Bowl Round Games
|1st Game Deadline
New Mexico @
Texas San Antonio
(New Mexico -7.0)
San Diego State
Appalachian State @
(Appalachian State -1.0)
Southern Mississippi @
(Southern Mississippi -3.5)
Central Michigan @
(Western Kentucky -4.5)
(Colorado State -13.5)
Eastern Michigan @
(Old Dominion -3.5)
Louisiana Tech @
(Middle Tennessee -0.0)
Miami (OH) @
(Mississippi State -12.5)
NC State @
(NC State -4.0)
(Washington State -6.5)
Boise State @
(Boise State -8.0)
West Virginia @
Texas A&M @
(Texas A&M -2.0)
South Florida @
(South Florida -10.5)
(Virginia Tech -7.0)
Oklahoma State @
South Alabama @
(Air Force -12.5)
Georgia Tech @
(Georgia Tech -3.5)
Ohio State @
(Ohio State -3.5)
Western Michigan @
( Oklahoma -5.0)
Tie Breaker: How many total yards of offense will Alabama get against Washington?
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|Season Assessment So Far
We are one week away from our mid term exam against Arkansas. That game will tell us a lot about our team. To me, as of right now, we still have a lot of work to do if we are going to win #17 this year. The potential is there, we just haven't put all of the pieces together yet.
The defense is pretty solid, but we do have some weaknesses on the backend. Maybe now that Tony Brown is back he can help.
I think we are OK on special teams when Jackson is the return man. I think we will go back to him for the tougher games coming up. Kicking and punting is somewhat inconsistent.
On offense, I think we need to let Hurts run the ball more and it will open things up considerably. I also think we have intentionally avoided having him run the ball so far so that he can work on his passing game. Again, now that we are to the meat of the schedule I look for us to end some of the practice/experiments that we have been doing. Unless we get a big lead of course, which actually is pretty much how things went for the UK game.
The key to the season will come down to this:
1. Will we get better each week so that we are ready for the playoffs by the end of the year?
2. Will we be able to stay at least one step ahead of the opponent for that week?
Fortunately for us, our remaining opponents have all shown weaknesses as well.
We have Arkansas up next. It will probably come as a surprise to a lot of you guys to hear that they are throwing the ball all over the field this year. From what I have seen, their passing game is much better than their running game. On defense, I think they are not as good at stopping the run as they have been in the past. That goes in our favor because I don't know if we are ready to beat a team by relying solely on our passing game right now.
After that we have UT. Tennessee is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get. If the good UT shows up for both halves, then our front 4 will have to get after the QB and stay in his face all day. Since UT is in the East though, we could lose this game and still control our own destiny.
Next up is Texas A&M. aTm is much better on defense this year now that they have Chavis managing that phase of the game. This may be our toughest remaining game and will probably be a playoff game with the winner advancing to Atlanta.
If we can get through those 3 games with at least 2 victories over the West teams then we should be in a good position to win out and make it to the playoffs. We still have a down LSU team but the rest are cupcakes. We will be heavily favored in all of our November games.
|Game notes: Kentucky vs Bama
Kentucky vs Bama
First congrats to the Bama players and coaches on the big win vs Kentucky Saturday. This was a game where the Bama offense showed it has a long way to go.
OFFFENSE: Bama had 488 yards of total offense which includes 173 rushing and 315 passing. The passing yards are a little deceiving because most of the yardage was made after short passes. As far as negatives Bama had 1 sack, 2 tackles for losses and a fumble that was lost. With the negative plays Bama caused their own fumble and the sack was when Hurts ran out of bounds when he could have thrown the ball away. Bama also had 1 three and out for the game. For positives, Bama had 7 runs of 10+ yards and 12 passes of 10+ yards. Again these were mostly thrown short and the yardage was made after the catch. Bama reached the red zone 4 times and scored 3 touchdowns and kicked one field goal. They also had a field goal from outside the red zone. They left points on the field when they missed the one field goal.
QB: Hurts had an ok game. He still hasnít thrown the deep ball well or consistently. He was 20 for 32 for 63 percent but you have to realize those jet sweeps where he flips the ball forward is considered a completion. I think he is looking at the rush too much instead of the progression of the receivers, however this is just my opinion. I also think his footwork is lacking at times. If you notice how many balls are right on target where the rec is hit in stride? He also threw into double coverage at least once. I also think he needs to work on his play action. Bateman came in and went 5 for 5, again they were mostly short throws.
RB: Jacobs runs hard. He is also a strong runner for his size. Many times when he is tackled he is going forward. Harris was limited for his ankle I would imagine. Scarbrough ran hard as well.
