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Ole Miss @
Texas A&M
(Texas A&M -12.0)

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(Florida -6.5)

Vanderbilt @
(Missouri -17.0)

Ohio State @
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(Ohio State -4.0)

Kentucky @
(Kentucky -4.5)

Oklahoma State @
(Oklahoma -18.0)

Auburn @
(Georgia -14.5)

(LSU -13.5)

Texas @
Texas Tech
(Texas -1.5)

Clemson @
Boston College
(Clemson -20.0)

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Game notes: Arkansas vs Bama:
Written by hscoach
Comments: 10
Posted under: The Quad
Arkansas vs Bama

First, congrats to the Bama players and coaches on the win.   They didnít play a complete game in my opinion, but they did improve in some areas.

OFFFENSE:   Even with what seemed to be a lapse in focus in the second quarter Bama still put together 496 yards of total offense.  They had 308 yards rushing and 188 passing.  As far as positive plays of 10 plus yards, Bama had 8 passes and 11 runs that met that criteria.  As far as the negative for the offense, they had 2 sacks, 3 tackles for losses, and the first interception of the year.  I have Bama credited with 2 three and outs.  Bama reached the red zone 5 times and scored 4 touchdowns while kicking 1 field goal.  The also scored a touchdown from outside the red zone and kicked a field goal from outside the red zone.  The Bama offense showed signs of being dominant in portions of this game, but then, on certain plays busted some assignments.

QB:   I thought Hurts played pretty well.  He was 12 for 19 with at least 1 drop of a catchable ball.  He did throw his first interception and looked as if he just didnít put enough on the ball as well as throwing the ball a little behind the receiver.  There were times he was pressured quickly and really didnít have a chance to get thru his reads.  He was also hurt on a route conversion that didnít happen by Foster.  Tua came in and did a good job.  I know he only threw 2 passes, but one was on target and the other was thrown, going to his right after being forced out of the pocket, to a place where only his receiver could make the catch.  It happened in the red zone so Bama was able to convert it to points instead of having a turnover.

RB:   D Harris had another great game.  I actually saw in this game the difference between the vision of Harris and Bo.  I saw Bo have some runs that I think Harris would have made different cuts to make for bigger plays.  Jacobs again looks to be healthy and is being utilized in the 2 running back system.  N Harris came in and ran hard when he got the opportunity.  The negative for the running backs was their pass blocking at times.  I know Bo got blown up on one play that didnít allow the Hurts time to throw the ball.    Three different backs had receptions in this game.

Rec:  Five different receivers had catches, with Ridley being the main target once again.  Some of the catches were made in tight coverage.  Foster didnít have a catch and I think he missed the route adjustment on one play which could have been a big play.  He should have converted to a fade.  Another time, and I canít remember which receiver, I think it was Sims, and I am going by the announcer, he should have converted to the fade but didnít and led to an incompletion.  The one thing that I am questioning is that it seemed like Ridley was not happy at sometimes when he went to the sideline and said something to the coaches.

OL:  I thought this was the Jekyll and Hyde part of the game.  At times they looked outstanding.  They pushed the D line back and made hole for the backs.   Then you have plays where there is a 2nd and 1 and the right guard and tackle get blown up for a 1-yard loss.  You have other times where they do an outstanding job pass blocking but then again you have the left guard helping on the outside guy pass rushing and the linebacker comes right thru his gap.  I donít know if it was a call bust or a RB bust on who the were supposed to pick up.  There were times when, this is just my opinion, that maybe they were giving away whether it was a run or pass play. 

Defense:   The defense played well and actually saved Bama from giving up point from when there was a turnover.  Bama gave up 227 yards of total offense.  This breaks down into 200 passing and 27 rushing. The 27 yards are very impressive against a team that prides itself in running the ball.  I have the defense credited with 5 sacks, 4 tackles for losses, an interception, and 1 fumble which was recovered by Ark.  Bama is also credited with 7 three and outs, one which was the result of an interception.  For plays that covered 10 plus yards, I have Arkansas with 9 passes and 2 runs that cover that distance.  They got into the red zone 3 times and got one touchdown, against the back-ups and a field goal.  They were stopped on downs on their other trip.  There were a few times when the defense lost contain and allowed the play to be extended.

DL:  They played well.  I mean what can you say, they gave up 27 yards rushing.  Davis stood out and Buggs again had another solid game.  The DL did a great job keeping the OL of the LBís allowing them to make the plays.

LB: They played well and made many plays.  The LBís were involved with more blitzes in this game than they have been in the past.  This could be because they were playing a new quarterback who had never started a college game.  I think both Hamilton and Evans had good games.  My question is where was Holcombe?  I saw him on the sideline, but donít remember him in the game. 

DB:  They also played well.  Most of the catches were inside.  There was one deep ball where Averett was beaten, however he should have had help over the top with Jones being in a two-safety look.  Jones was looking at the inside route that was shallower.  Harrison played a good game as he was forced to play coverage and come up and fill the running lanes.

Special Teams:  The punt return left a little to be desired.  They fumbled three times and lost one.  The defense bailed them out after giving Arkansas great field position.  The punts were good.  Kickoff coverage was very good again and the only thing that hurt was a penalty that gave Arkansas their best field position on the return.  You can just about expect Wright to have a big hit on a kickoff.  I really thing the problem with the returns is they are wanting to make a play so bad they arenít making the best decisions.  I also want to mention, again, that the return men on kickoffs have to take in consideration the height and depth of a kickoff when deciding if they are going to attempt a return. 

