Almost the whole offense is returning, and Clemson just lost an entire NFL-caliber DL, plus some other guys on D. Alabama's defense lost QW, but has a lot coming back, esp. from injury (Lewis, Diggs). Combine that with a coaching upgrade at just about every spot, and yeah, it's not crazy to have UA as a 3-point favorite. The two are just about comparable, so a FG is not really a lot here.
The front 7 for Alabama has a bunch of veteran players (Kwon, Ray, Moses, Jennings, McMillon) and some talented youngsters like Anoma and Dale. And, with a simple playbook, they can basically just "see ball, get ball". The OL, on the other hand, was down a returning starting blindside tackle, the other tackle was back to the position after a year at Guard, the replacement RT has been play Guard and left with an injury, the best Guard on the team is not getting as many 1st-team reps due to a pending suspension, the coaches tried several combinations during the game, and the Center is a new starter (though a veteran in general). Those two sets of circumstances means that the OL was always going to be in some trouble from the start, and I don't think we can read too much into the OL good or bad just yet.
RE: George Pickens From what I understand, he was or is borderline academically, and also seemed to be more of an attention-seeking recruit than Alabama usually grabs. I don't think Alabama has been pushing for Pickens for a long time. Also, Christian Williams wasn't a flip, because that implies that he still had a signable offer. But it seems he lost that when he didn't sign early, and Alabama then signed 5 DBs. He wasn't really a commit after the ESP.
WATCH: Bleacher Report blasts Tua Tagovailoa doubters, claims there’s never been more obvious Heisman winner
That was an impressive play no matter who you're playing. And Kyler Murray played 60% of his regular season against teams with 6 or fewer wins, and 40% with <6.
It's the same procedure as Jalen, who took longer than normal to heal from it. Contrast with Cam Robinson, who had the same procedure in 2014 after the UT game and was ready to go by the LSU game two weeks later. Note too that CamRob was putting a lot more weight on it, and that was 4 years ago. Tua might take longer than 2 weeks. But, it might be a little shorter too. Hope for the best.
I don't think Coach Gattis' comments are directed at Minshew, but at comparison between Tua and Kyler Murray. Well we sure do see who is on the list and not! No dink and dunk offense here! #DontCompareTheStatsCompareTheFACTS Kyler Murray isn't on the list at all, and there have been a bunch of stats comparisons between him and Tua. I think that's what this is about, not Minshew.
Yep, it's a violent game, but one with rules, rules that prohibit the kinds of hits that Tua's taken two games in a row. I'm not saying we go to the "protect the QB at all costs" model of the NFL, but the refs simply didn't call penalties on multiple low hits. From the rules: "When an offensive player is in a passing posture with one or both feet on the ground, no defensive player rushing unabated shall hit him forcibly at the knee area or below. The defensive player also may not initiate a roll or lunge and forcibly hit this opponent in the knee area or below. [Exceptions: (1) It is not a foul if the offensive player is a runner not in a passing posture, either inside or outside the tackle box. (2) It is not a foul if the defender grabs or wraps this opponent in an attempt to make a conventional tackle without making forcible contact with the head or shoulder. (3) It is not a foul if the defender is not rushing unabated or is blocked or fouled into this opponent.]"
Yes, I'm sure Jimbo Fisher and Gus Malzahn screwing around with the playcalling has had nothing to do with FSU and AU's offensive woes the last couple of years. I mean, with all that talent, there's no way the coach responsible for running the offense would have any effect, right? /s
*ahem* Murray State. That is all.
This was Alabama's 929th win on the field. The 29 are wins vacated by NCAA BS.
"Until we meet again, Nick…" So, next year, when Tua and the WRs and Najee will be juniors, and the young defense will have grown up. LOL. See y'all in Willy B on 9/14/2019. I doubt you'll enjoy it as much as we will though.