Rec: It is hard to get a gauge on these players as route runners since the TV angle doesnít show it very well. I do know there are a couple ball, not thrown perfectly, that could have been caught. One specifically was the 4th down throw that would have kept a drive alive. These guys are too talented not to be utilized more.
OL: I will still use the word inconsistent here. That one drive where they ran the ball all the way they looked good. Other times they donít sustain their blocks and I think there was some miss communication on a couple of combo blocks. Penalties by these guys hurt drives. They are not a dominant unit at this point.
Defense: Bama gave up 161 yards of total offense. This included 89 passing yard and 72 rushing yards. As far as negative plays, I have 5 sacks, 6 tackles for loss, and 3 fumble 2 of which were recovered by Bama. One of those fumbles was returned for a touchdown. Bama had 3 three and outs and all of them were in the first half. For plays of 10+ yards Kentucky had 6 runs and 3 passes. They only got into the red zone once and got a field goal for it. The other field goal came outside the red zone. I donít know why but the last two games the opposition has started with a run of 10+ yards. It was obvious Kentucky was planning on getting rid of the ball quickly and utilize the short passing game.
DL: They played their usual good game. I think you could see Williams was hungry after being set out for the first half. They did lose the edge a couple of times. Probably their biggest play was the pass that was batted down on the pop pass. The receiver was wide open with only Jackson back there to stop him.
LB: They played well. Most of their job was in the box. They were put in coverage a couple of times and once there was a completion that was well defended.
DB: They really werenít tested very often. Harrison was again beat on a short throw that turned into a first down and a 10+ completion. I wonder if Jackson would be better in coverage since he used to be a corner. This is just wondering not questioning the coachís decisions.
Special Teams: Overall they were pretty solid, but there were a few of issues. On the kickoff they lost contain and allowed a decent return. On one of Bamaís kickoff returns they should have taken a knee instead or running it out after a bobble. Another was when Bama had a chance to pin Kentucky deep on a punt and it took a weird hop and went thru Browns legs. Finally, another makeable field goal that was missed. These little things can cost you a game against a quality opponent.
Penalties: Bama had 4 penalties for 20 yards. Ten of those yards were on the right tackle. One of his false starts that took Bama from a 4th and 2 to a 4th and 7. If you watch the play begin to unfold Hurts had a huge running lane if the block had been made on the edge. I also think they got away with a false start on one play when the left guard flinched.
Finally: Bama has got to get this offense straightened out. The first quarter slow starts are hurting the team. The inconsistent OL play has got to improve. Hurts has to do a better job with footwork and consistency. Bama is getting ready to play probably the toughest stretch of any team in the nation.
Feel free to comment:
16 and Counting
|SEC Coaches since Saban came to Alabama
I was thinking now that Les Miles is gone, Nick Saban has been at Alabama longer than any other coach in the SEC has been at their school. So I did a little research and put together this list of coaches that have come or gone at current SEC schools since Saban's arrival in Tuscaloosa:
|Arkansas||Houston Nutt, Bobby Petrino, John L. Smith, and Bret Bielema|
|Auburn||Tommy Tuberville, Gene Chizik, and Gus Malzahn|
|Florida||Urban Meyer, Will Muschamp, D. J. Durkin, and Jim McElwain|
|Georgia||Mark Richt and Kirby Smart|
|Kentucky||Rich Brooks, Joker Phillips, and Mark Stoops|
|LSU||Les Miles and Ed Orgeron|
|Mississippi State||Sylvester Croom and Dan Mullen|
|Missouri||Gary Pinkel and Barry Odom|
|Ole Miss||Ed Orgeron, Houston Nutt, and Hugh Freeze|
|South Carolina||Steve Spurrier and Will Muschamp|
|Tennessee||Phillip Fulmer, Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley, and Butch Jones|
|Texas A&M||Dennis Franchione*, Mike Sherman*, and Kevin Sumlin|
|Vanderbilt||Bobby Johnson, Robbie Caldwell, James Franklin, and Derek Mason|
*Left Texas A&M before the school joined the SEC.
I count 38 different coaches!
|Game notes: Kent State vs Bama
Kent State vs Bama
First congrats to the Bama players and coaches on the big win vs Kent State Saturday. This was a game where the Bama team clearly outmanned the opponents. This game shouldnít have been close and wasnít. As stated by the announcers, Bamaís practices are probably tougher since they are going against better competition.
