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When you’re a Dawg, you spend a lot of time woofing. That’s what you do.
When you’re the Alabama Crimson Tide, playing in Athens, Ga., you take care of business and rip the heart of the Georgia fan base in the process. That’s what you do.
Prior to the season, fans and pundits alike circled the Alabama-Georgia game as one of the potentially more important and most interesting games of the college football season. Nothing has changed.
Well, almost nothing. Alabama dropped its third-week game, 43-37 to Ole Miss, which spoiled the aura of this game a bit as a potential prelude to a final four rematch – or even a rematch in the SEC Championship Game. Instead of both meeting up as undefeated teams, Alabama comes in with a blemish on its record and the knowledge that a second loss on the season here likely ends whatever hopes the Crimson Tide has or playing for a national championship.Continue reading …
Against an opponent like Louisiana-Monroe, there isn’t much a team like Alabama can do to make the experience a worthwhile endeavor.
Teams like Alabama are expected to win, win big, not struggle, keep everyone healthy, all without showing the next opponent anything of substance. Fail to accomplish one thing from that list and the game is often viewed as a failure, regardless of outcome.Continue reading …
One of college football’s greatest attractions is that anything can (and does) happen each week to teams, good and bad. Unfortunately for Alabama, this includes a 66-yard Three Stooges act of a touchdown pass to Quincy Adeboyejo that the Tide will be seeing on a loop on ESPN SportsCenter for the next ten years. Those kinds of plays (think “Kick Six,” Johnny Manziel’s fumble TD pass, etc.) have certainly affected Alabama more than others in recent years, but they are only anomalies.Continue reading …
For Alabama fans who made the trek to Tuscaloosa Saturday to watch the development of quarterback Jake Coker, Alabama’s young receivers and a defense trying to convince the college football universe that 2014 was a statistical outlier, the Crimson Tide’s 37-10 win over Middle Tennessee State was decidedly a mixed bag.
Alabama ran up 532 total yards, which is becoming somewhat a normal occurrence for the Lane Kiffin-directed attack, but whether the offense actually made any progress is up for debate. What wasn’t, however, was that Alabama’s defense shut down a high-speed spread offense, which gives some hope for the future against contenders like Ole Miss and Auburn.Continue reading …
It’s hard convincing people that a mid-major program like Middle Tennessee State could be a threat to Alabama, especially at this point in the Crimson Tide’s development. MTSU is a recent addition to Conference USA after playing either at lower divisions or in the lowly Sun Belt up to now.
But MTSU head coach Rick Stockstill is a Bobby Bowden disciple, a good recruiter and former assistant at Clemson and South Carolina. His defensive coordinator, Tyrone Nix, has been around for years and also has SEC experience. Offensive coordinator Buster Faulkner is a young assistant to watch, whose experience at Valdosta State and Murray State exposed him to high-flying offenses.
On the other hand, it is not unusual for MTSU to not fill all of its allotted scholarship slots. The Blue Raiders are typically thinner than most teams and try to rely on the newest innovations in offense or defense to corner the element of surprise. Unfortunately, the raw talent level just isn’t there often enough for the Blue Raiders to seal the deal.
Alabama will be using this game to work on fixing the few small issues that cropped up against Wisconsin. Ole Miss comes to town next week, and the Crimson Tide needs to be firing on all cylinders for that one.Continue reading …
Alabama’s offense, retooled in the wake of Blake Sims’ departure, showed enough effectiveness to allay fears about the quarterback position. The defense stuffed the run, and the defensive line, as expected, dominated the line of scrimmage.
But Alabama didn’t show itself to be a flawless team. The pass defense was sketchy all night, particularly across the middle, and Alabama’s kicking game once again disappointed.
In other words, Nick Saban has his team right where he wants them.Continue reading …
Alabama is coming off its annual exposure to trench warfare, otherwise known as the LSU game, and the results were almost too terrible to imagine. Alabama needed a last-minute, game-tying drive and an overtime period to defeat the Bayou Bengals, and the Tide’s reward is a date with a Bulldog team that is more dynamic offensively, has better speed at the quarterback position and who spent last week toying with UT-Martin.
If this game was being played in Starkville, it would be even more of a circus than it figures to be in Tuscaloosa. But with Alabama’s home-field performances being so strong in 2014, the top concern might not be Mississippi State, but the annual post-LSU hangover from which the Crimson Tide always seems to suffer.Continue reading …
For a time during Alabama’s last-minute drive to tie the game and its lone series in overtime to win it, it seemed like every player who had ever been a part of a negative play in Alabama history was taking turns coming onto the field and redeeming himself.
Adam Griffith, who had missed a 27-yard kick early in the game, made another 27-yard kick to tie the game. Christion Jones, whose senior season has been one missed opportunity after another, made the catch of his life to set up Griffin’s game-tying kick. O.J. Howard set up Jones’ catch with several short catches of his own. And then Nick Perry, whose greatest sin as a safety in Alabama’s defense is that he’s not as good as Landon Collins, broke up a pass on the game’s penultimate play.Continue reading …
During Alabama’s 2009 title run, the Crimson Tide hosted an outmanned, outgunned and thoroughly mediocre Tennessee Volunteer team for what most people expected to be a blowout win.
Four quarters later, Alabama had to rely on two blocked field goals from Terrence Cody in order to advance past Tennessee – a Tennessee team coached by current Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.
In the years since, Alabama has usually defeated Tennessee by a wide margin in the end. In very few of those cases, however, did Alabama dominate from start to finish. Establishing large, early leads and putting the game to bed early is a concept not often found in this series.Continue reading …