get better in the red zone and throwing the ball. With this performance I would not be surprised if the drop a spot in the rankings. If they had finished the red zone appearances there would be no problem.
Please feel free to comment.
Good Luck and Roll Tide Roll
15 and counting
|CRS Coach's Corner: Week 13
I wonder if there there are still some echos of Roll Tide Roll to be heard this morning on the Auburn campus. If the volume of Rammer Jammer after the game last night is the indicator, I would say there are still echos of it being heard.
The game yesterday was no different than in most years, it was a typical Auburn/Alabama game, full of energy and big plays that always seems to keep the game reachable for either team to win. Being the favorite in this game doesn't always seem to be the best as it seems to fuel a fire under the underdog that intensifies them to a higher level of play and that is why the Iron Bowl is so competitive every year.
There were many big plays and heroes for Bama yesterday that preserved the victory for the Crimson Tide. Derrick Henry no doubt got the most attention as he put on a show that will never be forgotten in Alabama football history. How can we not say that he is the best running back ever at Alabama because there have been some good ones in previous years? Personally, I think he is the best. His size, speed, lack of injuries, leadership qualities and all have played a role in his success this season. Being the leader of the team is the key to all of his qualities in him being so successful and the reason for the teams success as well. Whether it's on the field or off the field, he sets an example for all the others to follow and this to me is what the process is all about. CNS preaches the process and how important it is for the teams success but if he doesn't have the leader(s), the process never happens, regardless of how good the coaching is.
As I mentioned above, this win wasn't all about Henry as the team as a whole seemed to follow his energy and they played for 60 minutes, which is another of Coach Saban's pet peeves after each game, you've got to finish to win. Coker had one of his better days and it was only fitting because of his childhood dreams of playing for the Crimson Tide and beating Auburn. His performance was matched on the defensive side by the whole unit as they practically shut down the vaunted Malzhan offense which has been a big thorn in the side of the Bama defense the past two years. Then there was my favorite, Adam Griffith. Here is the player that has had to live with an Auburn stigma for two years as being the blame for the now infamous Kick Six play that beat Bama and he was blamed for the loss that day. He also got off to a bad start this year and many Bama fans wanted him put on a rail car and shipped out of town. There were many Bama fans taking his side though and telling the others to have patience that kickers sometimes go through these types of problems but they were very insistent on him being replaced as the kicker as well as the Special Teams Coordinator. I can only smile now that I and some others had the patience and belief that things would get better for the kicker and the special teams unit, never say never.
As is so often, the winner of the SEC Championship is in line with a chance to play for the National Championship and it is no different this year. Bama will have a chance to win yet another NC if they can defeat Florida next Saturday and move on to the four team playoffs. It's got to be an honor for the SEC to be recognized as the toughest conference in the NCAA and the winner of the conference each year has a better than good chance to make the playoffs and play for the National Championship. Hopefully CNS will live for another twenty-five years or so and we can continue our success in the post season play.
If there was a part of the game yesterday that I though marred the image of the game, it was the sideline antics of Auburn Assistant Will Muschamp. College football is considered a game for young men and it's intent is to grow these young men into a respectable adulthood for their years after college. Will Muschamp put on a public display of anger yesterday that looked like it came out of a movie. The look in his eyes as well as the ability to read his lips told me that this man has a severe mental issue and should in no way have any responsibility in teaching or coaching these young men. Hopefully Auburn or the SEC will correct this problem very soon.
Anyway, it's on to Atlanta next Saturday with high hopes of beating Florida and getting another chance to make it to the playoffs and I do like their chance of making it.
These are just some of my opinions and comments and I hope you all will enjoy and share your opinions and comments as well. RTR!!!
|CRS Coach's Corner: Week 12
Playing Charleston Southern yesterday wasn't like what next Saturday's game will/should be but who knows, the score might be similar if Bama plays like they did yesterday. I fully understand that Charleston Southern isn't a Division I school but they are playing for an upcoming championship themselves which means they do something about football and should be respected as such. Bama played played with a lot of energy and discipline yesterday which should help them in getting prepared for the championship run which begins next Saturday against Auburn. The game may have seemed little to some but I thought the team came away feeling good about their execution of handling things on both sides of the football. It was a good day of preparation for the team.
