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National Championship Game Notes: Georgia vs Alabama
Written by hscoach
Comments: 27
Posted under: The Quad
                                                                                                         Georgia vs Bama

First, congrats to the Bama coaches and players on a great comeback victory to give Bama their 17th National Championship.  It wasnít as clean a game as the Clemson game was, but Bama fought back and won the game.  Also, we must give some props to Kirby Smart and the Georgia coaches and players on a hard-fought game.

OFFFENSE:   The offense had a tough time in the first half and played a very strong 2nd half.  The offense put together 371 yards of total offense.  This included 187 yards passing and 184 rushing which is almost as balanced attack as you can have. The difference in the second half as far as yards are concerned, Bama had 277 yards in the 2nd half as opposed to the 94 yards in the 1st half.  As far as negative plays, I only have Bama giving up 2 sacks, 3 tackles for losses and 1 interception.  I credit with 4 three and outs and one 2 and out because of an interception.  For plays that cover 10 plus yards, I have Bama with 7 pass plays and 6 running plays, most of which came in the second half.  Bama got into the red zone 5 times.  On these 5 trips, Bama scored 2 touchdowns and kicked a field goal.  On the other 2 trips, they missed field goals, 1 which would have won the game without going to overtime.  One of the biggest changes for the offense which led to the victory, besides Tua, was the play of the offensive line.  There a few things I would like to know.  One, why does Bama not have a better short passing game?  Two, why does Bama not use max protect sets on obvious passing downs?  You can use the max protect set and then release if the other team doesnít send the pressure.  Third, where is the running back screen game?  I do think Daboll is transitioning to the difference from calling a pro game to the college game.

QB:   Hurts did not play well and was under pressure a lot.  He missed a huge pass that would have put Bama on top on the 1st drive of the game. I am not sure if Hurts has lost his confidence or maybe he just is going to be able to develop as the passer we want him to be.  I think he has made strides this year, but not sure he will be the QB of the future.  Tua played well.  He did make a couple of mistakes, but he make up for them on other plays.  I will say he is a better runner than I gave him credit for.  I do notice that Tua is more willing to throw the ball into a tight window more than Jalen is.  I do wonder what happened on the interception.  Every receiver was blocking instead of running a route.  I would assume the play was not communicated as well as it should.  There is something else, that seems to stand out to me and I hope it is not my imagination.  It seems that when Jalen takes the snap he doesnít seem to drop any deeper, where I notice Tua does drop more when he takes the snap.  I also think Tua was throwing the ball to Harris on the touchdown throw that Ridley came across the end zone and caught.  Later, I heard one of the announcers say the same thing.  

RB: They ran hard against a tough physical defense.  As a whole, the running backs averaged 5.8 yards per carry, but this is mainly because of Najee Harris who had 64 yards on 6 carries which averages out to 10.7 yards per carry.  They caught the ball well out of the backfield and the big thing they had no turnovers.  D Harris did miss at least one block on the blitz by the linebacker and thing there was another one missed by Jacobs.  I really donít remember where the backs were knocked backwards on a tackle except on the swing pass to Bo where the Georgia LB made a great play.

Rec:   The made some very good catches   They got open more in the 2nd half than they did the first half and part of this has to do with the time the quarterback had to throw the ball.   They caught balls that were thrown low that they didnít catch in the Clemson game.  Smith had one catch during the game and it was a huge one.  The other thing about the receivers is that the ball was spread around, Ridley 4 catches, Ruggs 3 catches, Foster 3 catches, Jeudy 1 catch, Sim 1 catch, and Hentges I catch, and this doesnít even include the catches by the backs.

OL:   They did not start out very strong but came on in the 2nd half.  I thought Hassenauer had a good game.  In my opinion, he played as well or better than Cotton has been playing.  Also, when Leatherwood came in and played very well.  I do know if he may not have played better than Williams at left tackle.  Speaking of Williams, he missed a cut block and caused pressure on the QB and my main question is why he was cut blocking because he was the only OL using that technique.   I also know the right tackle missed his block on a 3rd and short which stopped a drive.  There was another miss block over there but that is because the UG player timed the snap perfectly and he didnít have a chance to get out of his stance and get to him.  The was also a pressure from the left side and I think Willams was in which caused Tua to miss the throw on the middle screen which looked to have been set up well for a big play.  Also, on the left side of the OL, I again think it was Williams allowed Tua to be hit on the throw which came up short on an open receiver.

