Checking in on the temperature in Tuscaloosa a third of the way through the season.


Blake Sims and Lane Kiffin. Against Florida, Sims put up one of the best days in Alabama history when he threw for 445 yards and ran for another 12. After a stat adjustment, correcting lost yardage on a fumble, Sims picked up an extra 29 yards on the ground, giving him 484 total yards, the highest single-game total in Alabama history. Sims’ completion percentage sits at 73.2 after taking a slight dip in the Florida game. Nick Saban hasn’t had a quarterback that accurate in his previous seven seasons in Tuscaloosa, and a chunk of the credit has to go to Kiffin. Alabama is ranked in the top 25 nationally in scoring and rushing offense, and is ranked 12th in the country in passing yards per game, easily the most complete offense in the SEC in Kiffin’s first season. Kiffin gets a lot of hate, but he definitely deserves some credit for the Tide’s impressive offense. Maybe fans will actually want him to stick around.


Landon Collins. The junior safety is playing like one of the best defensive players in the country, and certainly is one of the top guys in the SEC. Collins has 32 tackles through four games, second-most in the SEC, and he’s looking like a big-time NFL prospect with his ball-hawking ways. Collins’ fourth quarter interception ended any chance of a Florida comeback. He’s even getting active around the line of scrimmage, getting involved in a tackle-for-loss in each of the last two games.


DeAndrew White. The senior came back from a two-week injury against Florida and picked up right where he left off in the opener. Kiffin’s offenses have a tendency to force feed top options, but White could certainly be the guy to relieve pressure on Amari Cooper. In two games, he already has the second most receptions on the Crimson Tide. For Alabama’s offense to continue crushing opponents, they’ll eventually need someone other that Cooper to make the big plays. White seems ready to fill that role.


The pass rush. After starting out the season on a tear, the Tide have not been getting to the quarterback with regularity. In the last two games, they’ve only registered one quarterback takedown, and against Florida they only hurried Jeff Driskel three times. With the majority of their SEC slate still ahead of them, numbers like that aren’t going to cut it. The lack of pass rush hurt Alabama last year. Hopefully for Tide fans, that doesn’t happen again this year.