The talk of late has been about running back Bo Scarbrough who has been on the mend of a knee injury and when would he ever get to play more than a couple of snaps. I hope everyone was watching because he got some valuable minutes yesterday and showed what he is very capable of doing for the team. If you put a #9 jersey on him you would probably mistake him for Derrick Henry, big, strong and fast. Bo does bring something that Derrick either doesn't have or has never been asked to do, catch passes. There was a time when Bo wanted to be a wide receiver so that might give you an idea of what he might add to the team coming out of the backfield. I have a better feeling now knowing we have two big men in the backfield and let's not forget Harris, he's a diamond in the rough but he will only get better with time.
The team, as a whole, looked very crisp and sharp yesterday, something that CNS and coaches have all been waiting see happen. It doesn't always matter as to who the team is playing in terms of having good execution, it's all about the mental aspect of the players which permits them to make good decisions during their performance. There are some folks healing up as well which really helps the team's depth at a few positions, nothing like having more troops to fight the battles.
The Iron Bowl is next Saturday and anybody that lives anywhere in the Southern part of the country knows all about this game. It not only affects the football teams and coaches, it affects everybody familiar with the State of Alabama and it's football legacy. Bama has a chance to use the Tigers as a stepping stone this year to #16 and on the other side of the coin, Auburn has a chance to spoil everything for Alabama's championship hopes. There are a couple of bad memories of playing at Shug Jordan and the media and fans across the country don't mind reminding Bama of them, especially the latest one, the Kick Six. What a horrible night that was and I along with a million or more Bama fans are wanting the team to impose some heavy beat down on the Tigers this Saturday. But in all reality, it's not just about the Kick Six, it's all about beating Auburn one more time, paving the way for one more shot at another SEC title and National Championship #16. RTR!!!
|Game notes: CSU vs Bama
First: Congrats to the Bama players and coaches on the victory. This was a game that was decided before the first snap. You had a bunch of top rated athletes playing against a good team from their division. It was also good to see that Bama did not take this game lightly and played hard.
Offense: Bama put together 403 yards of offense and probably would have been more if they hadnít had the short fields as well as losing 2 offensive possessions because of the punt returns for touchdowns. I have Bama for 2 negative plays the whole day. One was a sack which could have been thrown away by Bateman and the other was a tackle for loss which wasnít blocked well and seem to be some indecision before the play. I donít have Bama having any 3 and outs the whole game. As far as plays for 10+ yards, Bama had 5 runs and 9 passes. Basically they scored at will and did whatever they wanted on the offensive side of the ball. I have them getting in the red zone 5 times and scoring 4 touchdowns. On the other trip they missed a field goal that was taken by Scott. There were 4 touchdowns scored from outside the red zone and 2 of those were punt returns by Jones.
QB: I thought Coker played a very good game. He did miss on the deep ball, but it also looked like the route may have been off. He hit the hot on the corner blitz which helps prevent teams from running it. He threw a dart on the touchdown pass to Ridley. Bateman also played well. Two of his best throws were incompletes. I actually think in a closer game there would have been interference called on the plays in question. His only knock was he could have thrown the ball away on the scramble which would have saved a sack.
RB: They all ran hard. Henry was Henry and it was good that he was able to get out of the game early. I like the way Scarbrough ran the ball. Also, Harris looked pretty good. I think Clark also has potential. The only knock was a couple of missed pass blocking assignments.
REC: The caught the ball well. Nine different recís caught the ball, not counting Henry. The catch by Mullaney was good and a very good example of how to high point the ball as a rec.