Defense:  This was a tale of two halves.  In the first half Bama missed some tackles and busted some assignments.  What I mean by this is there were opportunities to make stops and they allowed Georgia to get on the edge since the edge player crashed down when that is not his responsibility.  They took some bad angles on the running back especially on the 3rd and 20 where Georgia ran for a first down.  Now, for yards allowed, UG had 361 total yards of offense which included 232 passing and 133 rushing.  What is significant here is that of the 361 yards, 223 were in the first half which means they had 138 in the second half.  What is remarkable about the 138 yards is that 93 of those yards came on the 4-play drive where they threw the 80-yard touchdown.  This happened about the middle of the 3rd quarter which means Bama held them to 75 yards the rest of the game.   As far as negative plays, I have the Bama defense with 4 sacks (2 in each half), 8 tackles for losses (7 in the 2nd half), and 2 interceptions.  For three and outs, I have UG with 4 one of which was and interception.  I also have them with a 1 and out because of an interception.  For plays that covered 10 plus yards, UG had 11 pass plays and 5 running plays.  Georgia got into the red zone twice and scored 1 touchdown and 1 field goal.  The other touchdown and field goal, not counting the one in overtime, was from outside the red zone.  In the 2nd half Bama corrected many of the mistakes from the first half.  I think the first half they were wanting to make a play so badly that they forgot the techniques and assignments.  

DL:   Overall, they played well except early when they lost their rushing lanes not giving up the edge.  The UG running backs averaged 3.4 yards per carry and most of it was because of the job the DL did.  Lewis, Payne, Buggs, and Davis all were credited for at least 5 tackles.  They were also the group, and I am including Lewis and Miller in this group, that had 3 of the 4 sacks.  

LB: They played extremely well as both inside backers led the team in tackles.  Some of the pass completions were because they were so concerned with the run they didnít get to drop very deep in the passing lanes.
DB:  They had a huge responsibility in this game.  They made some plays and missed some plays.  One of the best plays made was when Tony Brown got the first interception.  What he did, after he stumbled is what made the play.  Instead of looking back at the quarterback to see what was going on, he sprinted to his receiver and fortunately the quarterback was pressured and couldnít step into the throw like he would normally.  The bad play by Brown was on the touchdown throw.  He allowed the receiver to get on him before he came out of his backpedal which now means he is beat.  Again, I think Thompson did   a good job filling in for Jones.  It also needs pointing out the hustle by Fitzpatrick on the first play of the game, where he blitzed and went down but got back up to be in on the tackle

Special Teams:  This is where you had good and bad.  The good was the coverage on the kick offs.  Also, good was the punts except for one, but Bama was bailed out because of a block in the back.  The bad was the missed field goals.  This could have kept the game from going into overtime.  Also, fortunately the blocked punt was disallowed because of a penalty which should not have gone Bamaís way.

Penalties:  Bama had 6 penalties for 41 yards.  First you have a false start on the field goal that was made then taken off the board and we all know he missed the next one.  One a 3rd and three Brown steps in the neutral zone and caused the receiver to move giving UG a first down.  Then Bama had a holding on a punt return which took away crucial yards after the punt.  The illegal substation looked to be caused by a lack of effort getting off the field.  Nest you have a roughing the passer which should not have happened and gave UG a 1st and goal.  Finally, the unsportsmanlike like conduct on the kick off return gave UG additional yardage and lucky he was not thrown out of the game.   The angle on tv didnít show what happened during the play that caused the reaction.

Finally, this was an outstanding job by Bama in the second half.  This was also a game where Saban made a decision to switch quarterbacks, something many coaches wouldnít have done.  Since, I have mentioned that, I must give props to the way Jalen handled the situation.  Also, by the end of this game, Bama was playing without 5 starters, 6 if you count Jalen.  Hootie Jones, Hamilton, Cotton, and Jennings, were out before the game while Willams went out during the game.   Next year will be very interesting with all the returning players along with who will now play quarterback.

Feel free to comment:

17and Counting

Season afterthoughts
Written by 2Stater
Comments: 46
Posted under: The Quad
What a year, huh?

I would think this is probably Saban's most satisfying year as a football coach. Never have I seen as much adversity on any team, much less one that just won a National Championship. Including last night, if my count is right, Bama had 24 injuries during the season. That is unprecedented. The first half last night, was a microcosm of the entire season. We were outplayed on offense, we were outplayed on defense and we were outplayed on special teams. In addition to that, we had players jumping teammates, coaches melting down, and the majority of a fan base thinking it was over.

But Saban and this team persevered through all this adversity. Tua came on and completed one of the most epic comebacks in college football history. And he didn't do it alone. 6 freshman played out of their minds, stepping in with near flawless execution, to keep us in the game. The defense was revived and took control when they had to, to give Tua and the offense the opportunity to win the game. I'm just glad the team redeemed Pappy so he didn't have to be compared to Greg Gantt for the rest of his life.

When Saban came off the field saying it was the happiest moment of his life, you could see it in his face, that he was telling the truth.

Some things did concern me though. I will never understand why Mekhi Brown was not kicked off the team, much less being allowed to see the field again. That was a bad look for us.

