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NC Game notes: UG vs Bama
hscoach
Written by hscoach
Comments: 9
Posted under: The Quad
                                             UG vs Bama

First, congrats to the Bama players and coaches on a great year.  I know people are disappointed, however, the circumstances were not in Bama favor to repeat.  There were too many mistakes and points left on the field coupled with injures that caused Bama to depend on younger players who didnít have the experience at this time to come thru.

OFFFENSE:  The offense outgained UG but didnít put the ball in the endzone often enough when they got in the red zone.  Bama had a total of 399 yards with 369 passing and 30 rushing. The sack yards, in college, comes off the rushing yards which made this look worse than it was.  For negative plays, I have Bama with5 tackles for losses, 4 sacks and 2 interceptions.  Most of the negative plays came when Bama got behind and was trying to make a comeback.  I credit Bama with 2 three and outs and 1 two and out because of an interception.  Plays that covered 10+ yards, I have Bama with 14 passing plays and 1 running play.  The bad news is Bama got into the red zone 4 times and scored 1 touchdown.  They were stopped at the 19, 10, and 5-yard line.  If Bama scores touchdowns, instead of field goals, they have and additional 12 points.  Outside the red zone they kicked 1 field goal and had one blocked.  Here are three more points left on the field.

QB:  Young threw the ball 57 times and completed 35 of them which equates to 61 percent.  Out of these 57 attempts he was pressured at least 20 times and hit on many of those.  With these pressures he was also sacked 4 times and completed on 8 of these passes.  Now all of that was not on him as some of the throws were catchable, but the plays were not made.  He did miss a couple of receivers, but most misses were because of pressures or missed play opportunities.

RB: Robinson played well in my opinion. The running yards were tough yards and he picked up the blitz several times.  Early in the game they ran the edge getting 4 to 4 yards an attempt and I thought they should have done it a little more.  Sanders, had 2 carries for 5 yards and made a good catch to get a first down.

Rec:  Williams was having a good game before his injury.  He had 4 catches for 65 yards.  On the play he got hurt on, I think if the ball had been deeper, he probably would have scored.  Also, it may have prevented him from his injury.  Latu had 5 catches for 102 yards and the only touchdown.  Latu was also one of the receivers that could have made a catch and scored a touchdown instead of kicking a field goal.  Hall had 2 catches, Brooks had 7 catches, Holden had 6 and Bolden that 7.  The ball was spread between the many receivers, however, they also missed chances to make plays.  For instance, Hall had, what I thought was a chance for a catch to get a first down or even a touchdown but didnít complete the play.  I counted at least 6 balls that were catchable, but the plays werenít made.

OL:  The OL is where this game was won or lost.  They didnít have the game they did like they did in the SEC championship game.  As you see above, they allowed a lot of pressure on the QB.  They would pick up a stunt and then miss a stunt or just get beat 1 on 1.  I will speak on this later.

Def: The defense played well except for a couple of series in the 2nd half.  Bama gave up a total of 364 yards which included 224 passing yards and 140 rushing yards.  For negative plays, I have Bama with 3 tackles for losses, 5 sacks, and 2 fumbles 1 which they recovered.  I have them with 5 three and outs one of which was because of their fumble recoveries.  For plays that covered 10+ yards, I have UG with 11 passing plays and 5 running plays.  UG got into the red zone 3 times and scored 2 touchdowns and kicked 1 field goal.  They scored 1 touchdown from outside the red zone and kicked 1 field goal.  The other touchdown came from the interception return near the end of the game. I really thought Mathis, Harris, ToíoToío and Anderson played well in the game.  It did look that on one of the long runs, the LB Toíotoío and the DL went in the same gap and left the opening for the big run.  No one was there to fill the gap and make the play.  The defense came up with a couple of big stops, like in the red zone and after the first interception which gave UG field position. 

DL: The DL played pretty well except for a few plays.  However, it wasnít all their fault because plays were not made by the safeties at the 2nd level.  They occupied all the OL which kept them off the 2nd level tacklers.

LB: Harris had a big game with 7 tackles which include 3 sacks and a tackle for a loss.  Toíotoío made some big plays where he was blitzing and then made the play down field after a short completion. 

DB: Bama goes into the NC game with 2 back up corners which included the 2nd start for one of them.  Again, they had two pass interference call on touchdown drives.   Jackson was in good position on the touchdown pass but just didnít make the play.  It looked like on the touchdown throw McKinstry gave up he was expecting help on the inside from the safety.   I will also speak about this later.

Special teams: The special teams had 3 problems. One was the big kick off return which was called back for a holding call.  So, it really didnít hurt.  The second was the kickoff out of bounds which gave UG great field position.  Third and the biggest one, was the missed/blocked field goal which looked to be a result of low trajectory.  Finally, there was a fumble on a punt which Bama got back on.

Penalties:  By the official stats Bama had 7 penalties for 57 yards.  First, there was a delay of game on the defense when they were called for clapping.  On the replay, I didnít see a clap, but Toíotoío pounded his fist together making the call.  Second, a big one, was a false start on a 3rd and 1 on Owens which turned into a 3rd and 6 in the red zone.  Third, the kickoff was out of bounds giving UG better field position.  Fourth, a face mask call in the red zone which moved to ball closer to the goal line since UG had gotten a first down on the play. Fifth, PI on the touchdown drive.  This took place after Bama had regained the lead from UG.  Six, offsides was declined.  Seventh, PI on the next touchdown drive. Eight, roughing the passer on Battle on the touchdown that was declined. Ninth, grounding by Young in the last drive of the game.   Since 2 were declined, they had a total of 7 penalties.

Finally, Bama had a chance, but it was a difficult road with the injuries this year.  They did an outstanding job with a lot of inexperienced players.  Allen goes down at the beginning of the year, Sanders replaces and he goes down.   However, that put Turner in who played well enough to keep the starting job when Sander could return.  Both corners went down.  Plus, there were offensive linemen who were injured during the year.  That being said with the great recruiting Bama should be able to replace these players.   In the upcoming year there are people who are going to have to be replace because of some players entering the portal.  Also, coaches are going to have to be replaced as I have heard to this date Bama has lost 2.  They need to be better in several areas next year.  First, they have to do a better job on the offensive line.  I read/heard they have given up 39 sacks this year.  I think Mac Jones was sacked 10 times last year.  You take away New Mexico State, Mercer, and Southern Miss.  Most of the sacks came against SEC opponents.  So really the sacks came in 12 of the 15 games.  Second, since the DB coach left, they need to go out and get a top DB coach.  Third, they need to cut down on penalties.  If I heard correctly, there we at least 17 PI calls this year.  Many of those were on touchdown drives.  Fourth, they have to improve their red zone efficiency.  I wonít be surprised if Bama loses more coaches and players.  With all that being said Bama still had a very good year.
Feel free to comment:

18 and Counting


Game notes: UC vs Bama
hscoach
Written by hscoach
Comments: 9
Posted under: The Quad
                                             UC vs Bama

First, congrats to the Bama players and coaches the victory and advancing to the National Championship game once again. 