OL: They dominated and should have. They out weighted the DL by an average of 60 pounds. This was a great opportunity to make sure you were taking the proper steps and blocking the assignments as you are suppose too. There was a couple of missed blocks on the roll out and I know one was the right guard. The second OL came in and did a pretty good job. I would have really like early on for the coaches to mix in some of the back-ups with the starters and let them work together.
Defense: The defense played well. This seems to be a common theme. The defense only gave up 134 total yards. We also know they were not playing all the starters on the offensive side of the ball. I have the defense for 5 three and outs and a 2 and out. As far as negative plays, Bama had 9 tackles for losses, 2 interceptions and 2 fumbles one that was recovered by Bama. If my numbers are correct they gave up 2 running plays for 10+ yards and 2 pass plays for 10+ yards. The only concerns I had was Bama allowed them to get on the edge when they lost contain and they actually over pursued and allowed the ball carrier to get a few yards. Sometimes this is caused because they want to make a play so bad, they lose their assignment.
DL: They all played well. Not a lot to say here because they outmanned the other team so bad.
LB: With the option they had to play sideline to sideline. I thought Hamilton played well when he was in there.
DB: Most of the day they had to come up and play the option. They did a good job but there were a couple of times when they got cut. On one option, Brown took a bad angle an allowed the QB to get outside. They did give up the big pass play and that was the back-ups who were probably so focused on the run they allowed the rec to get deep.
Penalties: Bama only had two penalties and both of those should have been avoided. One was the call on #15 on the punt return for the touchdown. It was behind the play and all the guy had to do was raise his hands and signal touchdown. The other was the late hit called on Brown when they were far out of bounds.
Special Teams: Griffith looked good kicking the ball. The only real return by the other team was when he had to kick from 15 yards back because of the penalty mentioned above. Jones made a smart play on the first punt return for the TD. Overall they played well on special teams and set a record with two punt returns for touchdowns.
Finally: What I really liked about this game was the opportunity to get many players in the game and get valuable game experience. Plus they got to continue to run their offense and not just run the clock out.
Please feel free to comment.
Good Luck and Roll Tide Roll
15 and counting
Tonight was our annual meeting with Bama football analyst John Garcia and as usual, he has more information on recruits than the mind can comprehend in that short of a time frame. John is very educated in what he does and is very good as well.
He gave us a list of Bama's present commitments for 2016 and 2017 and the top remaining prospects for 2016. His job demands having a good memory, loving to travel, and willing to spend as many hours as it takes to get a scope on the recruits.
Being a committed player isn't always what it may seem to be. These recruits have learned the recruiting path and know that they are the guest of honor when on a visit and they will receive lots gifts and attention, which can easily change their opinion immediately. He didn't go into detail about the gifts though but there is a lot of players flipping these days and I'm sure some special treatment was involved in some way. TLC, that's what it's all about. Also the promise of being able to come into a school and play immediately is another. CNS is not one of the coaches that is going to promise a recruit that he will come in and play immediately and that hurts Bama's chances sometimes with a recruit.
After the recruiting report, there were some questions about the coaching changes that are happening now and would it affect Bama in any way. He stated that there is a good chance that some of Bama's coaches would and already be mentioned for some of the vacancies and there's a good chance that some will could leave. All of this is mere speculation though until any of them sign the dotted line on a contract. There were three Bama coaches mentioned from the audience and John didn't deny that those coaches are a hot item on the possible list of changes. They was also a lengthy discussion on the situation at Georgia concerning Mark Richt and Jeremy Pruitt and how that might end up and everyone pretty much agreed that there is a good chance that one or maybe both might leave the program.
Before closing, John stated two things to always remember in the recruiting wars. One is, which school gets the last visit with the player before signing day and the other is family, especially the mother and who she likes.
|Game notes: Bama vs MSU
First: Congrats to the Bama players and Coaches on the win vs MSU. It was a tough battle, but Bama came thru.