We played dirty at times. I know they want to be known as a nasty defense, but there was no excuse in Mack Wilson shoving Fromm's head after a tackle for example, or Crazy Tony Brown being Crazy Tony Brown. We need to show more class than that.

And let's face it, the refs were very generous to us. Maybe karma from last years bad no calls that gave Clemson the title. But the truth is, it's part of the game, but we were very fortunate there.

But, I can't help but being very proud of this team. This may be my most satisfying Natty of the modern era, considering the monumental obstacles this team faced and overcame.

Tua made some freshman mistakes, but none of them phased him. He is a very confident (not arrogant) player and he came through in spades. Can't wait to watch him next year. He is an instant legend at Alabama and the game is an instant classic.

Anyway, here's to #17 and with the cast we have coming back next year, most likely with Tua at the helm, I very much like our chances to repeat.

Dilly Dilly!!!  Toast 4

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

First congrats to the Bama coaches and players on a great victory with give you a chance for another National Championship.  In my opinion, the defense and special teams won this game.  It was a game where the defense played great assignment football with very few mistakes.

OFFFENSE:   The offense was held to 261 yards of total offense.  This included 120 passing and 141 rushing.  They had several opportunities because of short fields, however they were playing against a very strong Clemson team.  As far as negative plays, Bama had 2 sacks, 3 tackles for losses and 1 fumble which led to 3 points for Clemson.  Bama was credited with 3 three and outs and 1 one and out because of a fumble.  For the positive, Bama had 6 pass plays and 4 running plays that covered that distance.  Bama got into the red zone and 4 times.  They got two touchdowns and 1 field goal while they missed 1 field goal which relates to being points left on the field.

QB:   Hurts didnít have the best game, but he wasnít horrible.  I do think he was responsible for the fumble which led to points.  The balls he threw were not always perfect, however there were at least 2 or 3 that were catchable.  He did underthrow the deep ball that should have been a touchdown.  I will say he was under pressure several times and kept from losing yards.  He even kept his eyes downfield when he threw the touchdown to Ridley on the scramble.  Ridley was open earlier on the routes, but I donít remember if he was flushed early or what.

RB: They ran hard.  There were times they were on routes when the OL was outnumbered on the LOS.  I guess this was called routes instead of checks for blocking and releasing.  I thought Harris was the better running back yesterday.  He made a hell of a play on the 4th and 1.  They all made catches where some turned into big plays.

Rec:   Four different receivers had catches with Ridley again being the main target.  A couple of catches were very good catches because of where the ball was thrown.  There also was a couple of drops.  The balls werenít perfect, but they were catchable. 

OL:   They did have a stalemate and created wholes more often than not.  However, there were still mistakes.  There were whiffs by both the left guard and tackle on separate plays.  If I remember correctly they both led to negative plays.  It seemed to me that they stayed on combo blocks a while too long which allowed the LBís to come up and make quick plays.  Maybe there should have been a fold block, or you need to come off earlier to the next level.  There were a few times when the OL was outnumbered and there was no back to pick up the extra man.  I guess Bama thought they could control the blitz with the backs in the routes.

Defense:  This is where the game was won.  Bama gave up a total of 188 yards, 124 passing and 64 rushing.  You also must understand 75 of those yards were on the last drive of Clemson when Bama was more of less playing a bit of a prevent defense.  Clemson had 73 total yards in the first half.  In the 2nd half, up until the last drive Bama held Clemson to 40 total yards.  As far as negative plays, Bama had 6 sacks, 5 tackles for losses, and 2 interceptions.  One of the interceptions set up a touchdown and the other was returned for a touchdown which means they were responsible for 24 of the 24 points.  For three and outs, I have Clemson 4 official three and outs.  There was a 1 and out because of the interception and it isnít counted as a three and out because Clemson kicked a field goal but the stop after the fumble was huge because they basically had the ball in the red zone ready to tie up the game.  For the plays of 10 plus yards, Clemson had 5 pass plays and 1 run which was the result of a scramble where the rushers got too far up the field and opened running lanes.  They did get into the red zone 3 times.  They kicked a field goal on one, they were pushed back outside the red zone where they kicked a field goal, and then they turned it over on downs.  The biggest positive on the defense was how well they played assignment/technique football.  There were few breakdowns that led to big plays.  I guess the most notable was the scramble which led to the only 10 plus yard run.   

DL:   They played a hell of a game.  All who played contributed in a positive way.  They allowed the LB to run and make plays since they kept the OL from getting to the 2nd level.  They were also able to get a lot of pressure on the QB without the blitz.

LB: They played extremely well. Evans led the team with tackles and Wilson made the interception for the touchdown.  If you really watch the interception for the touchdown, you see Wilson see the QB looking to Wilsonís left, he starts to shade that way.  On the release of the ball, Wilson starts heading that way and puts himself in a position to make the interception or be ready to help make the tackle if necessary.