Penalties:   Bama had 6 penalties for 66 yards.  Three of these penalties were on the final drive and accounted for 39 of the 75 yards on the touchdown drive.  The other three were when Wilson had an unsportsmanlike conduct on a kickoff return, a false start, and a block in the back on a punt.  The bad thing about the false start is that it turned a 3rd and 6 into a 3rd and 11. 

Finally:  This game could have really gotten out of hand very early if the Bama team had continued their strong start.  They were not threatened by any means but could have really put the nail in the coffin in the first half.  Part of this, in my opinion, is on the OL which had breakdowns at certain points in the game. 

Feel free to comment:

16 and Counting

Game notes: Bama vs A&M
Written by hscoach
Comments: 13
Posted under: The Quad
A&M vs Bama

First, congrats to the Bama players and coaches on the win.   In my opinion the defense won this game by setting up the offense.  The inconsistency of the offense, especially early when they had field position hurt them.

OFFFENSE:   The offense had 355 yards of total offense, which breaks down into 232 rushing and 123 passing.  The bad part of this stat is, Bama had 195 rushing at the half so they only rushed for 37 yards in the second half.  They only had 110 yards of total offense in the second half.  For negative plays I have Bama for 3 sacks (I counted the intentional grounding as one), 6 tackles for losses, and a lost fumble. I also credit Bama with 5 three and outs one of which was a result of the lost fumble.  On the positive side, they had 6 passing plays for 10+ yards and 3 running plays for 10+ yards.  Bama got into the red zone 4 times and scored 2 touchdowns and a field goal.  The other was the kneel-down at the end of the game.  From outside the red zone they scored 1 touchdown and kicked a field goal.  They missed one field goal from outside the red zone.  I must give A&Mís defense some credit because they played hard and hit the OL and Bama in the mouth.  Bama needs to do a better job running the running back screen.  I really donít remember one this year that has been effective.

QB: Hurts played okay.  He did miss a couple of passes but he also wasnít helped by a couple of drops.  He threw two good deep balls.  One may have been a touchdown but the defender pulled just enough on the receiverís jersey to hold him up a bit.  He also put the ball on the money on the pass interference call which again probably would have been a touchdown.  He threw a couple of balls in the ground and some were not on target but good enough for the receivers to make the catch.    I think he missed a couple of open receiver when he decided to tuck the ball and run. 

RB:   The running backs ran hard and were hit numerous times right about the LOS.  I will say this again, I think Harris looks faster and quicker this year than he did in the past few years.  Bo ran hard also and didnít have the holes that Harris did.  They both did a good job at times picking up blitzes. 

Rec:  Ridley was the main target until he got hurt.  Jeudy made a couple of good catches.  Foster had a drop but he was open on a couple of routes.  Ruggs ran a good route to get open for the touchdown.  I do think they could have done a better job blocking.

OL:  I thought this was a weak point for the offense during the game.  I counted miss blocks by Cotton, Womack, and others.  I also saw them not come off combo blocks early enough to get to the next lever.  Bozeman was pushed back more than once.  I really hate to see OL looking back at the running play instead of looking for someone to block downfield.  They were beat by the simple end/tackle stunt and missed the blitz on a zone blitz.  The will must clean this up.  A&M confused Bama by bringing the delayed blitz and didnít have to bring extra rushers many times to get pressure on the QB.

Defense:   I really thought they played well most of the night.  There were a couple of missed tackles that hurt when rushing the QB.  Bama gave up 308 yards of total offense, 237 passing and 71 rushing.    At halftime A&M had 146 total yard which means they gained 162 in the second half.  The fumble by Bamaís offense led to points when it gave A&M a short field.  I also understand 64 yards was on the last drive where Bama was playing prevent so A&M couldnít score quickly.  Bama only had 2 three and outs for the night.  As far as negative plays, I have the defense credited for 4 sacks, 5 tackles for losses, 2 fumble recoveries, and an interception.   A&M got into the red zone 3 times and scored 2 touchdowns and had an interception.  They also kicked a field goal from outside the red zone.  A&M had 8 pass plays for 10+ yards and 2 running plays that were 10+ yards.  With regards to the 2 running plays one was a scramble and the other was a result of a missed tackle.  The play that hurt Bama early was the pass to the back who outflanked the defense while the DBís were cut by their receiver.  Also on these pass plays the LBís didnít take the best angle to make a play. 

DL:  I thought they played well all night.  They were able to get pressure on the QB using 4 more than having to bring numbers all the time.  Again, I thought Buggs and Jennings played especially well.  Other also made plays during the night.

LB: They played pretty well especially in filling for the run game.  They were put into coverage usually in a chase mode. 

DB:  I thought they played ok.  There was at least one bust on coverage that was on a 4th and 9 and A&M went for 39 yards later scoring a touchdown.  I thought one of the PI calls on Wallace was wrong because that was not a catchable ball.  They did a pretty good job most of the night making the tackle after the catch.  I also thought the safeties, Jones and Harrison played well since they had to play coverage to run.  I notice Brown got a little banged up and Carter came in.  It could have been his man who made the big catch on 4th and 9.  You also have to understand how hard it is to cover for a long time when you have a scrambling QB.