OFFFENSE: Bama put together 502 yards of total offense which included 217 passing and 285 rushing. I have Bama for 9 negative plays which included 2 sacks and 7 tackles for losses. A couple of these were self-imposed when the right guard stepped on the QB and the Bama players ran into each other on a 4th and short. Bama only had 1 three and out, but this should have been expected with the opponent they were playing. As far as positive plays, Bama had 11 runs of 10+ yards and 6 pass plays that went for over 10 yards. Bama got into the red zone 4 times and scored 4 touchdowns and kicked one field goal. One of the negative plays hurt the drive in the red zone where the QB was stepped on. They got 2 touchdowns from outside the red zone on offense and 1field goal. The other score came on special teams outside the red zone.
QB: Hurts had a decent game, not great. Part of this could have been the game plan. It looked like Bama was trying to work on the long pass plays. He didnít make great throws on the long passes and didnít always check down when he had the opportunity. He also threw into double coverage a couple of times. He was late on the throw to Howard where he got the completion even though the ball was tipped. Barnett had some of the better throws. For instance, his touchdown to Howard was the same play Hurts ran and was late on the throw. He also threw a deep ball in the end zone where only the rec had a chance to get the ball. Other QBís did well with the backups in the game. I expect one or two of these to transfer at the end of the season.
RB: I thought they all ran hard. I also thought pass blocking was not assertive enough at times and that may be why they are backups. I really like Jacobs and Emmons. Hopefully the injuries are not serious and this will benefit Bama down the road with the depth.
Rec: Many receivers caught the ball. There were also a couple of balls that were dropped. Some may not have been perfect throws but they are balls that are expected to be caught by this quality of receivers. I thought they blocked better this game, but again you have to consider the completion.
OL: I donít know if you would really say they progressed unless you consider the penalties. This is a DL they should have dominated. I donít know if you noticed but the right guard position was being shared by Taylor and Cotton. I thought Cotton played better. I donít know if anyone else noticed but a couple of times when I was watching Taylor, I noticed him shaking his head like he was trying to clear up the cob webs. What really bothers me here is the pressure they were able to get on the QB. I know there were only a couple of sacks, but if you canít block these guys how do you plan on blocking A&M, Tenn., or even Ark?
Defense: The defense gave up 166 yards of total offense. Out of this total 123 came on 4 plays. As far as negative plays, Bama had 3 sacks, and 1 tackle for loss. They also forced and recovered 1 fumble which led to points. They forced 6 official 3 and out however they did have a one and out with the forced fumble and one 4 and out because of a penalty that gave the a first down on the first play of a series. For plays over 10+ yards, Bama held KS to 2 pass plays and 2 running plays. They only reached the red zone once and didnít score. They did miss a field goal from outside the red zone.
DL: The DL played ok. The only problem was they allowed the other team to get outside the problem with this is what if it happens when you are playing a better quality team. They did pressure the QB a couple of time but not real consistently. I will say they did this with 4 most of the time.
LB: Again they did a good job. In my opinion no one really stood out.
DB: Not really challenged here very often. The big reception came against the backups and was being covered by a strong safety I think.
Special Teams: Kickoffs: most of them were good. The one that wasnít had good coverage. The punts were good but the best was that they didnít have to punt often. The punt return for the touchdown looked more like poor coverage too me rather than great blocking. In my opinion I do think he carries the ball a little loose. I am not saying the team didnít block it is just that they didnít have to make many big blocks. All field goal and extra-point kicks were good especially from Griffith.
Penalties: Some of the best news from the game was Bama only had 2 penalties. One was a false start by Taylor again. The other was hands to the face by Allen.
Finally: This was game that Bama was supposed to win and they did. However, there are concerns. One concern is forcing the ball on the deep balls. This also worries me because I didnít see a lot of intermediate routes. Another concern is the protection by the offensive line. It seems they bust more than they should. I know Robinson whiffed at least once. Iím not sure if Taylor busted or Williams on one play. Another concern was the intensity showed in this game. It looked more like a practice to me. Finally, injuries seem to be piling up.
Feel free to comment:
16 and Counting
|Game notes: Bama vs Ole Miss
Bama vs Ole Miss
First congrats to the Bama players and coaches on the big win vs Ole Miss yesterday. This was a game where the Bama team could have easily folded the tents but instead fought back and took the win. There is still improvement needed on both sides of the ball, especially offense. In my opinion they wasted good field position a couple of times.
OFFFENSE: Bama put together 492 yards of offense, which included 334 yards rushing and 158 passing. I have Bama for 8 negative plays. Five of these were tackles for losses which I think most came on passing plays. They fumbled 3 times and lost one that went for the TD. I will discuss that later. If my stats are correct I have Bama for 1 three and out. For plays over 10+ yards, Bama had 11 runs and 5 pass plays that meet that criteria. Bama got into the red zone 5 times and scored 3 touchdowns and kicked 2 field goals. They didnít score from outside the red zone since they missed the field goal of 47 yards. In my opinion they left 7 points on the field, 3 by missing the field goal and also 4 when they missed the wide open rec on the first drive and had to settle for the field goal.