DB:  They played well.  They jammed players on the goal line on one play with kept him from getting off the LOS which could have cause a pick situation if given a free release.  Several players had PBUís as well as made open field tackles.  I thought Thompson played extremely well especially being his first start.   

Special Teams:  This is the other area where Bama won the game.  The kick-off coverage team kept Clemson pinned in on the kick off.  The best return they had was when they took a knee.  The punting team kept them pinned back and made for a long field just like the kick-off coverage team.  They also put a big hit on the return.  The only negative was the missed field goal which left points on the field.
Penalties:  Bama only had 3 penalties but only 2 were enforced.  They had an illegal formation and a delay of game.  The most harm was done by the lineman downfield which wasnít enforced because there was also a PI on Clemson.  If it had only been a PI call it would have given Bama first down with a better chance of scoring before the half.

Finally, this game shows how well a nearly healthy Bama can play on defense.  Remember they are still without Hamilton and Jones.  Also, Wilson probably has to play more snaps with Moses and Hamilton out.  They have a chance to bring home another National Championship.  Hopefully, this will happen Monday night.

Feel free to comment:

Update on Jesse (article)
Written by 2Stater
Comments: 7
Posted under: The Quad
Click here for link

"None of us indigenous kids had ever heard about American football being played by Australians, but here was this Brisbane boy going to the States and doing so well in college and then going on to the NFL," she said.

"To me, it made dreams seem possible. If he can do that, I can do that as well. He's really an inspiration to all of us."

"I would never have the opportunity to create a huge facility if I hadn't had to face the adversity I have and come out on top," he said. "I think I'll be more successful in reaching people. I speak with more conviction in my voice when I talk about adversity because I've had so much of it. It has more weight when I talk to people."

His goal is to help more Australians follow the path he took toward American athletics, particularly earning college scholarships and enjoying the life-changing experiences those can bring. His work is mentorship as much as coaching, he said, stressing the value of education. He stands as the example, having received his degree in human sciences from Alabama.

Good to see he is doing well, both with his health and his business.

Game notes: Bama vs AU
Written by hscoach
Comments: 36
Posted under: The Quad
AU vs Bama

This is one I didnít want to write.  It was a game where yacís were important.  The first yac was the yardage after the catch for AU.  The 2nd yac was yards after contact which mean missed tackles.  It was also a game where AU made open field tackles at crucial times.  Probably some of the most important plays were penalties called on AU.  The first pass interference probably saved a touchdown and most definitely kept Bama out of the red zone.  Bama ended up punting on this drive.  The 2nd pass interference call probably saved a touchdown and it was a drive that ended with a missed field goal.  AU had an outstanding game plan for Bama and executed it to perfection.  I know some people question the game plan, but I donít know what was seen in film. 

OFFFENSE:   The offense put together 377 yards of total offense, but it is a bit misleading because 65 came on the final play of the game.    Bama only had 128 yards in the first half and 248 in the second half, but again 65 of that came on the final play.  They had 209 rushing and 168 passing.  As far as negative plays, Bama had 2 sacks, 3 tackles for losses, and 3 fumbles, one which was lost.  One sack could have been avoided if Hurts had thrown the ball away.  I credit Bama with 3 three and outs Bama only got in the red zone and missed the field goal on a bad snap.  The two touchdowns came from outside the red zone.   For play over 10 yards, Bama had 4 passes and 6 runs.   AU looked more physical on the LOS and attacking lead blocks by the backs on Hurts runs. 

QB:   Hurts had and up and down game.  He made some good throw on the plays where the pass interference was called.  He made a bad decision when he didnít get rid of the ball and ran out of bounds for a sack.  Hurts also fumbled when he didnít secure the ball on a scramble when flushed out of the pocket. He was extremely lucky there wasnít an interception when he threw the ball across his body trying to make a play.  I wonder if his height is one reason he leaves the pocket so soon.  I do know he was flush many times and the receivers didnít get separation. 

RB: As a group, the backs averaged 6.77 yards per carry.  They did well running on the edge and catching the ball.   They were blown up a couple of times when they were the lead blocker for Hurts.  Also they missed some chip shots on pass blocking assignments. 

Rec:   From the angle on TV it looked like the receiver didnít get a lot of separation during the night.  They did on the PI plays I mentioned above.  Foster didnít get enough yard to keep a drive alive on the 4th down play which is a mental mistake.  Also, Ridley, since he is a top receiver, should have made the catch on 3rd down on one 3 and out which would have kept the drive alive.  It probably would have allowed Bama to keep the ball long enough where AU would not have been able to kick a field goal right before half.  It also seems that the receivers didnít do a very good job with the scramble drill. 

OL:  Again, they had an up and down game.  They were attacked by the DL of AU and beat many times.  However, the did a good job, at times, pulling on the counter plays.  Pass blocking was a problem as many got beat.  AU was also able to put pressure on the QB with only 4 rushing.  This is a big game where they needed to have a huge game. 