Special Teams:  Special teams helped and hurt.  First the kickoff coverage team was good.  However, on the bad side you had a blocked punt, a shanked punt, as well as missed field goal.  I donít know what Bama was trying to do on the last kickoff.  They gave them good field position with a short kick.  On the punting, I understand directional punting but I have always liked kicking to the opposite corner.  The problem with that is if you shank the punt it is now down the middle.  Another play which should have been huge for Bama was the forced fumble on the kickoff, if they had just recovered it they would have had the ball in the red zone.

Penalties:   Bama had penalties for 50 yards.  Three of them gave them first downs, two pass interference calls and a hands to the face.  Another big one was early when Bama had a 2nd and 1 they got the illegal substitution call and didnít overcome the 2nd and 6.  I think this is when they missed the field goal.
Finally:  In my opinion, Bamaís OL took a step backwards.  There were too many missed block and busted assignments. 

Feel free to comment:

16 and Counting

Game notes: OM vs Bama
Written by hscoach
Comments: 23
Posted under: The Quad
OM vs Bama

First, congrats to the Bama players and coaches on the win.   Again, the coaches put together a fantastic game plan and the player did a pretty good job executing the plan.  

OFFFENSE:   The offense put together 613 yards of total offense.  This included 365 yards rushing and 285 passing.  Again, Bama didnít turn the ball over on offense and dominated the time of possession.  For negative plays they gave up 2 tackles for losses.  They also had only 1 three and out which was the first drive of the game.  For plays of 10 plus yards, Bama had 9 pass plays and 12 running plays that covered that distance.  Bama got into the red zone 9 times and scored 8 touchdowns.  On one trip they got into the red zone with a first and goal but was move back because of a holding penalty and ended up missing a field goal.  They did kick one field goals outside the red zone.  In the second half which was played mostly by back-ups, Bama gained 283 yards.  This was another great opportunity to get quality playing time for the backups.

QB: Hurts played pretty well in my opinion.  I do think he went to his secondary receiver a couple of times for big plays.  He made a couple of throw that werenít great but he was also not helped a couple of times by the receivers.  I think the first throw to Foster was a catchable ball that just needed a better route adjustment.  Also, on the scramble he hit one receiver in the end zone and the ball was dropped.  Another incompletion was when the receiver jumped up to make the catch but was driven out of bounds by the defender before he hit the ground inbounds.  Tua also played well in my opinion.  He also made a questionable throw.  However, he looks better than he did in the very first game in which he played.  Both players could have easily had an interception.  Another good note is that no one scored more than one touchdown.

RB:   They all ran hard.  There wasnít as many yards after contact as there was last game but they all had their moments.  Again, they benefitted from the OL that didnít allow very much contact behind the LOS.  One thing they didnít really incorporated in the game, except a couple of times, was the passing game to the backs.  When they did Jacobs caught a TD pass.

Rec:  Eight different receivers caught the ball in this game.  Ridley is still the main target, but others are proving you must be wary because they can turn a short pass into a big gain.  I thought Ridley had a chance to catch the 2nd pass of the game which was a little high.  As I said above, I thought Foster could have done a better job adjusting to the first throw because he should know that is where the ball is going to be delivered.  

OL:  They played well, but I did notice a couple of times I thought they could have sustained their blocks a little longer.  Also, there was one play where I thought the OL stayed on a combo block and should have come off on the LB.  That being said, there were more times than not that they did do a good job blocking.  You donít rush for 365 yards without pretty good blocking.

Defense:   The defense played very well in my opinion.  They gave up 253 total yards which included 165 passing an 88 rushing.  At half time they had given up 138 total yards, which mean they gave up only 115 in the second half.  This is a good stat because there were some backups playing in the 3rd and 4th quarter.  This was a good game defensively to get quality playing time for the backups.  For negative plays I have Bama credited with 6 sacks, 6 tackles for losses, and 2 touchdowns, one which was returned for a TD.  They also forced a fumble but OM got back on top of it.  I have the OM quarterback getting hit at least 12 times and that is counting the sacks.  For three and outs, I have 6 for OM, one was caused by the interception that was returned for a touchdown.  As far as plays for over 10 yards, I have 5 pass plays and 4 running plays.  They got into the red zone and kicked one field goal. There were a few missed tackles that led to some of their bigger plays.

DL:  I thought they played well after the start.  In my opinion they didnít stay in the rush lanes and allowed the OM QB to break contain.  The player that stood out to me was Buggs.  He seemed to be in on a lot of plays but also caused the QB to flush or hit him.

LB: They played well.  Many times the plays were made before they got there.  They did do a pretty good job when they were asked to blitz.

DB:  I thought they played well.  They had to, at times, cover for an extended period of time because of the scramble ability of the OM QB.  They gave up most of the yards on 3 plays, one was a missed tackle by Averett.  Another was a play where the QB scrambled and Averett had to cover the guy all the way across the field.  There was one play where OM missed a touchdown when the QB overthrew the receiver.  Jones didnít overlap over the top of the outside receiver and Bama was lucky Om didnít score on that play.

Special Teams:  I think Bama is better off not kicking the ball in the end zone on the kickoff.  They tend to keep the return guy inside the 25.  When they tried to return they got to the 12, 19 which turned into the 24 because of an offside penalty, 16, 21, and 26.  The punting game was good, especially since he didnít have to punt but twice.   On punt returns, fair catches are ok.  There was a fumble, but I think they just want to make a play so bad they donít always make the best decisions.  