QB: Hurts ran the ball well, but still missed some open receivers. The big one was the one I mentioned above. He didnít allow his players to get set when trying to go fast once. However, the receiver was misaligned and move late. It was obvious the plan was to get the ball out of his hands quickly. His average per completion was only 8 yards per catch. I do like the way he doesnít let mistakes get to him. Plus, he is one tough player especially after the shot he took, which should have been targeting, and continued to run the ball himself. I also want to mention what I thought was a dirty play by an Ole Miss player when Hurts was tackled for a short gain it looked as though the Ole Miss player tried to put his elbow thru the facemask of Hurts.
RB: I thought this was Harris best game. He looked more decisive hitting the whole in my opinion. I really thought they all ran hard. To me the Jacobs kid sort of reminds me of K Drake. A lot of their success was due to the better blocking by the OL.
Rec: Five different receivers caught the ball not counting the backs. It seems like each of them had at least one big catch. Blocking could have been better by this group.
OL: I saw a lot of improvement here, but they can still do better. They had several combo block and sustained their blocks longer than last week. The big mistake was the bust on the pass rusher, which I understood was Ole Missís best pass rusher, that caused the fumble on a free run to the QB. One of the improvements had to be cutting down on penalties. Many of their penalties are mental mistakes.
Defense: The defense gave up 527 yards of offense. Ole Miss had 106 rushing and 421 passing. As for negative plays I have the defense with 1 sack, 3 tackles for losses, 1 fumble recovery for a touchdown and 1 interception for a touchdown. They put 12 points on the board. For three and outs, I have 6 total for the defense. As far as plays for 10+ yards, Ole Miss had 3 runs and 12 pass plays that covered that distance. The two times Ole Miss got into the red zone they were forced to kick field goals. This means the 4 touchdowns they scored came from outside the red zone.
DL: The defensive line played well except for the long run for the first touchdown. It is extremely hard for the DL to get to the QB when he is getting it out of his hands so quickly. I will say when they got a chance they put a good hit on Kelly.
LB: This type game is extremely difficult on the LBís. They have to contend with a QB that can throw and run as well as the running back and all the different recs they have to cover. Plus, Ingram, one they were expected to cover, is considered to be an elite player.
DB: This is hard to access because they were in position several times but didnít make the play. The big receivers got the best of the DBS at times. Now also, there were what appeared to be some bust by the defenders none more evident than the easy touchdown on the fake toss play that the safety bit on.
Special Teams: The kickoffs were good as well as all the coverage. There was one punt that covered 63 yards and the coverage got there which sometimes doesnít happen when the ball is punted that far. There was a missed field goal after a good drive. The special teams came up huge before halftime when Jackson returned the punt for the touchdown. Scott did shank one punt. Another huge mistake on special teams came on the misplayed ball on the onside kick which turned into a touchdown and closed the gap on the game late.
Penalties: Again the penalties were led by the offensive team. At least 4 false starts which put Bama in 1st and 15 or 2nd and 15. A holding call took Bama out of the red zone and ended up taking a field goal. A couple on the D were questionable on them. Still this is an area that needs to be cleaned up.
Finally: This was a huge win for a couple of reasons. Bama made too many mistakes that led to losses the last couple of years. This year there were mistakes but they overcame them. The other huge reason is because they came from such a deep hole to get the win. Also big was Bama scored on offense, defense and special teams.
Feel free to comment:
16 and Counting
|Game notes: WKU vs Bama
WKU VS Bama
OFFFENSE: Bama put together 475 yard of offense and could have been higher if not for mistakes and penalties. They had 351 yards passing and 124 rushing. As far as negative play for Bama, I have them at 3 sacks, I tackle for a lost (there were many that were considered no gain), and a fumble which led to a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. I also have Bama for 3 three and outs and 1 two and out because of the fumble. As far as plays for 10+ yards, I have Bama with 4 runs and 9 passes. For scoring, Bama had to get into the red zone to score. I have them getting into the red zone 5 times where they scored 4 touchdowns and had to settle for a field goal on the other. They had no touchdowns from outside the red zone. They had opportunities but did not execute. They also left points on the field because of this lack of execution. I will discuss this later, but the running game was not pretty. I know the announcers said they had the box loaded to stop the run, which at times they did. However, the box wasnít always loaded when WKU beat the OL and stopped the run. By the way it basically Bama didnít score a touchdown in the first quarter this year until the very end of the first quarter Saturday. The clock showed no time left.