The difference: last year's UGA averaged 35.4 points/game. 2018 Alabama is averaging 54.1 points/game, which is about 5 ppg better than 2018 Oklahoma (48.9 ppg). 2017 OU was averaging 45.1 ppg. OU has faced some better defenses on average than Alabama, but we're talking about the #4 scoring offense vs the #10 scoring defense, and the #1 scoring offense vs the #60 scoring defense. That's a significant mismatch. Even in a shootout, Alabama is going to do a better job stopping OU than OU will do in stopping Alabama.
Bulovas is 67% on FGs for the year, and last week the only one he missed was a 50yd+ attempt. He's also only missed one PAT this year, and that was at Arkansas after the rain and I personally think his foot slipped. Great? No, could definitely be better. "Terrible"? Also no. And he's doing a good job on KOs as you say.
An Iron Bowl national title game? Mock CFP selection committee places Auburn, Alabama in 2013 semifinals
I've seen this before where somebody goes back and CFPs the past. And every single time, the 2013 IB result is treated as the fluke that it was, and Alabama still makes the playoffs, as they should.
I'd bet on former OC Dan Enos in the booth as well to provide the same support to Mike Locksley. Saban: New coordinators? OK, I'll just bring in a couple of former coordinators as backup, aight?
1) Michigan State: Went 9-2 in 1999 after 4 years of bowl eligibility (no invite in 1998). This was Saban's 2nd job as a head coach, and only because he had 1 season at Toledo (9-2 also btw). Saban had a winning record there, both overall and in-conference. Not bad for what was his first real HC job. 2) LSU: Won 8+ games every year, won 10+ twice, won 2 SEC championships and tied for another division title, went to 3 BCS bowls and won 2 including a national title, and the other two years were major bowls (Peach pre-NY6, Capital One), finished ranked 4 of 5 years. Still tied for 2nd-best modern-era LSU winning percentage (behind Les Miles) and has a better in-conference record than Les. Essentially built LSU from mediocrity and laid the foundation for Les Miles's success. Dolphins: Two seasons in a different type of organization that was unable to maximize his strengths. Two seasons is not enough of a sample size, plus it's the Dolphins. Also, they were better in '05 and '06 than they were in '04 or '07. Alabama: this dynasty alone qualifies Saban as better than Harbaugh. Otherwise, where are Harbaugh's 5 titles in 9 seasons, with two more playoff berths ('14, '16), a title runner-up ('16) and another division championship ('08)? Cowherd is living, breathing clickbait, and this is absurd.
Every team can beat every other team, if the circumstances are right. But, to Petrino's comments I say this: bless his little philandering heart.
Jalen's had 8 semesters already completed (3 in '16, 3 in '17, and spring + summer in '18), so I don't see how it's ethically questionable for him to be graduating after one more semester. If a normal non-football student graduates in 9 semesters, is that weird? Why then would it be weird if a smart, highly-motivated student with an academic support staff involved to do the same thing?
Part of the situation is his parents' divorce. That's lead a lot of people to think he may be leaving the region, and just about every article I've seen on this has Alabama as a strong contender.
How should Jalen Hurts handle Alabama’s season if he plans to transfer when it ends? Greg McElroy shares his thoughts
There's no way Jalen plays this season as a mop-up QB unless he specifically wants to do so. 1) All the reasons above pertaining to the 4-game limit. Why waste games in the season on mop-up duty? Save them for the post-season, or if Tua gets hurt. 2) Mac Jones needs those reps way, way more than Jalen could possibly need them. Does Jalen need reps to improve himself? Yes, of course. But Mac Jones has exactly 0 in-game college football snaps, so every one of them will mean more for him than for Jalen at this point. Coach Saban will want to develop Mac for depth purposes and that means Mac Jones is your mop-up QB, with the exception of when we're deeeeep into a big blowout and Layne Hatcher will play mop-up in 4 or fewer games so as to get reps as well as redshirt.
It's not *just* recruiting players, it's also recruiting staff (not just coaching staff either) who can develop the players, whether that's directly with football or with S&C or nutrition or whatever. There are plenty of coaches that can recruit but don't win games because they can't develop those players (see Butch Jones).