OFFFENSE:  The offense played the game they needed to play to win this game.  I have to give the UC defense some credit.  Their skilled defensive players made it tough for a deep passing game and they consistently put pressure on the QB.  The running game saved Bama.  Bama put together a total of 482 yards of total offense which included 181 yards passing and 301 rushing.  For negative plays, I have the offense with 4 tackles for losses, 2 sacks, and a interception.  I credit Bama with 2 three and outs, one of which was because of an interception.  For plays that covered 10+ yards, I have Bama with 7 passing plays and 11 running plays.  I canít remember the last time Bama had more running plays for 10+ yards than they did passing plays.  Bama got into the red zone 3 times and scored 2 touchdowns and kicked a field goal.  There was a sack that led to the kicking of the field goal in the red zone.  They scored twice from outside the red zone with a touchdown pass and a field goal.  The offense converted on 5 of 13 3rd down situations and converted their only 4th down try.  They kept saying Bama opened the game with 10 straight runs, however one of these was a scramble because of the pressure on the pass play.

QB:  Young had a good day considering the pressure he was under.  He was 17 for 28 for 181 yards with an interception.  He was pressured on at least 10 of the passes and the interception happened on one of those pressure.  Since they were running the ball effectively, he was 5 for 7 on passing plays that involved play action.   

RB: Robinson played very well.  I do think they ran the ball a little less in the second half to probably save him a bit.  He made many yards after initial contact.  Robinson ended up with 204 yards on 26 carries.  The yards were a Bama record, and it is great to see this for him because he stuck it out and finally got his chance to play.  Sander had a very good game also as he had 67 yards on 14 carries.  I noticed they also left him in more on passing down when he was call upon to block. 

Rec:  Williams led the way with total number of receptions with 7 for 62 yards.  The yardage leader was 66 yards on 4 catches and a touchdown.  Bolden had 3 catches for 31 yards and a touchdown.  Billingsley and Latu both had a catch and Latuís was for a touchdown.

OL:  The OL, when it came to run blocking, did a fantastic job.  However, when it came to pass protection, they left a lot to be desired.  The got a great push on running plays and even saw some of them downfield getting more than one block.  In the passing game, they missed simple stunts, the were beat on 1v1ís, and a missed block by the TE led to a sack in the red zone.  There were a few times when UC got pressure with 4 rushers vs 5 blockers.  Hopefully, they can clean up the mistakes before the next game.

Def: The defense played very well.  UC tried to attack Bama with the short passing game as they threw the ball 32 times and out of these 32 times, 23 were thrown under 10 yards.  UC was 3 for 9 for balls thrown over 10 yards.  Bama gave up a total of 218 total yards which included 144 passing yards and 74 rushing yards.  Out of these 218 yards, 116 came on the first drive of the game for UC (60 yards) and the opening drive for them in the second half (56 yards).  At the half they had 76 total yards, and probably late in the 3rd quarter it looked like Bama play a lot of 2 shell to keep everything underneath.  For negative plays, I have Bama with 2 tackles for losses and 6 sacks.  I credit Bama with 5 three and outs.  For plays that covered 10+ yards, I have UC with 6 passing plays, 3 in each half, and 2 running plays, both in the second half.  They got into the red zone twice and had to kick field goals both times.   Bama held UC to 2 of 12 3rd down conversions.  Those 2 came on the first drive of the game. 

DL: They played well and had several passes knocked down.  They kept pressure on the QB and didnít give up a run of 10+ yards until the 2nd half.  I really thought Mathis played a very good game.

LB: They played well as they got off blocks and got to the running back.  That is if the blocks got to them.  They did a good job with timing their blitzes. 

DB: Since Bama is basically playing back-ups, I thought they played well.  As I stated above, UC only threw the ball past 10 yards 9 times and completed 3 of them.  Most of the short passes were defended by the safeties and LBs.  I thought they did a good job tackling and the only issue I really saw was when Armour-Davis couldnít change direction on the pass completed against him. 

Special teams: The special teams had a couple of hiccups.  There was a fumble on a punt which Bama fortunately recovered, there was the missed field goal, and the kickoff to the kickers right side.  When he kicks to the right side, the other teams left, he does get the height or distance, it seems to me. 

Penalties:  I have Bama with 6 penalties.  They were all on the offense or special team.  First, Bama had an illegal forward pass, Second, there was a false start on the field goal.  Third, there was an illegal formation that took away an 8-yard run.   This was also a result of one of the wide receivers not stepping up when the TE and other rec shifted to the other side of the field.  Fourth, unsportman like conduct on 42 on the punt that was fumbled caused by pulling someone off the pile.  Fifth and sixth, holding and false start both by Owens.  He also had a holding that was declined right before these two.   

Finally, Bama has a chance to win another National Championship.  I donít think the game will be as easy as last time they played UG.  Bama canít afford to leave points on the field like missed field goals or not getting touchdowns when they get in the red zone.   

Feel free to comment:

18 and Counting

Re: Auburn to the Birmingham Bowl
pmull
Written by pmull
Comments: 38
Posted under: The Quad
Bowl season has arrived. NCAA programs across the country are excited about their bowl trips to exotic tourist locations and the opportunity to play in state-of-the-art pro stadiums. Auburn is one of these lucky teams that put in the hard work required to earn their way to Birmingham, AL posting an impressive 6-6 record. The 6 wins include marquee wins over traditional powerhouses Akron, Alabama State and Georgia State. This will be a bowl trip the Auburn players will remember for the rest of their lives.

The game will be played in the brand-new Protective Stadium in Birmingham. Protective Stadium is home to the UAB Blazers and future home to USFL Birmingham Stallions if the league can secure enough interest and funding. The massive stadium seats 45,000 and is located in the one of the nation's most well know housing projects. One Auburn player was quoted as saying "This is a great location. It has that Chicago fell to it".

Some of the older players have heard about the last trip to Birmingham and they are honored to be selected to this game again. The bowl committee plans to keep both teams busy seeing all that Birmingham has to offer. A visit to Vulcan is always the highlight of the Birmingham Bowl experience but the fun does not stop there. On Sunday afternoon both teams will visit Buc-ee's in Leeds. One Auburn player said, "I have never seen a 30 foot wall of beef jerky". There is also an all you can eat trip to the Taco Truck located across the street from the Exxon station on Green Springs avenue in Homewood. Bo Nix was quoted "da#@, I quit too soon, I didn't think they would make it to a bowl game".

Among all of the exciting activities let's not forget there is a football game. Coach Harsin has reminded the team this is a business trip. Upon hearing that All-American Roger McCreary opted out of the game, but still plans to go to Buc-ee's with the team. Coach Harsin also reminded the team they have an opportunity to beat a Group of Five team which would be a great accomplishment considering what happened last time.