QB: In my opinion Hurt played an okay game. He underthrew several balls I donít know if he was waiting for more separation or what, the TV just doesnít show that angle well enough. He completed 64 percent of his passes and was hurt by a couple of drops. He was inconsistent on checking down. At times he did a good job then others he didnít. Probably his best throw of the day was to Howard that put them on about the three yard line. As far as a dynamic runner, I havenít really seen that. Barnett really didnít get much of a chance to do much. What I noticed, and I could be wrong, is that he wasnít happy on the sideline. I am going by his body language and standing alone on the sideline.
RB: There just wasnít a lot of room for them to run. They did well not to get caught behind the LOS many times. As far has pass blocking the block of the day came from Scarbrough. I thought Emmons looked good, but he also got in there when the defense was the most tired.
REC: It looked as though they were getting open, but they balls werenít delivered properly. I know Howard and Dieter had drops. Also, they had to make a couple of acrobatic catches for the plays to be successful. I will l say they have numerous receivers and they are all capable.
OL: To me here was a major problem. One, they didnít sustain their blocks. At times it looked like one shot and done. Two, if you heard the announcer he stated the DL was stemming before the ball was snapped which may change the path of the OL. This is easily done when you can time the snap of the center. Last week I mentioned the ball being snapped as soon as the center raised his head. Iím not sure if this is a problem but it seems like it could be. Three, penalties there were just too many here and they cost the team a lot. One holding call negated a 63 yard gain so you add the 10 yard penalty it is a loss of 73 yards. Four, at times they were just beat one on one. They werenít moving their feet and lunged at the defender.
Defense: The defense played well. They gave up a total of 239 yards, 163 in the first half and only 76 in the second half. They had 216 yards passing and 23 rushing. As far as negative plays, I have 5 sacks, 3 tackles for losses, 2 interceptions (one returned for a TD), a fumble not recovered, and a block FG. For plays of 10+ yards, I have 1 run and 8 passes. WKU had 5 three and out and one 2 and out because of the interception for the touchdown. I only have WKU getting into the red zone once and they settled for a field goal, their touchdown came from right outside the red zone. One of the negatives I saw from the defense was that desire to hit a guy so hard to tackle him they didnít wrap up at times. This was seen in the secondary more than once.
DL: The D line played well. The WKU offense got rid of the ball quick and really didnít give the D line a chance to get there. They played the running game well. I thought Allen again played well.
LB: They played well. I have a feeling they are going to have to play a similar type of game coverage wise with Ole Miss. The problem is they have better athletes and a better running game.
DB: They were in good position most of the time. Most of the completions were for short gains. WKU only averaged 5.7 yards per completion. Humphreys did a great job to run down and cause a fumble on the trick play. Jackson would have done better to fall on the ball rather than pick it up. However, I know he was just trying to make a play. The touchdown was given up by the backups but they busted. I think when the QB began to scramble the corner came off his man and the safety didnít overlap over the top. If he had it probably would have been another pick. Understand when the backup come in, at time, they want to make a play so bad they forget technique and it leads to big plays.
Special Teams: The special team were pretty solid. The missed field goal was techniques. He didnít finish which caused him to kick across his body. If you watched his second kick you could see the difference. Punting was outstanding all day. Bama should have recovered the fumble on the first kickoff return.
Penalties: Here is where there was a huge problem and against a better team could cost Bama the game. I have Bama for 12 penalties. Eleven of the penalties were on the offense. The one defensive penalty was roughing the passer and It was a bit of a fluke since the QB threw the ball with his left hand and the defender probably didnít see the throw because of his positioning. Now, the problems, lack of focus and poor technique. There were 5 false starts on 5 different people. There were 2 holding calls one of which cost Bama 73 yards of offense and a chance to score. You had a block in the back by a rec. There was an illegal formation as well as an illegal substitution. And finally a delay of game that took Bama out of field goal positon.
Finally: I know all victories are good victories, but this was ugly on the offensive side of the ball, especially with concerns to the offensive line. This is a game that could have been loss if you were playing say, and Ole Miss. They have got to clean up the offense. Now about the play where Saban got animated at the end. Donít you want your backups being able to run the same plays as the starters. I understand that the play had a little more risk, and it cost Bama, but this is a play they run all the time. It was the execution not the play call.