Penalties:   Bama had 7 penalties for 60 yards.  The biggest points here are.  Two of them gave OM two of their first downs.  A hold by the TE took Bama out of the red zone where they ended up missing a field goal.  

Finally:  I think Bama still made strides to getting better this game.  However, they digressed when it comes to penalties.  I would hope they would continue to progress.  Injures are adding up and this extend back up playing time could come up big later on in the season.

Feel free to comment:

16 and Counting

Game notes: Bama vs Vandy:
Written by hscoach
Comments: 21
Posted under: The Quad
Vandy vs Bama

First, congrats to the Bama players and coaches on the win.  The coaches, both offensive and defensive, put together a great game plan.  More importantly they players executed the game plan.

OFFFENSE:   This was one of the most impressive offensive displays I have seen at Alabama.  They had 677 total yards and would have really been a couple of more if they hadnít lost a few to kneel-downs.  The team rushed for 496 and threw for 181.  They did have 3 negative plays.  One was a sack which could have been avoided if Jacobs had picked up the corner blitz.  The other two were on a wide rec screen where Foster tried to make something out of a play that was well defended.  The other was a run that I felt the running back didnít quite get back to the LOS.  There was a fumble but Bama got back on it.  Bama only had one three and out in the game.   As far as plays for over 10 yards, Bama had 20 rushing plays and 8 passing plays.  For the running plays 10 were in the first half and 10 in the second half.   They got into the red zone 8 times and scored 6 touchdowns and 1 field goal.  The other trip ended in a mercy kneel-down to end the game.  Bama also scored 3 times from outside the red zone.  In my opinion, Bama was heavy running to the left but why not when they were so successful.  I sure many of you noticed when Bama had success with a play they did repeat it at times.

QB: Hurts played well but didnít hit a couple of throws.  The thing is he didnít make any mistakes that hurt the team.  I would have hoped they would have worked on the passing game a little more.  It looked to me, when Ridley dropped the throw that would have been a touchdown, that he wasnít the first choice because Hurts looked to the right first.   I also think he missed the opportunity to take a deep throw once.   Tua played extremely well.  That being said, he did come in when the defense had played 47 plays against a team that was down 38 points.  He threw the ball well and made good decisions with the ball.  He did a great job when pressured to find a couple of receivers.

RB:   They played well except for a couple of pass blocking assignments.  I would love to see what the yards after contact were.  Everyone who touched the ball ran with a purpose and gained positive yards most of the time.  The running attack averaged 7.5 yards per carry and as I said above there were 20 runs of 10+ yards. 

Rec:  Seven different receivers caught balls and the other 3 receptions were by the backs.  There were a couple of drops, or balls I thought should have been caught.  Also, on the play where the ball was overthrown to Foster, I thought, I thought if he hadnít leaned inside and stayed outside if could have been a completion.  I did want to mention the speed and hustle of Foster on Harrisís long touchdown run trying to get down to make a block if needed.

OL:   In my opinion, this was the most improve area on offense.  It looked to me like they had more of a zone blocking scheme.  I also thought they may have widen their splits a little.  Now this is just my opinion and maybe I havenít noticed it before.  They sustained their blocks more than they have in the past three games.  They had very good combo blocks and got to the second level a lot during the game.  The established the LOS early and controlled it the whole day.  They also did a better job in the pass protection area.

Defense:   The defense played outstanding.  The gave up a total of 78 yard which consisted of 38 passing and 40 rushing.  Too me this is a strange stat:  For negative plays, Bama only had 1 sack and 1 tackle for a loss.   They did have a fumble recovery along with an interception.  Even though they only had one sack the hit the QB 7 times.   Vandy had 7 three and outs and 1 one and out because of the fumble.  It would have been one more three and out if not for what I consider a questionable penalty.  They only had one pass play that went for 10 yards.  They didnít get into the red zone and never crossed into Bama territory.  Vandy receivers did drop about three catchable balls that would have help them stay on the field a little longer.  I also have Bama credited with 4 PBUí by Hamilton, Fitzpatrick, Averett, and Wallace.  One of the biggest plusses for the defense was the dominant time of possession by the Bama offense.  The defense only had to play a little over 17 minutes.  The longest drive Vandy had was 6 plays. 

DL:  They dominated the LOS.  Vandy averaged 2.5 yards per carry.  Usually when this happens there are more than 1 tackle for a loss.  I know Jennings is considered an OLB but he was dominant in his return.  They attacked the LOS like defenses of the past and set the tone early.

LB: They played well when given the opportunity.  Most of the plays were made before they got to their level.  Again, they werenít on the field much.  I will say they seem to have a very good rotation here with Evans, Hamilton, Holcombe, and Wilson. 

DB:  They made plays when given the opportunity.  It did look like they tightened up their coverage some.  They benefitted from a good pass rush. 

Special Teams:  Kick-off coverage did a very good job.  The only time Vandy got to the 25 was when they took a touchback.  I never saw why Vandy got the ball on the 30 after a kick-off.  There had to be a penalty which would probably have been offside on the kick off team.  All PATís and FGís were good and struck well.  There were only two punts and one was pinned on the 4 and the other was on the 24.  The bad part on special teams was the two-mishandled punt which Bama got back.