Auburn feels they have a big advantage since they have Birmingham Bowl experience. The team will not stay in Ensley this year. It was a nice motel, but the gun shots and sirens were a distraction. They are staying at the Econo Lodge in Hoover this year. Coach Harsin said "This area is nice, but traffic is a bit#@". The city of Hoover is allowing them to practice at the local Pop Warner field. Meanwhile, Houston is housed at the BJCC Sheraton next to the stadium.

The game has a prime time kick off of 11:00 on Tuesday December 28th. Auburn officials like this time slot since most of their meaningless SEC games start at 11:00. ESPN wants to remind everyone watching the game while at work to have an Excel file ready to cover your screen in case the boss walks in.

The players cannot wait to get their swag bag gifts. More on that latter.

SEC championship game notes: UG vs Bama
hscoach
Written by hscoach
Comments: 12
Posted under: The Quad
                                             UG vs Bama

First, congrats to the Bama players and coaches the victory and SEC Championship.  This was a different team than we have seen this year.  We have seen signs of this team during the year, but not to this extent.

OFFFENSE:  The offense scored of 5 straight drives after two punts on the first two drives.  They put together a total of 536 yards which included 421 passing and 115 rushing.  Georgia was only giving up an average of 231 yards per game.  As for negative plays, Bama had 4 tackles for losses, ZERO sacks, and a fumble they didnít lose. Bama only had one three and out.  For plays that covered 10+ yards, I have Bama with 12 pass plays and 6 running plays.  Bama got into the red zone 3 times and scored 2 touchdowns and kicked a field goal.  From outside the red zone, they scored 2 touchdowns and kicked a field goal. The final touchdown came form the defense on a 42-yard interception return by Battle.

QB:  Young had a very good game. He completed 59% of his passes and was 26 for 44.  Young threw many balls downfield that were right on the money.  He did a good job running the ball as he had to scramble a few times and ended up rushing for 40 yards on 3 carries.  On one impressive play he turned a scramble into an option play, and it led to one of the 10+ yard runs mentioned above.  He also had a block on that play.  I will say I thought he had a little bit of happy feet, as they say, in the early goings. On one of his incompletions, it looked like Williams may have misjudged the ball with a little help from the defender. A couple of other things I want to point out about Young is his ability to throw the ball before the cut by the receiver and he makes big throws when necessary.

RB: In my opinion, Robinson had a hell of a game since he was playing hurt.  He ran hard as well as picking up the blitz.  I didnít know if he would even be able to play after I saw him reach for his hamstring in his last game.  Sanders had a couple of good runs also. I donít know what his injury was, but I really hope he is fine as Bama needs him, but also because of all he has been through.

Rec:  Williams and Metchie were the main targets in the game.  Williams had 7 catches for 184 yards while Metchie had 97 on 6 catches.  However, Metchie was lost during the game.  Bolden had one of his best days with 5 catches for 54 yards.  After Metchie was hurt, Holden came in and had 2 catches and last weeks hero, Brooks had 1 catch. Billingsley had 2 catches, but they seem to come at big times and Latu added 1 catch.

OL:  This as I have said before had to improve for Bama to be successful the rest of the year.  They stepped up in a big way.  I donít know what the change was during the week of practice, but they looked like a completely different group.  They picked up stunts, they got some push at time, and they gave up ZERO sacks.  I really with I knew what caused the change, but it clicked this week.  Their technique looked better as well as looking more aggressive.  Iím not saying it was perfect, but it was a completely different look.  This game couldnít have been won without this improvement.  The question is can they keep it up?

Def: The defense played well but made a few mistakes.  One they missed some tackles especially on one touchdown.  They had too many penalties which aided touchdown drives.  They had a hard time covering the tight end.  Bama gave up a total of 449 yards which included 340 passing and 109 rushing.  For negative plays, I have the Bama defense with 3 tackles for losses, 3 sacks, and 2 interceptions, one which was returned for a touchdown.  I credit Bama with 2 three an outs.  For plays that covered 10+ yards, I have Georgia with 13 passing plays and 4 running plays.  Of the 4 running plays, a couple of them were scrambles by the QB when the pass rush got to far up field.  UG got into the red zone 5 times and they scored 2 touchdowns, kicked a field goal, threw an interception, and turned the ball over on downs.  The scored one touchdown from outside the red zone. The bad part is Bama missed a few tackles that aided the touchdowns by UG.  Sometimes the first one there goes for the tackle instead of wrapping up.  Fortunately, this didnít happen numerous times, but they were at important points in the game.

DL: They played well and the tackles by this group were divided up.  Their main job is to allow the LBís and safeties to make tackles and this is what happened if you look at the leading tacklers.  They didnít get many sacks, but they put enough pressure on the QB to affect him.

LB: The only knock I have here, and it may be unwarranted since I donít know the defensive scheme, is the numerous receptions by an uncontested tight end.  I know the safety had coverage on them most of the time, but they seem to run thru the zones uncontested.  I know ToíoToío was in coverage on one tight end touchdown.  It was 6í7Ē vs a 6í LB.  The receiver highpoints the ball, so the defender has to go for the arms to rip them away from the catch.

DB: This was a hit or miss area.  First, they came up with two interception and one was a pick 6.  There could have easily been another pick 6 but just missed.  They didnít cover the tight end very well.  On one big pass play the ball was underthrown and the defended overran the route and the receiver made the catch.  The PI calls were instrumental in helping keep touchdown drives alive. 

Special teams: The special teams were solid.  I will point out here that Williams, who was ejected last game for targeting, had 2 solo tackles and 1 help on a tackle. 

Penalties:  I have Bama with 7 penalties for 85 yards during the game.  The is less than last week.  The problem is there were several penalties that aided the touchdown drives of Georgia. On one drive Bama had a defensive holding, and 2 pass interference calls.  On another touchdown drive they had another pass interference. The 7 penalties are broken down into 5 defensive penalties and 2 offensive penalties.

Finally, this was a completely different offensive line than we have seen in the past and this change led to the victory in my opinion.   Hopefully they wonít be satisfied and will continue to improve.  On defense, they have to clean up the tackling again and the DBís have to start making plays.
Feel free to comment:

18 and Counting


Game notes: AU vs Bama
hscoach
Written by hscoach
Comments: 14
Posted under: The Quad
                                             AU vs Bama

Itís not how you start; it is how you finish.

First, congrats to the Bama players and coaches the victory.  This was a game that could have gone either way.  Bama, especially defensively, made some huge plays and then the offense decided to join the party in the 4th quarter.  I donít say this often but the coaching on the offensive side of the ball leaves me frustrated.  How can you go into a game, after being hurt by the blitz in early games, not be prepared for the same type of game plan?   The play calling has left something to be desired.  Knowing the blitzes are coming donít you work your shorter passing game and allow your athletes to make plays after the catch?  Also, hot routes should be worked into the game plan.