Feel free to comment:
16 and Counting
|Game notes: USC vs Bama
USC VS Bama
OFFFENSE: The offense opened up slow with a sluggish first quarter. They had, by my count, about 13 yards of total offense in the first quarter. The offensive line was getting beat at the point of attack, but did regroup and play better later. Bama had a total of 465 yard most of which came in the second half since Bama had 142 yards in the first half. They had 223 rushing and 242 passing. In the game I have Bama for 12 negative plays. There were 2 sacks, 8 tackles for losses, 1 fumble lost and 1 interception. I have Bama for 4 drives that were 3 and out or less. One was a 1 and out. For plays over 10 yards, I have 7 pass plays and 3 running plays. They scored every time they got into the red zone. The got there 4 times and had 3 touchdowns and 1 field goal. Bama also scored 3 times from outside the red zone. As far as play for 10+ yards the Tide had 7 pass plays and 3 running plays that fell into that category. Probably another knock on the offense was the couple of wasted opportunities with the field position they had.
QB: This was a heck of a stage for new quarter backs to come into, especially if you are a RS freshman or a true freshman. In my opinion, Blake Barnett did not have a lot of help in the early going. The offensive line didnít really help him out. He did look a little nervous in the beginning which added to the short arm throw early in the game. Jalen Hurts didnít have a great start with the fumble but rebounded on the next drive. This was also aided by a better job from the offensive line. Hurts threw the ball pretty well when got his feet under him. Later Barnett made a couple of nice throw one on the touchdown where the rec didnít have to break stride but probably more impressive was when he went to his secondary rec which happened to be Howard on a 40 yard pick up.
RB: They ran hard and at times there wasnít a lot of room. I thought all showed some positives. I did think there were a couple of bust on blocking assignments during pass protection. Harris seem to show the ability to change directions effectively. I did like the way Jacobs hit the hole. For some reason, and I am not sure this is by design, but the QB/RB exchange looked slow or off at times.
REC: Several recs caught the ball and showed they could get the ball downfield. This is a continuation of last year. With the majority of the focus on Ridley, Stewart was able to have a big game. I thought Howard did a better job blocking in this game than he did at times last year.
OL: To me here is where some of the early problem were. They were getting beat at the point of attack. Also, I saw a couple of missed blocks or bad steps by the linemen going to their assignment. They got a lot better as the game went on and had some good combo blocks. I am concerned about the center but only because, on shotgun snaps, he seems to snap the ball as soon as he raises his head which is easy to time. This is just my opinion.
Defense: When the offense was struggling the D stepped up and played their butts off. If my count is correct USC had 16 possessions. Out of these possessions 9 of them were 3 and outs or less. As far as negative play, I have Bama for 3 sacks, 7 tackles for losses, and an interception that was returned for a touchdown. For plays of 10+ yards they had 3 passes and 2 passes which covered that distance. USC had a total of 194 yards, where they had 92 at the half and 102 in the second half. USC only got into the red zone once, in the 3rd quarter, and had to settle for a field goal. The speed of this defense seems to be as good or better than last years. Also, there were some big hits by numerous players during the game.
DL: They played well and Anderson and Allen stood out to me. They seem to be a force all night. They took care of the running and pass rush without a lot of blitzes. They did lose contain once and allowed the QB to scramble for a 1st down. It looked like they got too far up the field which opened a hole for his escape.
LB: Again they played well. I thought both Foster and Hamilton played well. I was impressed with Hamilton. They did a good job on both the run and pass coverage. Hamilton looked to have a key block on the interception return for the touchdown.
DB: I thought they played well. They filled on the running game and did a pretty good job in coverage. There were a couple of breakdowns but was not hurt mainly because of the good pass rush. The good pass rush is the best friend of the DBís. USCís top rec from last year (85 catches 1389 yards) had one catch for 9 yards and it didnít come until the 3rd quarter.
Special Teams: Most of the kickoffs were good except 2. One he looked like he was trying to kill the ball and hit a low line drive. The other looked like instead of kicking to his left he went to the right and got under it too much. There were a couple of times I thought the coverage could have been better. I thought the punt return team did well and really caused no problem. Punting was outstanding and helped flip the field a couple of times and Bama didnít take advantage of it.
Penalties: Bama four penalties 2 false starts and 2 pass interference calls.
Finally: Except for the first quarter, I thought it was a good opening game for Bama. USC reminded me of Bama back when they didnít have the depth to finish games. If Bama continues to improve each week they can be a major player in the chase for the National Championship in my opinion.
Feel free to comment:
16 and Counting
|Complacency Concerns Nick Saban After 2nd Scrimmage
Complacency is described as being pleased, especially with oneself or one's merits, advantages, situation, etc., often without awareness of some potential danger or defect; self-satisfied. We have heard the coach use the word complacency in years past, especially after winning a national championship and today he used it again. In the case this year, I think the meaning goes a bit further than some of the players gloating over a national championship.
