Inside the Numbers: The good and bad of Alabama's 4-0 start to the season
Alabama is heading into its bye week at 4-0, coming off a 42-21 dismantling of Florida. Here’s a look inside the numbers for their undefeated start.
- 129. After four games, Amari Cooper is on pace for a record-setting season. Last year, Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews set the SEC record with 112 catches for the season. Cooper is on pace to absolutely smash that mark. Barring injury, it’s looking likely that Cooper could be the second player in conference history to ever top 100 catches in a year.
- 191. Blake Sims already has 141 rushing yards this season. For A.J. McCarron’s career, he had -50 rushing yards (which includes sacks). That 191 yard difference is just one of the reasons that Alabama’s offense looks as complete and balanced as it ever has under Nick Saban.
- 4. The Crimson Tide have four players — Sims, T.J. Yeldon, Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake — averaging at least five carries per game. That kind of diversity in the running game is helping carry Alabama to a top-25 rushing attack.
- -3. The Crimson Tide’s negative turnover margin would be more of a concern if the offense wasn’t so dominant, but it still needs to be corrected. Alabama hasn’t had a negative turnover margin since Nick Saban’s first year at the helm, a year in which the Tide finished 7-6. This team is obviously more talented than that, but losing the turnover battle on a weekly basis isn’t a good thing.
- 3.77. After putting up 6.3 yards per carry in their first three games, Alabama ran up against its stoutest test on the ground in Florida. It’s hard to find things to quibble with in Alabama’s win other than the turnovers, but the Tide will face run defenses just as good as Florida as they move through their SEC slate and will have to find a way to move the ball a little better on the ground.
- 1. Going against two teams that had to throw to stay competitive, Alabama recorded just one sack in the last two weeks, including a doughnut against Florida. Figuring out some answers in the bye week would be a big help against Mississippi on Oct. 4, as Rebels quarterback Bo Wallace can definitely be pressured into mistakes.