OFFFENSE:  The offense trailed in the game until the last 24 seconds of the game.  The huge drive was a gift since Bigbsy went out of bounds to stop the clock and save Bama a timeout and put extra time on the clock for them on that last drive.  The offense put together 388 total yards of offense which included 317 passing yards and 71 rushing yards.  I have Bama with 5 three and outs and 4 of those were in the first half.  As for negative plays, I have Bama with 4 tackles for losses, 8 sacks, and an interception.  For plays that covered 10+ yards, I have Bama with 10 passing plays and 2 running plays.  Eight of the passing plays were in the 2nd half and 1 10+ yard run was negated by a penalty.  Bama got into the red zone twice and kicked one field goal and muffed another field goal attempt.  They scored their big game tying touchdown from outside the red zone. 

QB:  Young completed 25 for 51 passes during the game for 317 yards.  This is a 49 % completion rate, but I will give more information on this later as he was under pressure most of the day.  There were also some drops that added to these stats.  Iím not saying he had a great day, but under the circumstances he did a decent job.

RB:  Robinson was hit most of the day on or behind the LOS most of the day.  He did have a big run and some big catches. 

Rec:  Metchie was the man as he had over half the completions with 13 catches for 150 yards.  Metchie was also the go to guy in overtime.  Brooks came in and had 2 catches and the only touchdown catch, in regular time, in the game.  Bolden had 3 catches while Williams had 2 before his exit.  Both tight ends, had a catch and if I remember correctly they were catches that were for 1st downs.   

OL:  This, in my opinion is the main concern for the offense.  I see too many times where the defense gets under the pads of the offense.  When this is done the offense cannot get a push.  There were at least 3 times where it was 3rd or 4th and 1 and the offensive line couldnít get the push to pick up that yard.  Too me they play a little too nonchalant and donít have enough meanness.  It doesnít seem to bother them when they get beat.  I donít know for sure if this is coaching or talent.  I also saw at least once where it looked like the OL-man took a cross over step which allow the DL-man to cross his face and make the play.  I donít like saying this, but how does it take so long to make adjustments?  Why are they not prepared coming into the game?  It seems the OL-men that were recruited were some of the best in the nation.  Something has to change here whether itís coaching or personnel.

Def:  The defense, in my opinion, won this game by keeping it close as AU had good field position early in the game.   The came up big in the second half again when AU had good field position.  The defense gave up a total of 159 yards which included 137 passing yards and 22 rushing yards.  For negative plays, I have the defense with 10 tackles for losses and 6 sacks.  I have the defense with 4 three and outs and one 1 and outs since they intercepted the first down pass.  For plays that covered 10+ yards, I have AU with 5 passing plays and 2 running plays.  Only 1 passing play in the 2nd half went for 10+ yards.  They got into the red zone 3 times, aided by penalties a couple of times, and scored one touchdown and kicked a field goal.  The other time they were sacked and taken out of field goal position. 

DL: The DL played very well.  They made the plays at or behind the LOS many times.  They pressured the QB numerous times.  The tackles along the DL were pretty much divided up equally among the starters and backups.

LB: The played extremely well.  They were all over the field making plays. 

DB: They played one of their better games.  They did give up a couple of completions, but they were usually outstanding catches.  There was one where Jobe missed making the play as he actually overran the play.  There were a couple of one-handed catches where the offensive player just made the play as the coverage was there.  They came up and make many tackles with sure tackling technique.  It didnít look as if they busted any coverage during the game.  On the touchdown, the defender overran the play and slipped and the LB missed one of the few tackles during the game.  Battleís tackle on Bigsby short of a first down probably saved the game and helped him out of bounds on the tackle which saved Bama a timeout.

Special teams: There were a couple of plays that were crucial.  First the missed field goal because of a fumbled hold probably cost Bama 3 points.  The partially blocked punt set AU up in good field position and the defense made a huge stop.   They did give up a 19-yard return that also put AU in good field positon.

Penalties:  Bama was credited with 11 penalties but really had 12 as one was declined.  They were divided up with 5 on offense, 4 on defense, and 2 on special teams.  Now this is a huge concern but what is also a huge concern is that almost all of these were major penalties which mean 10 to 15 yard penalties.  Only 2 of them were of the 5-yard variety.  I will say there were a couple of questionable calls like the roughing the passes.  I donít say this often, but there were a few missed that could have been called against AU.  They could have been huge like the missed PI early in the game.  Also, the hands to the face that knocked the offensive players helmet off and cost Bama a good gain.  Finally, there was a missed facemask.

Finally, if Bama going to continue to play after the next game, they, in my opinion will have to defeat UG.  They have to clean up the offensive line play.  I have said this more than once and the same problems seem to continue.

Extra:  Bama dropped back to pass, not counting overtime 58 times.  Out of all these attempts, the QB was sacked 8 times.  He completed 31 passes, on many of the attempt he was under pressure and got the ball off or scrambled.  On about 16 of these passes there was no pressure, and they were completed.  There were at least 3 drops possibly 5 if you asked the receivers if they should have had the ball.  Also, there were 5 passes where he had to tuck and run.  These pressured can be divided up among different players, TEís, RG, RT and probably more that I missed.
Feel free to comment:

18 and Counting


Game notes: Ark vs Bama
hscoach
Written by hscoach
Comments: 5
Posted under: The Quad
                                             ARK vs Bama

First, congrats to the Bama players and coaches the victory.  The was a hard-fought game where Ark never gave up or backed down.  Bamaís defense only had a few 3 and outs but a couple were huge.  The offense actually made some adjustments against the blitz, and it looked like it took Ark out of blitzing as much as they wanted. 

OFFFENSE:  The offense put together 671 yards of total offense which included 559 passing and 112 rushing.  As for negative plays, I have Bama with 4 tackles for losses, 4 sacks, and a loss fumble.  For three and outs, I have Bama with 1. They did have another fumble, but it was on special teams and did not lose it.  For plays that covered 10+ yards, Bama had 21 passing plays and 5 running plays.  Bama got into the red zone 5 times.  They scored 2 touchdowns, kicked a field goal, fumbled at the 2, and a sack took them out of the red zone and led to a missed field goal.  From outside the red zone, Bama scored 3 touchdowns and kicked a field goal.  They did score a two point conversion which was huge at the time.

QB:  Young completed 31 of 40 for 559 yards and a 78% completion rate.  There were also a few drops in the game that would have made these stats even better.  He did make a huge mistake when he took a sack on third down and put the kicker in a situation where he had to make a 47-yard field goal.  Granted he can make it, but if he had thrown the ball away it would have been 31-yarder.  What I still see is his ability to keep his eyes downfield and get completions, like the touchdown to Leary.

RB:  Robinson had a good game rushing for 122 yards on 27 carries.  However, he did a very good job picking up the blitzes.  He also added 3 catches for 18 yards.  Basically, he played the whole game as he was only subbed for a few times. 