Defense:  There were many mistakes here especially with missing tackles and taking blocks on with the wrong shoulder.  Here are some very important stats.  First on balls thrown 0 to 5 yards from the LOS the AU quarterback was 14 for 14.  What is bad here is the yards made after the catch.  I didnít chart the total yards here, but I know some of them went for over 10 yards and some went for over 20 yards. They were willing to settle for positive plays on these passes.  However, the did better than that.    On passes between 5 and 10 yards, he was 6 for 8, again the yards after the catch hurt.  On passes of over 10 yards, he was 1 for 8.  The AU QB also made some big runs because of mistakes made by Bama.  They missed at least one sack and left their rushing lanes and allowed him to make good yardage.  The defense gave up a total of 477 yards which included 168 rushing and 237 passing.  They only averaged 3.4 yards per rush.  They averaged about 10.4 yards per completion but again they were thrown underneath and it was the yards after the catch that hurt.  They had 11 pass plays that went for over 10 yards and 6 running plays that covered that distance.  As far as negatives, they 1 sack, 5 tackles for losses and lost a fumble.  The fumble was huge since it was inside the 10 yards line.  They got into the red zone 5 times scoring 3 touchdowns, kicking a field goal, and fumbling which Bama recovered.  They kicked one field goal from outside the red zone. 

DL:   They played well most of the time.  The problem was AU was getting rid of the ball quickly.  When they did take a deeper drop they were able to get some pressure, but the missed a couple of sack opportunities and got out of their rushing lanes which allowed AUís QB to escape and make big positive yardage.  Sometimes they rushed too far up the field and allowed him to step up to escape. 

LB:  They led the team with tackles, but they also made mistakes.  Evans probably should have had the rec on the jump pass as there probably should have been a switch off with the corner since someone went to the outside at the corner.  Evans also got pinned on one big run by not keeping his outside shoulder free.  Moses led the team with tackles and missed a couple.  I know they missed, or wasnít in a position to hit the crossing receivers on the short routes which help them move the chains several times.  It seemed they showed their blitzes too early and some of those routes were probably hot reads by the receiver. 

DB:  As far as deep balls they only connected on one and it was more in the middle of the field if my memory serves me right.  They had to chase receivers across the field which is extremely tough.  If you are going to do that it is better if you can jam him and keep him from going inside to what is usually and easier throw.  The DBís had to play the short wide receiver screen game.  Some tackles were made and some werenít. 

Special Teams:  Scott punted and kicked off pretty well as there were no real issues.  The bad snap on the field goal attempt was something that took points off the board for Bama.  The kick-off return team set Bama up in great field position. At this point Bama was trailing 20-14 and was in position to score since Diggs returned the kick-off 55 yards to the AU 40.  This is also where the PI call help AU.

Penalties:  Bama had 8 penalties for 60 yards and they came at the most inopportune time for Bama.  A nice gain on a screen was negated by a block/clip by Williams on a screen to Bo.  They went from a 2nd and 8 to a first and 23.  This is the drive Hurts fumbled on.  An illegal substitution by Bama gave AU a 1s and 5 instead of a 2nd and 10 on the drive they kicked a field goal what made the score 14-13.  A delay of game in the red zone pushed Bama back from a 3rd and 4 to a 3rd and nine on the drive they missed the field goal.  On 4th and 3 Bama jumps offside on the punt to allow AU to use more clock towards the end of the game.  These were huge penalties.

Finally, this was a game where mistakes were magnified.  It was a game where the OL needed to come up big and didnít.  It was a game where Bama may not have run the ball enough.  It was also, a game where AU made plays both on offense and defense. 

Feel free to comment:

16 and Counting

Re: *** OFFICIAL Alabama vs. Booger Eaters In-Game Thread ***
Comments: 104
Posted under: The Quad

Don't worry, Bear is up in heaven and has mapped out a plan for us to still get in and win this thing.

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

First, congrats to the Bama players and coaches on the win.   Not do down-play the game, but this was a glorified scrimmage.  It was a game where Bama could work on techniques and execution.  Also, it was a game where Bama wanted and needed to stay healthy.

OFFFENSE:   The offense put together 530 yards of total offense.  This is as balanced as you can get as they had 265 passing and 265 rushing.  All of it was spread around with the use of numerous players throughout the game.   As far as negative plays, Bama had 1 tackle for a loss and 2 fumbles.  They also had only 2 three and outs.  There were a couple others, but they scored touchdowns so I donít count those.  For the positives, Bama had 9 pass plays that covered 10 plus yards and 7 runs that covered that distance.  Bama got into the red zone 7 times and scored 7 touchdowns.  The also scored 1 touchdown from outside the red zone.  One thing I noticed was Bama seemed to use more two back sets, maybe to give AU a little more to prepare for.  They have also been using the jet sweep more along with the fake jet sweep. 