Penalties:   Bama had 6 penalties for 40 yards.  The one I disputed was the roughing the passer by a low hit.  Jennings was chasing from behind and when the QB went to throw the ball he jumped a little which made the hit look lower. 

Finally:  I donít know if it was the player meeting or what but Bama looked great.  They still need to improve in the throwing game but I think it is coming along.  The good thing is you donít have to throw the ball deep with the playmakers they have at receiver.  This was a game where Bama could get quality playing time for back-ups.  This time the back-ups performed.   You would also hope the player learn from this and move forward and not read their press clippings as they say.

Feel free to comment:

16 and Counting

Game notes: CSU vs Bama
Written by hscoach
Comments: 17
Posted under: The Quad
Fresno vs Bama

First, congrats to the Bama players and coaches on the win.  This game was a bit of ebbs and flows as both the offense and defense looked great at times.

OFFFENSE:   The offense put 487 yards of total offense together.  They had 248 passing and 239 rushing, you canít get much more balanced than that. I only have them credited for 2 three and outs.   Probably one of the most impressive stats was that Bama only had 2 total negative plays which were two tackles for losses.  As far as plays for over 10 plus yards, Bama had 10 passes and 7 runs that covered that distance.  Most of their scores came from outside the red zone which totaled 3 touchdowns and 2 field goals.  They did miss one 52-yard field goal.  The two times they got inside the red zone they scored touchdowns.   I did notice they made an effort to work on the screen game which may have been dictated by the film they watched. 

QB: Hurts played pretty well.  He did miss on a couple of long balls.  One he missed was while he was on the run and Ridley had gotten behind the coverage.  Sims could have really helped out on this play if he had worked back to the sideline for a shorter throw.  On one ball to Ridley, he was knocked off route by the defender throwing off the timing a bit.  Not sure if this was going to be off target if Ridley had gotten a clean release. One of the best balls he threw was to Smith which was down the field on target and time.  I do think he left the pocket a little early a couple of time.  Tua was not on target as much.  The first throw was catchable but a little low.  The one rolling to the right is tough for a left hander.  He did make a good decision to throw the ball away when the defender jumped the wide rec bubble route.

RB:   They all ran well and averaged about 5 yards per carry together.  It is noticeable how much they are now more involved with the passing game.   Too me this makes sense because you are getting the ball to the playmakers in space.  Many of them are no more than wide running plays but it gets them out in space making the defense make plays in space. 

Rec:  Not counting backs, five different receivers caught balls.  Foster showed a burst after his catch and shows that he could be a great complement to Ridley.  There are playmakers here if they get the ball.  I do think they missed a couple of blocks.

OL:   In my opinion they did show some improvement however there were a couple of time that I think they missed or came off a couple of combo blocks.  There were times they got a huge push and opened holes for the backs.  What I was disappointed in was a 3rd and 1 and Bama couldnít get the first down.  This needs to be an automatic even if you must check to and outside play vs and inside play when the numbers dictate it.

Defense:  Here the play was up and down.  Outstanding at times and then not very good at times. I do think they were not prepared for the QB to be a runner and he didnít have to do it a lot, just at the right time.  Bama gave up 391 yards of total offense which included 247 yards passing and 144 rushing.  As far as negative plays Bama had no sacks. 7 tackles for losses and 2 interceptions.  Bama only had 2 three and outs and those were the first two drives of the game.  CSU got into the red zone 4 times scoring 3 touchdowns and a field goal.  Again, the opponentís game plan was to throw the ball short and get what yardage they could but every once in a while, try a little deeper shot.  I donít have the exact number of times, but Bama rarely rushed more than 5 and if they brought pressure it came from the outside.  I think they were just playing very basic defense not to show too much.  You would hope with the athletes Bama has they could get pressure with 4/5. 

DL:  They started out well but then as the game went on seem to get not as much push.  But then they would step up and make a pretty good play.  The lost the edge a few times and didnít always keep the OL off the linebackers. 

LB: Like the DL the played well at times but then I saw linebacker not scrape to the hole and not get off blocks.  I think the OS backer lost the edge and backs in the passing game at times.  Especially on the throwback screen. 

DB:  They made a few plays and missed a few plays.  It is strange to me, and donít think I am second guessing the coaches, but why not jam the receivers on the goal line to throw off the timing for fade routes.  Also, I have mentioned this before, but taller receivers you go for the arms not the ball.
Special Teams:  Special teams played well.  There was a missed tackle on the kickoff return and they did miss a 52-yard field goal.  I do think, and this is important in my opinion, the balls were struck well on the attempts.  The 52-yard attempt was wide, it had good height and distance.

Penalties:   Bama had 4 penalties.  A pass interference which gave CSU their first 1st down.  Then there were penalties that all ended up being on the touchdown drives.  The big ones were the hands to the face and roughing the passer.  I do question the roughing the passer.

Finally:  There was good and bad to take away from this game.  However, Bama need to improve and do it quickly with conference play starting.  I do think it will help getting a couple of player back, especially Evans and Jennings.   However, these young players are getting valuable experience that should help down the road.

Feel free to comment:

16 and Counting

Game notes: Fresno vs Bama
Written by hscoach
Comments: 17
Posted under: The Quad
Fresno vs Bama

First, congrats to the Bama players and coaches on the win.  I really donít consider it impressive but it was a win after a huge game.