Rec:  The receivers were again led by Metchie (10 for 173) and Williams (8 for 190). As far as receivers Latu and Bolden both had 3 catches, Brooks and Billingsley both had 1.  The remainder of the completions went to backs.  Latuís made a good catch and run but fumbled in the red zone at the 2-yard line.  It was huge because Ark had pulled within one score of Bama.  I do think the receivers blocked better in this game than they have in the past.  Brooks made a huge block on a reception by Metchie.

OL:  The did better in my opinion, but part of that was the formations that help take Ark out of their blitz packages.  They were beat at the point of attack on the 4th down play, but they were also outnumbered in the box. I really donít know if George played better than Owens, but at least there is some completion there and everyone knows their job is on the line. 

Def:  The defense started out playing well. Then they seem to get pushed around some.  That being said they made the plays they needed to get the win.  Bama gave up 468 yards of total offense which included 358 passing and 110 rushing. For negative plays, I have the defense with 7 tackles for losses, 3 sacks, and 2 fumbles one of which they lost. I have Bama with 3 three and outs and a 1 and out as they recovered a fumble on the first play of a series.  The last 3 and out was huge as Ark had pulled to within one score of Bama.  For plays that covered 10+ yards, I have Ark with 11 passing plays and 4 running plays.  I think 2 of the running plays were QB scrambles as Bamaís pass rush got too far up the field.  I will say Bama is still doing a better job making tackles.  They donít miss as many as they did earlier in the season.

DL: They made some big plays, but they also were beat when they rushed too far up the field against a QB that could run.  This opened the running lanes and Ark made some of their biggest runs when this happened.  In the first couple of drives, they were getting a good push and separating from the OL. 

LB: They played better than the score indicates.  ToíoToío was the leading tackler with 13.  Anderson was not far behind with 11.  They also combined for the 3 sacks.  Harris was put in a bad position with the running back on the touchdown pass.  Hard to ask a LB to cover a skill player in the open field. 

DB: There were more pass plays that were thrown short and yards were made after the catch.  They did hit a couple of bigger ball.  I will say I thought the long touchdown pass was offensive PI.  However, it wasnít called so you have to play thru it.  There was at least one bust on coverage as the DB was late on the touchdown pass.  They have got to clean up the mistakes here for Bama to be successful.

Special teams: There were a couple of plays that could have been disastrous for Bama.  First, Bolden fumbled a punt, but he got back on it.  This would have put Ark in the red zone.  The second was the missed field goal where points were needed to help widen the lead.  There was 1 play that was disastrous when Ark converted on the fake field goal.  Usually, the DBís are man to man on a receiver, so I can understand how the guy get free down the field. 

Penalties:  Bama had some crucial penalties.  One holding negated a TD for Bama.  A pass interference gave Ark a 1st down on 3rd and 16 and allowed them to continue on a TD drive.  While I am speaking of penalties, I was not impressed with this crew.   

Finally, Bama will have to play better if they are going to continue to win.  Too many mental mistakes as well as poor execution on both sides of the ball.  This night they left anywhere from 6 to 21 points on the field as they missed a field goal, after being in the red zone, 3 to 7 pts there.  They fumbled at the 2 which would have been a 1st an goal.  They started the first scoring drive at Ark 32 and ended up kicking a field goal.  You really need to convert at least a couple of these.

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Game notes: NMS vs Bama
hscoach
Written by hscoach
Comments: 9
Posted under: The Quad
                                             NMS vs Bama

First, congrats to the Bama players and coaches the victory.  This game, as I have called others before, was nothing more than a glorified scrimmage.  This is a game they should and did dominate on both sides of the ball.  It was also an opportunity to get in a lot of technique work.  However, there were still mistakes.

OFFFENSE:  The offense was dominant as well as they should have been.  They put together 587 total yards of offense which included 340 passing and 247 rushing.  This was also with backups getting extended playing time in the second half as Bama called off the dogs as they say.  For negative plays, I have Bama with 7 tackles for losses, 2 sacks, and they lost a fumble.  The fumble was caused by the tackle missing their block and a quick direct route to the QB.  Bama had no 3 and outs in the game.  For plays that covered 10+ yards, I have Bama with 11 passing plays and 9 running plays.  Bama got into the red zone 6 times scoring 5 touchdown and kicking a field goal.  They also scored 3 touchdowns from outside the red zone.  This score could have been a lot worse if Bama coaches had wanted it to be.

QB:  Young completed 21 of 23 passes for 270 yards which equates to 91%.  The 2 misses were caused by a drop and a tipped ball.  He averaged 12.8 yards per completion.  He scrambled effectively; he just needs to learn how to slide.  If that means bringing in a baseball coach, so be it.   Tyson was 6 for 8 for 43 yards.  By this time in the game, Bama had complete control and had many backups in.  Milroe was 2 for 5 and did show great scrambling ability.  He looks to have a good arm, but not sure if he keeps his eyes downfield well enough.  Maybe, since the RB position is short, he could step in there. Finally, Barker got a little playing time.  He completed the only pass he threw and by this time, NMS knew Bama was running the ball to run out the clock so they were keyed on the run.

RB:  The running game was completely different than a week ago, but so was the competition.  Robinson ran well and averaged 11 yards per carry mainly because of his 63-yard run.  Williams only had one carry for 11 yards where he got hurt.  Sanders came in and ran well especially behind the backups.  Leary and Kennedy got a combined 10 carries for 38 yards.  Never thought Bama would be moving a linebacker, Kennedy, to RB because they were short of RBs.  Robinson did a better job pass blocking this game, but considering the competition he should have.

Rec:  The receivers were again led by Williams(158yds) and Metchie(48yds), each with 6 catches.    Eleven other players, including backs, had catches.  Williams led with 3 touchdowns, Latu had 1 as well as Billingsley.  What really caught my eye was the lack of blocking especially by Williams.

OL:  This was a chance to get technique work done and get better.  They did make a few mistakes, in my notes I put 75 and 78, but just know they didnít make the blocks needed.  I know 75 got beat on a goal line play and Robinson was tackled for no gain.  The sack/fumble was when 78 was beat on the edge and the QB had no chance.  I really donít know how to access their performance since the should have dominated all day.  It was good to hear the OL coach, according to the announcers, was getting on their butts on the sideline.  I know there was some shuffling around, but they have to be better for Bama to be successful.

Def:  Except for a couple of plays, I thought the defense had a good game.  That being said, they should have dominated this team because of the gap in talent.  NMS had a total of 138 yards which included 129 passing and 9 rushing yards.  I have Bamaís defense with 5 tackles for losses, 7 sacks, and a fumble recovery.  I credit them with 4 three and outs.  For plays that covered 10+ yards, I have them with 5 passing plays and 2 running plays.  The 2 running plays were scrambles against a 3-man rush where a gap opened up and the QB took off.  They never got into the red zone.  They did kick a field goal from outside the red zone, which was aided by a phantom face mask call. 