QB:   Hurts played well, I mean he was 7 for 7 for 180 yards. He averaged 25.7 yards per completion.  Not all balls were perfectly thrown but they were thrown well enough for the rec to make the catch.  Tua played well, but he did miss some open receivers on underneath routes when he had time to look deeper downfield.  Probably his best throw was the slant to Sims in the red zone or to get in the red zone.  Tua also didnít see the LB drop into the throwing lane which could have been an interception.

RB:  The running backs averaged 6.5 yards per carry with is what you would expect with an outmanned DL.  As you saw there was only 1 tackle for a loss which went to Tua.  I am not counting the kneel-down by Johnson. 

Rec:  Ten different players had catches, one being Jacobs the running back.  They averaged 18.3 yards per catch.  The only negative was the fumble after the reception by Ruggs.  Six different receptions went for touchdowns. 

OL:  The OL played well and should have against and undermanned DL.  They were able to work on combination blocks as well as pass protection.  However, Mercer didnít bring the stunts the other teams have thrown against Bama.  I really wanted to concentrate on Hassenauer to see how he filled in at LG.  I thought he played pretty well and Bama didnít lose a step.  Again, they were playing a lesser team.  I had just put a note down about this would be a good game to put a back-up in with the starters to get some good quality reps when they did.  I thought it was very interesting to put the starting left tackle, Willams, at guard and putting Leatherwood in at left tackle. 

Defense:  They played well, again against and undermanned team.  The defense gave up 161 yards of total offense which included 54 yards passing and 107 rushing.  I have Bama credited with 9 tackles for losses and three interceptions.  Officially, I have no sacks for Bama.  Bama had 1 one and out because of an interception and 4 three and outs.  As far as plays that covered 10 plus yards, Mercer had 3 passes and 2 runs.  They did get into the red zone once and threw an interception.  Again, this tea was outmanned.  The defense did miss a few tackles that should have been made. 

DL:   They played ok for except for a couple of plays.  Jennings went for the inside zone and allowed the QB to keep the ball and get to the outside. 

LB:  This was a game to get Moses experience and they did.  I thought he played well most of the game.  There was a time on the long run where he got pancaked.  I say this, but it looked like the DL was slanting to the left and it left the left tackle with a straight kill shot to the LB.  I also saw Evans take a bad angle, basically over pursued the play and he didnít keep his outside should free and got pinned when the running back cut back.  Those two plays went for 21 yards and 12 yards.  With all that being said, Moses was involved in 4 of the 9 tackles for losses. 

DB:  There were only 7 receptions by Mercer which means they werenít challenged that often.  Mercer did hit a back shoulder throw early and actually missed an open receiver in the game.

Special Teams:  Two times the kickoff return team missed tackles and allowed big returns.  Scotts kickoffs were deep sometimes and short others.  I am not sure what the wind, if any, was doing.  On his punts he pinned one around the 10 and then boomed the other into the end zone.  One thing that impressed me about one of Scottís punts was he hit it so high the cover guys were there if the ball hadnít been kicked in the end zone.  There were a couple of good punt returns by Marks which shows if he has a chance he can make people miss.  I donít know why Pappanastos wasnít kicking the extra points. 

Penalties:  Bama had one penalty for 5 yards and was an offsides call on Brown when he attempted to time the snap on a blitz.

Finally, this was a good game to work on correcting mistakes.  I wish Mercer had thrown more blitzes at the OL.  It was a game, as I said, to get the defense techniques down.  This is a huge preparation week to make sure all is good for the AU game.

Feel free to comment:

16 and Counting

Game notes: Bama vs MSU
Written by hscoach
Comments: 11
Posted under: The Quad
MSU vs Bama

First, congrats to the Bama players and coaches on the win.   The was a hell of a game for Bama to win.  They had to fight back with a banged-up defense and a well-disciplined, tough MSU team that had a very good game plan with they executed.  Part of this game plan was to slow the game down and work the clock to keep the ball away from Bamaís offense.  They did it and it shows since they had a 17:52 minute advantage with time of possession.
OFFFENSE:   The offense put together crucial drives when needed. There were some problems with the overloaded blitzes that MSU was bringing.  Even though MSU had the large advantage, over a full quarter, Bama still led with total offense.  The offense put together 446 yards of total offense which included 242 passing yards and 202 rushing yards.  The negatives were Bama had 5 sacks and 2 tackles for losses.  They also had 3 three and outs.  For the positives, they had 7 pass plays that covered 10+ yards and 10 running plays that covered 10+ yards.  The important part here is most of these were in the 2nd half.  Bama got into the red zone 5 times. They scored 3 touchdowns and kicked a field goal.  The other time they were sacked and missed the field goal from right outside the red zone.  They also scored from outside the red zone with the touchdown that won the game.  I hate to say this because it sounds negative, but Bamaís first couple of scoring drives happened so quickly they put the defense back on the field.  Three of Bamaís scoring drives, not counting the last one, were 1:54, 1:13, and2:19.  Bamaís offense was hindered a few times with the poor field position early in the game.  At this point of the season Bama is perfect going for it on 4th down.  I think they are 10 for 10 or 11 for 11.

