Quarterback guru George Whitfield on Saturday's ESPN College GameDay said Alabama's "never had a quarterback as dynamic as Blake Sims." He said Alabama's tougher to beat with his athleticism as opposed to having a game manager throwing passes.
An addition to the playbook with Sims running the offense is the read option. Saban's quick to point out it's not a planned run, but gives Sims the option to hand off or keep it based on how the defense reacts. If the ends crash on the handoff, he'll keep it and dash around the end of the line. That play went for a 43-yard score against Texas A&M and 28-yard touchdown last week at Tennessee.
"Sometimes Blake keeps it, sometimes he doesn't," Alabama right tackle Austin Shepherd said. "In the huddle we know he has an option to read them or not. We're kind of aware sometimes. ... We're taught to block up front like he is going to hand off."
In all, Sims has 96 rushing yards in the last two games after managing just 13 in the previous two games with Ole Miss and Arkansas.
As a defensive coach, Saban said you have to respect a quarterback who runs, but it doesn't change who Alabama is offensively.
"We're kind of more of a pro-style offense and not really a quarterback-run team," Saban said. "But we have been able to utilize his effectiveness in certain situations that have been very helpful to us."
Makes for winning football.