Offense: The offense started the game facing tough field position and wasnít really able to get out. The offense had five 3 and out and 1 four and out. The four and out was when they were working clock at the end of the game. MSU loaded the box and forced Bama to try and throw the ball early and was successful. I only have Bama for 7 plays of 10+ yards. This was 3 runs and 4 passes. They only got to the red zone twice in the game and both of them came in the 4th quarter. Too me this is something to worry about. Also, no points came from here. I know they had the big plays but it didnít seem like there was a very good rhythm/consistency with the offense the whole game. As far as negative plays this was one of Bamaís better games. They had 1 sack and 5 tackles for losses; one was slip by the running back. Bama only had 379 total yards, 144 passing and 235 rushing.
QB: I thought Coker played a good game, not a great game. The reason I say this is he missed on a couple of throws. He was not helped by the drops. There were a couple of instances where he missed open recs that would have moved the chains and kept drives alive. The int seemed to be miscommunication between the rec and QB.
RB: Henry was Henry. He ran hard and helped secure the game for Bama with his long TD runs. Prayers go out for Drake on his injury. Now one of the other two, Harris or Scarbrough is going to have to pick up the slack.
REC: They didnít seem to get a lot of separation in the routes, but I couldnít see everything. There were at least 3 drops by Ridley and not all were great throws. Ridley did have the big catch and run for the TD and was aided by the blocks of Drake and Stewart.
OL: MSU made it tough on these guys. I will say again that I think Kelly is too easy to read on his shotgun snaps. MSU also used the delayed blitz a few time. There were 7+ in the box many times when Bama tried to run the ball. The safety was also filling in a hurry. I know Kelly got beat as did Taylor. Kelly caused Coker to be flushed out of the pocket early once. Taylor missed a couple of blocks and was beat off the ball a couple of times.
Defense: This is where the game was one even though they game up more yards than normal. They made stops in the red zone that could have easily changed the outcome of this game. The defense also had to defend the short field in the early goings. They gave up 393 yards which was made up of 304 rushing and 89 rushing. MSU had 4 plays of runs for 10+ yards and 10 passing plays for 10+ yards. The defense did have 9 sacks and 5 tackles for losses. They also forced 2 fumbles and recovered one of them. They also intercepted a pass, but dropped at least 4 other possible interceptions. As far as three and outs, Bama only had 2, but they had one two and out because of the fumble recovery. It looked like MSU was willing to spread the field and work the middle where the LBís had vacated and did this with success.
DL: This is where the pressure on DP came from. Bama rarely had to use blitzes to put pressure on the QB. All nine sacks came from the DL/OB on the LOS. The only negative I saw here was they did allow the QB and others to break contain a couple of times.
LB: They had to play the whole field with the spread, especially the empty sets. This is extremely tough when you have a mobile/running QB like DP.
DB: They did a very good job on not getting cut by the rec from MSU on the wide rec screens. MSU made some plays and the DBís made some plays. The troubling part is that MSU averaged over 13 yards per completion.
Penalties: Bama only had 4 penalties that affected them. The false start on the punt pushed them back even farther into their territory. The PI to me was questionable on Jones and here is why. He had position. I know he didnít look for the ball, but did he try and make a play for the ball, or the rec? Another penalty cost Bama valuable field position on the fair caught punt. Instead of starting at midfield they were back at their own 35. And then there was a holding call on Taylor.
Special teams: Kick coverage was very good all day. The long field goal probably could have been good from another 10 back. The blocked FG was a good job coming of the edge and time well. The punt return was huge because up until that point Bama had done nothing offensively. Yes, Bama did get away with a block in the back on that play. Short punts gave MSU good field positon which the D did not let them take advantage of.
Finally: This game will raise questions about how good Bama is. If MSU had a running game besides DP what would happen. This is what will be compared when you play a Ohio State or even an Oklahoma if it gets to this point. Also, there were a few more missed tackles this game that needs to be cleaned up.
Please feel free to comment.
Good Luck and Roll Tide Roll
15 and counting
] 3 4 5 6 ... 116
|Date: ||Sept. 3, 2016|
|Time: ||7:00 PM CT|
|Location: ||AT&T Stadium|
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