QB:   I thought Hurts played very well.  I do think he made a couple of mistakes on the zone read but he protected the football and made big throws on scrambles
which means he kept his eyes downfield.  He made some big plays especially in the 2nd half with the game on the line.  He averaged 24.2 yards per completion, and completed over 50 percent of his passes.

RB:  They all had good games running the ball.  Bo and Jacobs both averaged over 6 yards a carry while Harris averaged over 11.  Jacobs also had 2 receptions.  I do have a missed block, and donít remember which back, on one of the sacks.   One thing I really want to point out was the hustle Bo displayed on the long reception to Ridley.  He did a heck of a job getting downfield to get a block on the play.

Rec:  Ridley had a hell of a game.  Even the catch that didnít count was a very good play.  He had 5 catches and averaged over 34 yards per catch and part of this was the adjustment he made on the scramble by Hurts. The one catch by Smith was huge and made a good run after the catch.

OL:  The OL created holes for the running backs.  As far as pass protection they did well when they didnít have the overloaded blitz.  I do know the left guard was beat once for a sack.  Also, the right tackle was beat on a tackle for loss.  With all the noise in the stadium they did a pretty good job not creating false starts.  In the running game they pretty much controlled the LOS except for a couple of plays. They will have to clean up the overload blitz. 

Defense:  They made mistakes, along with missed tackles, that allowed MSU to continue drives.  I will say MSUís game plan was excellent, but also as I said helped by Bama.  The defense was on the field for 73 plays. They did give up 330 yards of total offense.  MSU had 158 passing yards and 172 rushing yards.   Bamaís defense is credited with 1 sack and 4 tackles for losses.  Bama is only credited with 1 three and out and it came in the 4th quarter at a crucial time.  They could have had 2 more but penalties prolonged the drives.  For plays over 10+ yards, MSU had 5 passes and 5 runs that covered that distance.  They got into the red zone 4 times and scored 3 touchdowns and kicked a field goal.  Bama was fortunate that MSU missed on a couple of pass plays that could have gone for big plays even touchdowns.  MSU even converted on 8 out of 15 third downs. 

DL:   They had a tough game.  The biggest point here was the lost edge by the edge players.  I notice Jennings and Buggs both closing on the running back and the QB keeping the ball therefore Bama loses the edge.  I also notice on a stunt where the inside down linemen went outside, and the outside player went inside that the player going outside didnít get there which means they lost the edge again.  Many times, the running back wasnít brought down with the initial contact.  The OL also got by the DL and got to the second level.

LB:  They missed tackles and the OL got to them several times.  Watching Evans, he didnít seem to be full speed.  I just didnít see that burst he seems to have at time.  I know he hurt an ankle last game and maybe it was bothering him.  Holcombe played ok, but also missed tackles and one time was cut by an OL that ran a fold block.  You can tell the team was different without Hamilton and Wilson.

DB:  They were beat a couple of times.   Most of the completions were short and turned into big plays. They were caught peaking in the backfield a couple of times and then beat by receivers. That is what the running game does and makes the play action better.  On the first play of the game Bama was lucky not to have had a big play or touchdown because of the overthrow.

Special Teams:  The 2 big problems here was the fumble on the punt which fortunately was recovered by Bama and the penalty that kept the first drive alive.  There was another time when the kickoff return player was told to take a knee and the decided to return the ball.  This play cost Bama 8 yards of field position.

Penalties:  The two big penalties were the leaping call on the first punt and the holding call on a 3rd down pass play.  Both of these allowed MSU to continue drives which could have been three and out.  Another penalty of notice was the unsportsman like conduct call on Leatherwood who left the bench with his helmet off to celebrate the tying touchdown.  I will say, I could see the leaping penalty not being called because he jumped up and the MSU player blocked him which made it look a little worse than it was.

Finally, this was a tough physical game that can be learned from.  Bama sees they can come from behind.  The DL edge players can see how they hurt the team by not taking care of their assignment.  Tackling needs to improve and the team needs to get healthier.  Hopefully this next game Bama can improve in these areas.

Feel free to comment:

16 and Counting

Game notes: LSU vs Bama
Written by hscoach
Comments: 33
Posted under: The Quad
LSU vs Bama

First, congrats to the Bama players and coaches on the win.   This game was, like all LSU/Bama games big boy football.  It was a game where many will be spending a lot of time getting those ice baths.