DL: They dominated the LOS, which they should have, and contained the offense.  You can see this by the total number of yards they had.  They were able to pressure the QB most of the day.

LB:  They made the plays when the got the opportunity.  The problem was the DL or the safeties in coverage made them.  I will say, Sanders may have lost his starting job to Turner.

DB:  They didnít have any real big plays during the game.  The two longest plays were a 23- and 19-yard reception on a busted coverage.  On the 19-yard reception, I think there were two safeties and a LB over there so how does one not take the short guy and the other goes with the deeper guy.  I donít understand why they canít communicate on who has what when they are lined up near each other. On the 23-yard reception, I didnít see the safety threatened by another receiver, so why didnít he respond sooner? They should have had at least 2 picks in the game, but I guess that is why they play on the defensive side of the ball and not the offensive side of the ball.  Again, they were aided by a good pass rush which makes playing coverage easier.

Special teams: The big play on special teams was the punt block that led to a touchdown.  Also, Bolden had a couple of good punt returns when he came in and replaced Earle.   

Penalties:  Bama is credited with 4 penalties, but the phantom facemask is the reason for it.  It also gave them 15 yards on the scoring drive where they kicked a 50-yard field goal.  May not have scored if not for that.  The other penalties were and offsides penalty on the defense, a holding on the offense, and holding on special teams.  This is better than the past.

Finally, it is really hard to tell if Bama really got better.  The competition just wasnít up to par.  Hopefully, they will continue to improve at practice as it should be tougher than this game.
Feel free to comment:

18 and Counting


Game notes: LSU VS Bama
hscoach
Written by hscoach
Comments: 18
Posted under: The Quad
                                             LSU vs Bama

First, congrats to the Bama players and coaches the victory.  It was what one would call an ugly win.  The OL/offense had problems all night.  The sad part it started at the beginning of the game and the offense coaches did seem to have a solution.  Too me, this game was won on the defensive side of the ball.  They came up with an interception that led to a touchdown and they got a fumble that led to a drive for a touchdown.

OFFFENSE:  The offense didnít have answers for what LSU was doing defensively.  The didnít make adjustments that allowed for success.  The offense had a total of 308 yards which included 302 passing and 6 rushing.  Understand, in college, sack yards come off of rushing yards.  This is still something that leads to concern, the inability of running the ball.  At times, it looked like LSU was slanting into the running plays of Bama.  For negative plays, I have Bama with 4 tackles for losses, 4 sacks, and 3 fumbles.  Only one of the fumbles was lost.  Fortunately, the defense came up strong and made the stop.  For three and out, I have Bama with 5 and 4 of them came in the 2nd half.  On plays that covered 10+ yards, I have Bama with 11 passing plays and 2 running plays.  Out of the 11 passing plays, 8 came in the first half and with the running plays one was a scramble by the QB.  Bama got into the red zone 2 times and scored touchdowns both times.  The scored 1 touchdown from outside the red zone and missed a field goal from outside the red zone. 

QB:  Young completed 24 of 37 passes for a 65% completion rate.  I thought at least 3 other balls were catchable or were dropped.  If my calculations are correct, I have Young getting pressured on 20 of the 37 passes or attempted passes.  He was sacked 4 times and scrambled out at least twice.  I do know he was pressured on the touchdown throw to Metchie.  I do think the constant pressure by the defense got the QB looking at the rush at times.

RB:  The running game was non-existent. Robinson had 18 yards on 13 carries and was hit numerous times right at the point of attack.  Williams had 2 carries for 9 yards and had the longest run by a running back which was a 7-yard run. I donít know if it was the running back fault or the protection call, but I saw numerous times where the blitz came one way, and the back went the other.  Robinson also missed some blocks on the blitz.

Rec:  The receivers were the offense for Bama.  They accounted for most of the offense.  Williams and Metchie were the two main targets and acoun2ted for 19 of the 24 receptions for 233 of the 302 passing yards. 

OL:  This was a huge disappointment in the game.  They had a week off to correct mistakes and work on technique.  They missed blocks and I am counting TEís here because they missed more than one.  On the wildcat play on short yardage, it looked like the OL didnít come off on a combo block.  That defensive player made the tackle for no gain.  The was very little to no push which is evident by the production of the running game.  I have said it before, it looks like the play to high and donít keep their feet moving.  They didnít pick up blitzes.  This has to do with the protection calls and communication between the OL.   I know the center got hurt, but the replacement played center last year in key games.

Def:  I thought the defense won this game. They made a few mistakes, but the came up big on plays in the red zone.  When LSU had the 37-yard run on 4th and 1, the tackle by Battles may have been a game saver.  The defense gave up a total of 295 yards which included 186 passing and 109 rushing.  Most of the yards came in the 2nd half because at half time the defense held LSU to 77 total yards.  For negative plays, I have 3 tackles for losses, 5 sacks, 1 fumble which was lost, and an interception which led to a touchdown.  As for three and outs, I have the defense with a total of 5, 3 in the first half and 2 in the second half.  One of the three and outs was the result of an interception.  For plays that covered 10+ yards, I have LSU with 9 passing plays and 1 running play.  Seven of the passing plays came in the 2nd half.   LSU got into the red zone 3 times and scored 2 touchdowns and turned the ball over on downs the other time. There were plays that were made that really didnít seem that big but were.  One for instance was the 4th down incompletion in the red zone.  I donít know if you noticed on that throw Toíotoío jump and looked to force a high throw.  There was a bust on the first touchdown as no one picked up the back out of the backfield.

DL: I thought they played a good game.  The were active and put pressure on the QB.  The played the running game well as LSU only have 1 run for over 10 yards. All of them were involved with tackles.  I thought this was Turnerís best game since he became a starter. 

LB:  I thought they played well.  They played sideline to sideline and made plays.  They caused a fumble that led to the third and final Bama touchdown.

DB: What really made this group have a good game was the pass rush.  They really didnít allow big plays down field except once.  There was a busted coverage on 34-yard reception.  Two defenders went with the same player.  They were again pretty solid with their tackles.  I know on the first touchdown there was a bunch set of 3 receiver and the released the back out to that side for and uncontested touchdown.  I donít know if the outside LB was supposed to come off or if there was to be a switch with the safety.  If it was supposed to be someone inside, the were basically shielded off by the 3 receivers.

Special teams: There were some big plays on special teams.  First, LSU ran the fake punt successfully which kept the drive alive and led to a touchdown.  The other two plays were on Bama.  On both the field goal and the extra point the snap threw off the timing which led to missed kicks.