Today, CNS was more talkative about some team events that hasn't been the ordinary for his teams in the past, players transferring. He started with his concern as being a failure as a coach when his players transfer without ever grasping the thought of what they would be after football was over. Educating and preparing his players for the life after football is very important to him and when his players leave the program because of their being selfish and expecting to come into college as a 5 star high school player and get a starting job immediately and it doesn't happen, they then want to go elsewhere thinking that will be the fix for them. It also concerns him that when he applies a rule to a transferring player set forth by the SEC and then the SEC doesn't back the rule. It has been a strange start to this season to for sure.
It was the usual hot humid day for the 2nd scrimmage that also had a rainy start, the practice was delayed about 45 minutes due to one of the many storms our area has been having of late. I was very anxious to watch the quarterbacks since all of the preseason talk has been about will a freshman be Bama's starter this year. The Battle between the three, Bateman, Barnett, and Hurts didn't really produce anything that would provide as answer as to the starter would be. I will say though, Hurts impressed me more than the other two with Bateman following him. Remember now I am referencing to the passing game. Hurts is going to be a very good quarterback before he leaves Bama, he is not as one dimensional as the other two and can get positive yards on plays that are busted or defensed well. Bateman and Barnett are very one dimensional with their play execution, if their primary target is covered, they are in trouble. There were a lot of bad plays today and not just the thrown passes, there were a lot of dropped passes by the receivers as well.
My bright spot on the offense was the running backs. Say what you want but Bama has some good young running backs and the run that really impressed me today was Joshua Jacobs, the young man that nobody wanted during the recruiting days. nick Saban mentioned him and compared him to Mark Ingram. I thought the offensive line did well against the #1 defense but the defense is ahead of the offense at this time.
Jeremy Pruitt has Bama loaded again with a good solid defense with lots of depth. I don't think I've ever seen as many freshmen and red shirt freshmen on the field at the same time today this will play big dividends down the road. I did notice Ruben Foster today, he's lost so much weight I thought he was a defensive back. The defensive backs played pretty good for the most part but they weren't facing some of these SEC QB's.
After watching the practice and listening to CNS, I came away with the feeling that this team has a lot of growing to do to win another championship this year. They have the players to do it but are the players ready for the adversity that goes along with the rigors of playing in the SEC. When you walk around with a bullseye on your back, you better bring your A game with you every Saturday. CNS seems to think they have too many players that think they are better than they really are and when failure becomes part of their game, then that is when the real problem sets in, can they handle it.
USCw is just two weeks away and Bama looks good on paper but the game is won on the field. Hopefully substantial improvement will occur in the next two weeks and Bama will take care of business as they should and be on their way to yet another national championship. RTR!!!
|Greg McElroy Entertains the REC
Our officers of the REC do a wonderful in providing our group with quality speakers for the most part and last night was no exception, Greg McElroy did a wonderful job. Kirk McNair usually provides the introductions and there is no one that can beat him at doing this, no matter who the speaker is. Last night Kirk had dug up some good stuff on Greg for his introduction but when he accused Greg of having picked Auburn to win the National Championship on ESPN at one time that set the pace for the rest of the evening.
Greg did a wonderful job in going back to his youth days and telling how he became a quarterback at Alabama. We all know him as a highly rated QB coming from Texas but actually he was born in California and later moved to Texas as his father worked in the professional ranks of sports and his job took him there. Greg said he was was actually a baseball lover as he grew up and not so much football because of his size. He was playing football but thought his chances at being good at it was slim due to his size and was really trying to become good enough to play baseball in college. He actually played against L.A. Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw his senior year in high school and and saw a total of three pitches in his turn at bat against him, one, two and three strikes you are out. The biggest thing that happened to him in high school though was the summer before the 10th grade, he grew from 5' 8" to 6' 2". This changed his whole attitude about becoming a college quarterback. He was the third string QB in the 10th and 11th grade and in the spring practices he got most of the work because the number two QB was playing baseball.
In his senior year Greg was the number one QB and was getting lots of attention nationally and was looking at Texas Tech to attend but as luck would have it for the Bama Nation, his mother liked Alabama. One of Greg's problems during the recruiting process was his family pretty much just knew professional sports and not college sports because of his dad's job. When they stepped onto the campus of the University of Alabama, that all changed as they got a good look see at what college football was all about and that is why mother liked Alabama so much.
Greg also took us into the world of his job with ESPN. He went into all the detail of how he prepares for his daily shows as well as how they all prep for televised football games. I will say, they really earn their money because the homework that is required for the telecasts is huge.