OFFFENSE:   Bamaís offense put together 299 yards of total offense, well below what they have been averaging.   This yardage included 183 yards passing and 116 rushing.  As far as negative plays, Bama had 4 sacks and 3 tackles for losses.  Bama also had 6 three and outs.  For the positive side of the game, Bama had 8 pass plays for 10 plus yards and 5 running plays for 10 plus yards.  Bama got into the red zone 4 times and scored 3 touchdowns while the other was a kneel-down to end the game.  The other scored was a field goal from outside the red zone.  It wasnít pretty, but it was a win.   There were some things that I will mention later that could have helped out and improved this offensive production.

QB:   I thought Hurts played a very good game.  His passing stat was 11 for 24 but I saw at least three balls that were dropped or should have been caught.  The knock I have is that Hurts must learn to throw the ball away instead of taking the sack.  He threw a deep ball that was complete and right on the money even though I thought it could have been interference.  Again, he threw good ball that could have been a touchdown, but the official missed the early contact on the play.   His running got Bama out of a couple of situations and made plays when they could have been huge losses.  I think Hurts proved that if he has time he can throw the ball.  He made a heck of a throw on the scramble for a first down which was between the defenders.

RB:  They ran the ball hard as the yards were tough to get.  They averaged a little over 3.5 yards an attempt.  I do think they missed some blocking assignment in the passing game.  Part of this was the problem with Hurts getting flushed.

Rec:  Six different receivers caught passes.  I was good to not only see the ball spread around but the big catches in crucial situations.   I am glad Foster made a couple of catches after his last few rough games.  Hopefully, it will help him regain a little confidence.  I know Smith had a drop possibly 2 and an I think Jeudy also had one.  These are some of the plays that could have improved the offensive stats.  Jeudy did make a heck of a catch on the deep ball where it looked like the DB knew he was beat and was grabbing for him early.

OL:  I think here LSU defense caused a stalemate with the OL a lot of the game.  There were times that they did an outstanding job but other times they were beat off the snap even though they know when the ball is being snapped.  There was one play where 3 offensive linemen were beat on a pass play which led to a sack.  Cotton was beat more than once and stayed on the combo block too long instead of coming off.  There was one play where Cotton had help from Harris and they both were beat.  What amazes me is that he, as well as others, make outstanding blocks other times.    I know you can get beat every once in a while, but this seems to happen at crucial times.

Defense:   Since Bamaís offense was credited with 6 3 and outs, the defense had to be on the field longer than normal.  Because of this I thought they played well except for a couple of plays.  They gave up a total of 306 yards of total offense.  This included 155 passing and 151 rushing.  Thirty-one yards of the passing stats came on a 31-yard pass that looked like a thrown-up prayer.  As far as the rushing game, 54-yards came on a run where the linebacker got pinned inside and the backside DL went too far inside.  Take those 2 plays out and that leaves LSU with 221 yards of total offense.  Bama is credited for 7 sacks, 5 tackles for losses, and an interception which lead to a touchdown.  LSU had only 2 three and outs but also the interception was on first down which means a one and out.  For plays that covered 10 plus yards, LSU had 5 pass plays and 2 running plays.   They got into the red zone twice and scored a touchdown and kicked a field goal.  The field goal could have been avoided if Averett had come up with the interception he had a chance to make.  A couple of the pass plays that covered 10 plus yard were a result of Bama allowing the QB to get outside the pocket.  With all this being said Bama was fortunate when a couple of receivers were open on deep balls but the QB didnít make the play.

DL:   They played well.  They played the inside game and allowed the LB and DBís to play the outside run game, jet-sweeps.  The only problem I saw was the loss of contain on pass plays.  It was hard to get pressure in the passing game with 4 because LSU did a lot of max protection.

LB:  They again played well.  Evans had numerous tackles while having to concentrate on the inside running game but still make tackles on the edge. 

DB:  They played well versus the running game and got beat a couple of times in the passing game.  The good think is that LSU didnít complete the deep balls they had open.  They did complete a couple of balls where there was good coverage, there were just good throws and catches.  They had a huge responsibility with the jet sweep because you can also play-action off of that motion.

Special Teams:  This may have won the game for Bama.  Scott continually pinned LSU back and didnít allow returns.  The kick-off coverage was solid, as was the extra point and field goal teams.

Penalties:  Here Bama was outstanding.  They had one holding call which cost Bama a huge passing play.  However, Hurts made a couple of big throws that allowed them to overcome and continue the touchdown drive.

Finally, the Bama/LSU game has become a tough rivalry the last few years.  You can throw the records out.  You know it is going to be a battle for the entire time.  Hopefully, Bama can clean up the OL and continue their march for another National Championship. 

Feel free to comment:

16 and Counting

Alabama's biggest fan, great story:
Written by hscoach
Comments: 5
Posted under: The Quad

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