OK, sure, only Buggs, Davis, and Jennings are "returning starters", but we also have Christian Miller who started last year before injury, Mack Wilson who has a lot of playing time including several starts, Dylan Moses who had a couple of starts and played in 11 of 12 regular season games before getting hurt, Deionte Thompson who started 2 games. Then there are the LBs who got a lot of time when the starters got hurt, as well as the fact that as usual Bama had a lot of garbage time so a lot of guys got some time. So yeah we lost a lot of starters but it's not like the cupboard is totally bare of experience.
"it tells recruits who play those positions that for at least 2 years, the chances of them cracking the starting lineup aren’t great." Counter-point: it also tells recruits that if they want to compete, they can come to Alabama and win a job from the jump. If they're not willing to come and compete, then they shouldn't come in the first place. Their chances aren't great if they're not willing to compete for it in the first place. I get this idea, but I think it's actually a plus for Alabama. What if Tua or Najee didn't want to compete and play with the very best, and went elsewhere? The one position where this is much, much more valid is QB, but even there look at the 2019 class, with two legacy 4-star QBs committed. They've both already said they don't care about the other guy being there or that Tua is just a true sophomore... they want to compete at the very highest level.
"Now, if UCF wants to argue it deserve a Playoff birth, that’s whole other dispute." *berth *a whole other
Locksley: 1) Has never, ever had anywhere near this level of talent to work with, and has done a good job with what he had previously as an OC. 2) Has had time to learn from Saban, and from both Lane Kiffin and Brian Daboll. 3) Has Dan Enos as backup, along with Josh Gattis. Lupoi: 1) Has been working with this defense for a while and he knows the players very well. 2) Has been learning from Saban, as well as Kirby Smart and Jeremy Pruitt. 3) Has Pete Golding as backup, who has DC experience. I get the "incomplete" with Lupoi since it's his first time, but D- is hilariously unfair to Locksley. Alabama is going to average 40+ points per game this season and analysis like this is going to be laughable by the time December rolls around.
SEC West co-champion Auburn* FTFY.
Alabama has had a first-round pick for 10 consecutive years. Who continues that streak in 2019 NFL Draft?
"Terrell Davis"... Did Terrell Lewis change his name again?
Paul Finebaum on Alabama’s QB competition: ‘You don’t need a meteorologist to see which way the wind is blowing’
See, I think that Tua is better for that than Jalen. Here's why: Tua's passing game will open up the run game. Tua can always hand it off without throwing an INT. And Tua can still do the designed QB runs, sure, but more importantly he can use his legs to scramble and then *still throw the ball*. That's how Johnny Manziel and other DT QBs really hurt Alabama: not by running downfield, but by running away from pressure until their guy got open then making that throw on the run. Jalen doesn't do that; instead, he waits forever then throws it away, or he tries to run it himself. That often works, but when it doesn't the offense grinds to a halt. So if you have a good defense that can take away his first read and choke off the running lane, he's not going to be able to make the throws to keep moving the chains. Tua can do that, and do it consistently. Yes, he'll throw a few more INTs, but the offense in general will be more consistent with him back there. And because of that, Tua is more capable of guiding a run-clock efficient grindy offense because he can effectively choose a pace.
I love Jalen as a player and a person in the program, I wish him nothing but the best, and I appreciate everything he's done. But, the answer to Damien's question is: "Develop as a passer enough to give Alabama more of a chance to win against top defenses, such as Clemson '16, AU '17, or UGA '17 (1st half), or to give us more of an edge against top defenses that we still beat, such as UW '16, MSU '17, and LSU both years." Unless he turns a major corner between now and the L'ville game, he's not going to win the job. Honestly, he may be behind Mac Jones as a passer now, and I'd rather have another QB like AJ or Coker who's much less mobile but can throw the ball and just let the RBs take the run game load.
Well yeah... only three other active coaches can call a recruit and tell them that they've taken kids to the White House, and no other coach can tell them "I'm here now. Want to help me get here again next year?"