OFFFENSE:   The offense played against an inferior team.  They put together 497 yards of total offense.  This included 305 yards rushing and 192 passing.  Included in this was a total of 5 negative plays.  They gave up 1 sack and 4 tackles for losses.  Bama was credited for 1 three and out but there was another where Bama kicked a field goal when they didnít put the ball in the end zone with a first and goal.  For plays over 10 yards they had 7 pass plays and 11 runs.  Bama got into the red zone 5 times.  Of these 5 opportunities, they had three touchdowns and 2 field goals.  Two touchdowns came from outside the red zone.  I think I did see a few unforced mistakes by the offense during the game.  One, when Tua was in, the right guard and tackle ran counter to the left and the ball was given to N Harris to run right.  This looked to me that it should have been a QB counter.  Also, on the missed touchdown N Harris may have gone the wrong way getting in the way of the open tight end for a touchdown.  I also donít think this team really put on enough pass rush early to run the screen and they did sniff it out.

QB:  I thought Hurts played well.  He was 14 for 18 and there was a drop and one because he was hit while he threw the ball.  Also, one pass to Ridley I thought was complete and came loose when he extended the ball to get and extra yard.  There was one throw he missed to the outside which could have been a touchdown.  Another miss was on the inside and had too much air which was almost intercepted.  To me this was the one that was clearly off target.  I can also see why he threw underneath many times as the defenders were bailing on the snap many times.  Hurts also hit the hot route off the blitz something that didnít always happen against Florida State.  Tua played well for his first college experience.  A few throws were not right on target but were catchable and the receivers made the catch. 

RB:   The running backs all ran hard.  They all averaged over 5 yards per carry.  I was impressed with the move Bo made after a catch avoiding the defender.  All three backs had receptions.

Rec:  Eight different players had receptions during the game.  Ridley was again the main target as he caught 5 balls.  I will also not that the receivers blocked pretty well during the game.

OL:   I really thought they would completely dominate with a smaller team.  They played ok, but they donít always get to the second level and they donít sustain their blocks all the time.  There was once where they rushed 5 against Tua and the defender split the right guard and tackle and made the sack.  I still think this is where Bama really needs to improve.

Defense:  Too me the play on defense was lackadaisical. They gave up 274 yards of total offense, 216 passing and 58 rushing.   Part of this was the offense that was run by Fresno.  They threw the ball 41 times and most of them were 7 yards or under.  I only have about 9 passes traveling more than 10 yards and a couple were because the Qb was scrambling.  Bam only had 5 negative plays defensively.  There was 1 sack, 4 tackles for losses and an interception which put Bama in the red zone.   They only had 2 three and outs.  For plays over 10 yards, there were 7 passes and 2 runs. They got into the red zone once and they kicked a field goal and scored the touchdown from outside the red zone.   I have Bama for at least 6 missed tackles and 3 of those were on one play. 

DL:  I just didnít see them coming off the ball hard until they put the back-ups in.  They played the run well enough but the pass rush wasnít much probably because they were getting rid of the ball so fast.

LB: They played ok.  Had to determine with all the underneath pass routes. 

DB:  They were not given many opportunities since the passes were thrown underneath. There were many crossing routes in the LB area or back outs where the receiver had cleared the arear.  The same can be said for the areas where the LB had vacated for short routes.  They had many tackles but they were coming up for the underneath receptions. 

Special Teams:  The big flaw was the long kick-off return.  All three of Scottís punts pinned them at the 9, 10, and 11 yard lines.  The field goals and extra points were all good.  The punt returns were good and one set Bama up in great field position.

Penalties:   Bama had 4 penalties.  Offense had one with a delay of game on before the field goal attempt but didnít hurt them.  The defense had an offsides, substitution infraction, and a face mask.  On the drive for the field goal by Fresno the defense gave them a first down because of the two penalties, substation infraction and offsides.  The allowed them to overcome a 3rd and 10.

Finally:  I guess you can expect a little let down after a huge win to begin the season.  However, if you want to be a National Champion you need to play to the best of your ability every game, if not you just digress.   They have one more game until the start of conference play and need to progress instead of digressing.

Feel free to comment:

16 and Counting

Game notes: FSU vs Bama
Written by hscoach
Comments: 20
Posted under: The Quad
FSU vs Bama

First, congrats to the Bama players and coaches on a hard-fought victory.  I think this was a quality opponent with a stout defense and potentially explosive offense.

OFFFENSE:   The offense had to fight for every yard they gained last night.  They ended up with 269 yards of total offense. This was broken down by 96 yards passing and 173 rushing.  I only have Bama for 6 total plays for 10+ yards.  They had 3 runs and 3 pass plays that cover that distance.  A holding negated one pass play which I didnít count.  I think one of the most telling signs was I have Bama for only 6 negative plays, 7 if you count the bad snap.  Bama gave up 2 sacks and was tackled for a loss only 4 times.  This seems to be less than the average from last year.  The worse part of the game to me was the wasted field position especially created by special teams.  In the red zone Bama only got 1 touchdown with 4 trips which included 3 field goals.  This is just my opinion but I thought Bama used a very vanilla offense.  Many teams will use screen passes slow down the pass rush and I donít think Bama threw one.  Bama is going to have to come up with a solution when you have the back to one side and you have two defenders outside the tackle to the other side.