Penalties:  I have Bama for 9 penalties.  Again, as in the past, some of them came on scoring drives.  The first was defensive holding on Hellams, which was on a scoring drive.  The next two were a delay of game and an illegal substitution on a punt.  These are two that, in my opinion, should never happen.  This was in the first quarter.  In the 2nd quarter, there was a false start on #70 and a holding by #81 on what would have been one of the most successful running plays of the day.  In the 3rd quarter, there was a delay of game on the defense as they said Bama player clapped his hands.  The other two penalties on this drive came on a touchdown drive by LSU.  They had a hand to the face which gave them 15 yards and there was a personal foul horse collar which gave them 15 more yards.  I will say the horse collar was questionable.  The final penalty came in the 4th quarter and was an intentional grounding on the QB.  So for penalties, there were 4 on the defense, 4 on the offense and 1 on special teams. 

Finally, Bama has got to improve in the OL with their protection and technique.  This game gave other teams a game plan on how to attack the Bama offense.  You would think by this time in the season many of these problems would be worked out.  Also, I wonder why Bama offense didnít got to a 4 wide out formation to take players out of the box or use the 4 wide set with the TE in the H back set while using the back for max protection with a release built in if there wasnít a blitz.  This set would still give you a 3 man passing game and with LSUís shortage of DB, I would take that chance.
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18 and Counting


Game note: UT vs Bama
hscoach
Written by hscoach
Comments: 11
Posted under: The Quad
                                             UT vs Bama

First, congrats to the Bama players and coaches the victory.  It wasnít pretty the complete time, but they played outstanding at times.  Consistency will be what they need to strive for.

OFFFENSE:  The offense looked unstoppable at times, but there were a few times when they looked like they were not fully concentrating on the task at hand.  I wondered if the low hit on Young was going to have an affect on him and I think it did for a short time.  The offense put together 574 yards of total offense which included 371 passing and 203 rushing.  If I hadnít seen the total stats, I wouldnít have guessed they rushed for 203 yards.  Of those total yards 272 came in the second half, but they were also given two short fields because of an interception and a stop on 4th down deep in their own territory.  For negative plays, I have Bama with 6 tackles for losses, 2 sacks, and 2 fumbles.  Concerning the fumbles, one was lost in the red zone and the other was recovered by Young on the touchdown.  Bama had 2 three and outs and they both came in the 2nd half on their first 2 drives. For plays that covered 10+ yards, I have Bama with 15 passing plays and 7 running plays.  Bama got into the red zone 8 times and scored 7 touchdowns.  The other trip was a fumble by Williams after a completion.   The kicked one field goal from outside the red zone and missed one from outside the red zone.   

QB:  Young completed 31 of 43 passes for a 72% competition rate.  There were at least 2 drops on balls that should have been caught.  As I said above, I think the low hit affected him for a short time but came back well afterwards.  It is extremely difficult to see what he did outstanding versus what he didnít do since the angle on TV doesnít give me the best look.  He did a better job running the ball when the chance was given to him.  When he does take off, you can see his eyes are still downfield looking to throw first.  Tyson was just given the opportunity to run the clock out.

RB:  The running game was solid.  As I stated above, just watching the game, I really didnít realize they rushed for 203.  Robinson again had a solid game.  His vision and change of direction becomes more evident each game. Williams also shows the same ability and there is very little drop off when there is a change at running back. I also saw a very good blitz pick up by Williams.  Sanders again, with few reps, shows he could be a back that could get more time down the road.

Rec:  Metchie again was the main target according to the number of catches as he had 11 for 121 yards.  Williams had more yards with 123 on 6 catches.  I am going to say this, Young overthrew Williams on one pass, however, I donít put that all on Young.  It looked to me that Williams reached for the ball, which slows him down, instead of running thru the ball.  The tight ends got back involved with 4 catches, but Billingsley had a drop that would have been a big gainer.  Bolden added 3 catches and Holden, who they seem to be getting more confidence in as he had 2 catches.  He was also involved with an interference call that led to a touchdown. 

OL:  They had a decent game, but as I said last week, they need to sustain their blocks longer.  I also noticed there were times when they werenít driving their legs and it looked like they may have been playing to high at times.  They still missed picking up a couple of stunts on the LOS.  There are a couple of ways to do this with a turnback style of blocking where you step play side and turn back to the inside where you basically pick up the gap inside.  This requires you to block the back on the play side as he would have the end man on the LOS.  Also, you have big on big blocking, but you have to be able to switch on the stunts. 

Def:  Except for 3 or four plays, the defense played well.   The bad part is those 3 or four plays accounted for 3 touchdowns.  UT put together a total of 346 yards of total offense which included 282 passing and 64 rushing.  Out of these yards 166 came on three plays which leaves 180 yards for the other 51 plays.  For negative plays, I have Bama with 2 tackles for losses, 3 sacks, and an interception.  Bama had 5 three and outs and this could have been better.  Bama would have had another 3 and out but they roughed the punter and gave UT a first down on a 3rd and 28.  UT then went on and scored a touchdown.  The defense also had a 4 and out as they stopped UT on a 4th down try.  Something that is important, on 3 of these three and outs the yardage to get a first down was less that 3 yards and the defense stopped them.  For plays that covered 10+ yards, I have them with 6 passing plays and 1 running play and the run came on a scramble by the QB.  UT got into the red zone twice and kicked a field goal and scored a touchdown.  The scored 2 touchdowns from outside the red zone.  A huge stop in the red zone by the defense came on a 3 and out where they kicked a field goal after a blocked punt.  If the touchdown is scored there, the game tightens up drastically.  I know the crowd noise had and effect on the UT offense, but I wonder did it hurt the communication of the defensive backs? 

DL: I thought they played well.  As I talked about the 3 and outs above especially when the down and distance was in the offense favor.  It was difficult to get much of a pass rush as the QB drop was short.  Mathis stood out basically because of his sack.  He needs to become a force where the defense has to assign 2 blockers on him to free up others for 1 v 1 blocking.  I would like to see  a big push on QBís that take a short drop.

LB:  I really thought this was one of their best games.  After seeing the stats, it was confirmed.  I thought Harris played his best game and seemed to move better than in the past games.  They also were not missing tackles like the past games.

DB: I really donít know how to judge this group.  Other than the 3 busted coverages they played well.  I know on one touchdown the alignment was horrible or one safety was misaligned.  If you are playing man you have to take the inside away unless you know you have help on the inside in combo look.  I also know it is easier to make a throw to the inside than outside when the defender has outside leverage.  On the 2nd touchdown, and this is one reason I wonder if the crowd noise hurt the defense, Battle was not in the middle of the field.  He could have had the coverage wrong but it looked like he was trying to communicate with players on the other side of the ball. The other possibility was the other defender had the coverage wrong and thought the had help on the inside when he didnít.  I do know that a couple of times the defenders stayed in their backpedal too long and allowed the receiver, as we use to say, get on their feet, before turning their hips to get into a proper cover technique.  The third touchdown, the corner, Jobe, was looking inside for the call when the ball was snapped, and the receiver ran right by him.  This should be a great learning tool for when you play teams with tempo.  I need to look again, but I wonder if they use wristbands on defense.  On a good note, they again tackled well in this game.