In the end he broke down Bama's team for 2017 and likes the team very much. He explained though that even with great football players, there are certain things that have to happen and that was leadership and the buying into the "Process" as we hear so much about. He explained that most folks don't rally understand the "Process" as they think it is the end result, winning national championships but it isn't. He explained that the "Process" is merely taking care of what is happening now, at that moment. How well do you handle those situations creates a learning process that carries over to the end result, national championships. That is why the Leadership Council is so important for the team, they have the power to run players off the field during practice and if they don't want to do what the coaches are asking of them, they do just that. They are a huge role in discipline for the team, it's not all CNS and the coaches.
Anyway, I learned a lot about a great player from the University of Alabama, one that all the fans can be proud of, on and off the field. Greg explained that his whole life changed when his mother came running into his bedroom that day to tell him that Nick Saban had just accepted the job at Alabama. Now, there was a lot more meaning to what he had to prepare himself for at Alabama if Nick Saban was going to be his coach. We all know the rest of the story and what a story it is. He said that Roll Tide is now known and heard all over the world and as Greg described it, it's like a second language to those people.
|What did A Day Prove?
If there was one thing proven yesterday, it was the love of Bama football by it's fans. There was an estimated crowd of 70,000 plus and I have to agree with that. I don't think that at any one time were they all in the stadium at once as the fans filtered in and out for most of the game but the bottom level was full and a good crowd in the upper levels on the East and West sides. CNS had asked for a good show from the fans and I think they responded.
The big question though is what did the football team show from it's performance yesterday? I didn't get a chance to sit and watch the whole game but I did watch the replay last night and I had to check the replay and make sure that I wasn't watching last year's A day. I say this in jest because I thought the two games were very similar with lots of good defense and a mediocre offense with less than average kicking game that is not including Scott and his punting but Griffith and his kicking game. Remember last year, everyone wanted to run him off, very similar to what I have been reading from some this morning. Having lost our committed kicker to Florida and his success in their spring game probably had a lot to do with that. I say, be patient as we did last year.
I read Cecil Hurt's column this morning and he had a quote from Nick Saban yesterday that I thought was very interesting as most things CNS says after the
"Don't draw conclusions," he cautioned after Alabama wrapped up its annual A-Day game, a 7-3 Crimson team victory that probably would have unsettled a fan base that hasn't grown accustomed to seeing low-scoring spring scrimmages turn into championship offenses in the fall.
Why shouldn't we draw conclusions?
"Because you'll be wrong," he said.
There's a lot that you can read into what he said and I'm think he's reminding us that it was just a practice game and many things will change between now and August so don't go and try to commit suicide over what you think you saw yesterday, just be patient.
It was pretty obvious, same as last year, as to what will be the core of this team, the defense. That isn't anything new with Bama football as Bear Bryant laid that foundation for many years ago and that is what most Bama fans now regard as a must to have a championship team.That seems to be in place with the beast of a player named Tim Williams heading that up with his play and Rueben Foster with his play and leadership.
Now we get to where all the talk and opinions are and that is who will be the quarterback next season? Again, remember last year, we were having that same discussion. As I watched the quarterbacks yesterday I couldn't see a nickels worth a difference in them except for one, Jalen Hurts. He was highly touted when recruited as being something similar to what Bama faced in the championship game against Clemson quarterback Watson. After watching Watson in that game, I think everyone agreed that he is the real deal, the best that the team had played against since Johnny Football. Yesterday Hurts did show some Watson type abilities but not near as polished and effective as what Watson showed Bama back in January. Again though, this was a practice and in all fairness to each of the quarterbacks I think they can all play better in a real game. I thought Hurts' performance was the better of the quarterbacks and my reason is his abilities to make something out of nothing against a good defense. He passed for the only touchdown of the game on a play that seemed to be hopeless with a good catch from Keif the receiver. There were other plays he made that I thought would/could have been long gainers but the practice whistles protects the quarterbacks and stops the plays early.
My thinking on who the starter will be all depends on which one does the best work in the off season and I give Hurts a slight advantage on who that one will be. Jalen's dad is a coach and from what I hear a good one. I have no doubt that he and his son will be very busy in the off season trying to improve Jalen's play and here is where I give him the slight edge on possibly getting the starting job or becoming the starter before the season is over. The other quarterbacks have all been here for a season now and I really don't see that much change in any of them, as far as what they do in practice. If I had to pick the one from that three, it would be Bateman.
That's my feel for what I saw and how I feel and it's no more than an opinion. I'm sure all of you have a feel for what you all saw yesterday and it's probably much different than mine but that's what makes the game so interesting to all of us, our opinions. I can't wait for August to get here, is #17 in the near future?
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|Date: ||Dec. 31, 2016|
|Time: ||2:00 PM CT|
|Radio: ||Fun 92.7|
|Location: ||Georgia Dome|
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