QB: I thought Hurts played well last night.  I think you can see a difference with his footwork and deep balls.  He did miss a couple of deep balls, one which may have been catchable.  The other was overthrown but it was thrown to the proper area.  He wasnít underthrowing the ball like last year.  It also seems that balls were delivered to the areas where they could be caught.  Not a lot of balls thrown behind rec. like last year.  The D harassed him many times.  Hurts may not have made big plays but they werenít negative or forced into turnovers.

RB:   They ran hard and had to work for every yard.  Harris, to me, looked quicker and faster than last year.  There were a couple of missed pass blocks which I feel will be corrected.  You must remember this was a quality defense. 

Rec:  Ridley had a good game, except for the pass that was turned into an 11-yard loss.  He was the only rec with a catch while the other completions went to the backs.  It is easy to see that Hurts has confidence in him but others need to get receptions.

OL:   This was hard to determine on how well they played.  It seems all were beat at least once.  But then you look at the total of negative plays.  I didnít count how many times Hurts was rushed or forced out of the pocket on pass plays but there were several.  The snapped that was rolled back there, according to the announcers because I couldnít see it on TV, could have cost a TD because they said Bo was open in the end zone.  I will say I did think the tight ends did a decent job blocking.  Smith had a big block on the TD run by Harris.

Defense:  The defense played a very good game.  They gave up a total of 250 yards.  This included 210 passing and 40 rushing.  This is also against a qb that can run the ball.  Bamaís defense gave up only 65 yards in the second half.  There are a couple of factors that helped this.  One, the defense played well and two the special teams kept FSU in poor field position and got turnovers.  I have Bama for 3 sacks, 9 tackles for losses, and 2 interceptions.  Also, I have the defense getting 4 three and outs and a couple of less than three and outs.  FSU didnít have a run of over 10 yards but they had 9 pass plays of over 10 yards. 

DL:  I thought they played very well.  You could pick out anyone of them and see they had an impact at different points in the game. 

LB:  Again, here they played well.  Each one had plays that were huge.  Also, I didnít notice, but read, where Evans didnít play the second half.  This is important because the defense didnít miss a beat with him out and his replacement had an int.

DB:  I thought they played well.  Many of the completions were in the middle of the field where linebacker had vacated.  FSU had a tall 6í5Ē rec that did win the battle for the touchdown. Also, the credit should be given to passes that were thrown in the perfect area for the rec to make a catch.  I am a big believer of going after the arms instead of the ball on the taller rec.  However, the man, Saban, is a lot smarter than I am.

Special Teams:  This is the areas where Bama won the game.  The only marks on the special teams were the shank punt for 9 yards and the two missed field goals.  Scott made up for this by pinning FSU deep on a couple of punts.  The good news is the defense bailed them out.   Kick offs were covered well and forced a turnover.  Punt returns were no problem as all were handled well.  Also, they blocked a punt which put Bama in the red zone. Kick-off returns, I thought he shouldnít have brought one out.  You should not only look at the depth of the kick off but also the height of the kick.  What I also think is good news is the last field goal was well struck.

Penalties:   Bama had 5 penalties and the biggest was the holding on Cotton which negated a 26-yard pass.  The other big one was the pass interference by Averett.
Finally:  Bama beat a quality opponent and the deficit could/should have been bigger. However, Bama also got away with what could have been a PI call.  It was good to see the new players step in and play well.  Hopefully, they wonít pat themselves on the back and will continue to improve because there is plenty of room for improvement.

Feel free to comment:

16 and Counting

Today's Bama Scrimmage
Written by Jamos
Comments: 15
Posted under: The Quad
It started out as a bright sunny hot day and finished with a 45 minute delay for a thunderstorm. I think the players were ready for the rain though due to the heat but they came back after the lightning and rain and had a pretty good finish working on the two minute and red zone drills.

The scrimmage started with a very salty defense pretty much controlling the offense whether it was passing or running the ball. Hurts led the first offense in the beginning and there wasn't much there for them as the defense stuffed the runs and the defensive backs had some pretty good coverage on the receivers. Tua then got his turn and had a little more success than Hurts but still the defense stopped pretty much everything. Later on though, the offense was able to get going and make some positive plays and took it to the defense on a couple of good pass receptions with good runs to the end zone. It took a while but the running backs finally got their game going and and made it tough on the defense. Bo Scarbrough and Josh Jacobs both missed the practice with Scarbrough being ill in bed and Jacobs with the hamstring problem. CNS stated that Scarbrough has been very ill and Jacobs return is on a day to day basis. Damien Harris and Brian Robertson looked the most impressive of the running backs. I really like Brian Robertson, he runs like he enjoys what he's doing and I'm not taking anything from Harris, he's Mr. Steady.

The kicking game showed some improvement and CNS stated that J K Scott will handle all of the kicking duties. He elaborated on the new kicker, Joseph Bulovas, and said he just isn't ready to handle the job just yet. I will say though that Bulovas made two good kicks from about 40 yards out in the driving rain so I think he might work his way into the lineup down the road. Scott was a beast out there today, his punts must have had 6 seconds hang time with and average length of better than 50 yards. He also made a field goal of 50-55 yards with room to spare. His one bad kick was a block, it was a long attempt and he kicked it a little low trying to get the distance. The one thing that worries me about Scott handling the kicking duties is him doing the kickoffs. Scott has long legs and I know the opposing teams know that too, they are easy targets.