Special teams: The two major plays on the special teams were the blocked punt by UT and the unsuccessful block attempt by Bama.  On the blocked punt the blocking by the personal protector was poor and didnít get to where he needed to be.  Fortunately, the defense held them to a field goal.  The unsuccessful attempt to bock the punt was poor techniques by the rushers.  The other play of consequence was the missed field goal by Bama, which was a 54 yard attempt.

Penalties: I have Bama for 6 penalties, but only 4 were enforced.  The worst was the roughing the kicker on the punt.  The others were 2 false starts and a delay of game.  The delay of game was ridiculous since it was on the 1st play after a kickoff.  That should never happen.   

Finally, Bama showed signs of being a very good team. However to be a great team you have to be consistent and stop making critical errors.  Tackling was better and so was the reduction in penalties.  Right now, in my opinion, the secondary has to, as they say, up their game.  Simple things like proper technique has to improve. 
Feel free to comment:

18 and Counting

Game notes: MSU vs Bams
hscoach
Written by hscoach
Comments: 7
Posted under: The Quad
                                             MSU vs Bama

First, congrats to the Bama players and coaches for coming back in a big way.  They still can improve and hopefully this will be the steppingstone to do it.

OFFFENSE:  The offense put together a total of 543 yards, most in the 2nd half.  They had 348 passing yards as well as 195 rushing yards.  At the half, they only had 205 total yards which means they put 338 yards together in the 2nd half.  Now, they did lose an offensive possession when Battle returned the interception for the touchdown, so there are some lost yards.  I will say they wasted a couple of positive field positions during the game where they ended up punting.  For negative plays, I have Bama with 4 tackles for losses and 2 sacks.  There was a fumble, but it was on special teams which they retained.  I have Bama with 1 three and out.  For plays that covered 10+ yards, I have Bama with 9 passing plays and 8 running plays.  Bama got into the red zone twice and scored touchdowns both times.  They scored 4 touchdowns from outside the red zone and the defense added the other touchdown.  I have mentioned before I would like to see the motion game utilized more like in the past, using the pop pass that has been so successful.  However, I realized in this game it is harder to do when you have more TEís in the game.  They seem to be using more spread formations last year and when the TE, Billinsley, was in the game he could line up wide or tight.  I just think the motion gives more of the defense to think about and causes them to get out of position more often.  Also, I think it slows the pursuit of the DL on running plays.

QB:  Young had a good day completing 71% of his passes which includes 1 drop and what I thought was a catch by Bolden.  Where he really excelled was when MSU brought pressure.  I didnít keep a total of how many completions he had, but some were big and went for touchdowns.  He used his legs a little more this game, but you can see he is still looking downfield when he is scrambling.  I will say, I thought he missed a couple that should have been completed.  Tyson, basically just finished the game and nothing to really report on.

RB:  The running game was solid and got stronger in the 2nd half.  They only had 58 yards rushing in the first half and came back with 137 in the second half.  Robinson did his usual hard running and picked up a couple of blitzes.  Williams also ran hard and delivered a blow to the defensive back that showed he will work to get that extra yard.  I thought the limited carries Sanders had showed his vision.  I would like to see Bama become a 3-headed monster in the running back position.

Rec:  Basically, the main man was Metchie this game with 7 catches for 117 yards. However, the biggest yards per catch average was Williams with 2 catches for 77 yards which is an average of 38.5 yards per catch.  Bolden had a couple of catches, but Holden seems to be a guy who could be a bigger part of the offense. Again, this week, no TE had a catch. One thing the receivers did well was made some key blocks that allowed the receiver to score on long passes.

OL:  They had a solid game but need to sustain their blocks a little longer.  Also, the communication on a couple of blitzes one which led to the sack.  On one of the tackles for losses, it looked as if the TE came in motion and may have block the wrong guy by bypassing the most dangerous. Also one thing I noticed was a couple of times the center got knocked back after snapping the ball.

Def:  The defense played well.  They held MSU to the lowest total yards they have produced this year.  The defense gave up a total of 299 yards of total offense.  MSU had 300 rushing yards and -1 rushing yards.  The rushing total is because sacks are taken off or rushing totals in college.  For negative plays, I have Bama with 3 tackles for losses, 7 sacks, and 3 interceptions.  One was returned for a touchdown as I stated above.  I have the defense with 3 three and outs.  For plays that covered 10+ yards, I have MSU with 9 passing plays and 2 running plays.  MSU got into the red zone twice and had to settle for field goals both times.  The other field goal came from outside the red zone.  The MSU QB completed 64% of his passes.  Now the threw 55 times.  Out of those 55 throws 38 were less than 10 yards from the LOS.  Many of them were thrown behind or withing 5 yards of the LOS.  Of these passes, he completed 28 of 38.  This was putting LBís and safeties in coverage.  I didnít keep up with the yardage actually gained on these completions, but it was probably most of their passing yards.  It asl means, on passes over 20 yards he was 7 for 17.  This was a combination of good coverage and pressure.

DL: Even though they didnít make a lot of tackles, they freed up the LB, to make plays and get into coverage.  I would like to see a least one of the DL become a rushing force that could put constant pressure on the QB.  Hopefully, and I know he is considered a LB, Andersonís performance will ignite others to a higher level.  There should be enough competition on the DL for someone to want to step up and be that guy.  Earlier I thought Mathis was going to be that guy.

LB:  A lot better job here.  They were put in coverage especially with all the underneath throws.  They took better angles and tackled better.  They can still do better in my opinion.

DB: I think they had one of their better games.  They did have another PI call, and the bad part is he was in position.  If you remember above, I mention on balls thrown over 10 yards the MSU QB was only 7 for 17.  A couple of these were underthrown balls that are hard to defend.  Probably the biggest improvement was the tackling.  There were few missed tackles by the secondary.  It also seemed that the defensive back, as a whole, were in better position to make plays.  Maybe that accounts for the 3 interceptions.

Special teams:  There were a couple of moments in special teams that stand out.  First, a good return was negated by a holding penalty.  Also, good field position was wasted by the offense.  Another was the fumble and bobble punts.  Losing those could be the difference in a close game.

Penalties: I have Bama for 6 penalties.  Most of them were overcome or didnít hurt them.  The defense had 3 with an offsides, a pass interference, and a personal foul.  The offense had 2 with block in the back, not necessary, and an illegal formation.  The special teams penalty was a holding on a kickoff return which moved the ball from the 47 to the 14 yard line.

Finally, Bama did a good job bouncing back.  However, it will depend on how they proceed from here.  They can continue to improve, or they can be satisfied where they are.  They missed less tackles and had less penalties during crucial times.  They still need to shore up some pass protection and blocking assignments on running the ball. 
Feel free to comment:

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Day: Wednesday
Date: 1/19/2022
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