 The quarterbacks. Jalen Hurts led the team off and I think he looked very so-so. I stated the defense was pretty salty in the beginning and I know they had a lot to do with how he looked and I'm referring to his passing game. He had two receivers open on long routes and threw short on both with one being intercepted. He just didn't seem sharp to me but I'm looking through a different pair of glasses than CNS is. Later on in the practice he did do better and had a few passes dropped and they were for big gains too. I thought Tua had a better start than Hurts and I'm still impressed with his field savy. He seems to see more of the field than Hurts but again CNS is wearing a different set of glasses than I am. I do like these two as a combo and I think the team is in a much better shape at quarterback than they were at this time last year. Jones had his reps and had some good effort but I think he is a little behind Hurts and Tua but CNS is giving him plenty of reps to improve his game.

I think the offensive line has a ways to go or we have a bad nasty defensive line. I would like to think it was a bad nasty defensive line that was causing all their blocking problems but I'm not so sure of that. CNS did mention the OL has a ways to go yet

I don't know how good this team will be this year as they have lots of talent but I don't see the leadership this team has had the past two years. We all know what good leadership means to a Bama team, if it's not there the team usually struggles. CNS was asked about who the alphas were on the team this year and he didn't jump out with player names like he has in the past. CNS pointed out that Florida State has their whole defense returning from last year and this would really challenge the Bama offense so I guess Bama will find out real quick where they stand. They have the talent but I'm not so sure where they are mentally, all of those big ole mean leaders they had last year are gone. Maybe I'm being a bit too skeptical but just who are the Alphas on this team?

Bama Fan Day/Practice
Written by Jamos
Comments: 4
Posted under: The Quad
It was a hot muggy afternoon but the fans and players both seemed to handle the heat well. The players seemed to be well conditioned and had lots of energy. There was no standing around for any of the players as they were divided up into different groups and were really active.

I was most impressed with the defensive secondary tackling drill as they were working on keeping their heads up as they made their tackles to prevent any targeting penalties. The most heated session was the the offensive and defensive line blocking/tackling using a running back. There were some good licks passed by both sides of the line and a shifty moves by the running backs, fun to watch.

The QBs and receivers worked pretty much by themselves and both of them had to be awful after practice, lots of passes thrown by all of the QBs and lots of routes run by the receivers.

The REC will watch the August 19th scrimmage and I'm really looking forward to that. I didn't see anybody limping around or on crutches so hopefully all is well with the injury list. Anyway, football has returned and Bama seems to be ready for it.

Bama Football, A New Era Ahead?
Written by Jamos
Comments: 15
Posted under: The Quad
After much speculation by the fans as to what Bama football might be like with the addition of Tua Tagovailoa and some other highly rated offensive prospects to the team, they didn't get disappointed yesterday. From the opening series of plays to the last play of the game, the fans weren't cheated of offensive fireworks that they all came to see. Now those that came to see an angry defense stifle any offense that Jalen and Tua might have to offer, that didn't happen and I'm glad as this was a fun day planned for the fans and most left the stadium talking about all the "what ifs" for next years team. The defense got a couple of black eyes in the game but they had their moments too. I think the defense will only get better as they  have to practice against all of this offense Bama has to offer now. The receivers really took it to the defensive backs with some great routes and catches but again, that's not all that bad as the DBs should get better having to practice against the "gazelles" that we watched yesterday. You might want to pencil in the name Jerry Judy on your "to remember" list for next season's team, he is the real deal. Also I want to mention Robert Foster. Here is a young man that came to Bama four years ago with lots of high explosive promise for the team but injuries have plagued him since his first year and now he is finally healthy for his senior year and showcasing those good abilities that he has. If he can stay healthy, he will add a lot to the offense this next season.

It's a given that there is still a lot of work to do on the offensive line and defensive secondary but I think the film of the game will give the players and coaches a lot to work with between now and August when the team arrives for next season. I didn't see any major injuries from yesterday so maybe we can start the next season injury free which is unusual from the past few years.

The question now is what kind of team will we see next season? Will Bama be  more offensive minded since the Clemson loss in the championship game or will they stay with their traditional game control offensive schemes which is what Nick Saban prefers. Clemson beat a good Bama defense for the National Championship with an outstanding show of offense that wore the good Bama defense down in the last quarter of the game. Is this the new trend in college football as so many teams are now scoring lots and lots of points each game and not worrying about how many they give up, just score more than your opponent theory. At the end of last season I would say definitely no to this theory for Bama but after seeing what Bama will have to offer offensively this coming season, I'm not so sure as what to think Bama might offer up for the next season. The old saying, "if you can't beat them you might as well join them" theory might well come into play as so many teams are now highly explosive offenses that score many points which make it impossible to try and defend them and hold them under 21 points a game. I can remember the Bear Bryant days when he would figure the team would have to score 10 points to win the game as they were not going to give up 7 points or more but the game has changed.

This is all nothing but pure speculation but is something that all of us Bama fans can think about for the next few months, will Coach Nick Saban change his philosophy of how he coaches his team? I say it's a good chance but knowing Coach Nick Saban, the defense will still be a trademark of his team but maybe in a different way. Until August arrives, I guess we can have a little fun visualizing all of the "what ifs" this team may offer next season after the big fireworks display yesterday and the CNS interviews might get a little more interesting as well.

ę Last Edit: Today at 08:00:50 AM by Jamos Ľ   

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