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It is easy to dismiss Arkansas as “Georgia Lite” given the Razorbacks’ offensive tendencies, but Arkansas has frequently been a tough out for Alabama. So much so, in fact, that Alabama needs to avoid falling into the trap posed by this direct-from-central-casting “trap game.”
In 2014, Arkansas took Alabama to the wire before the Crimson Tide eventually won, 14-13. It was the game that the Alabama coaches used to eventually define the 2014 squad, and it also marked the last game QB Blake Sims really struggled to get through. In 2015, Alabama gets the Hogs a week after rolling around like a bunch of hogs in the Georgia mud. Fortunately for Alabama, the fourth quarter of its win over Georgia was little more than a mutual slap-fest, as prescribed by the stunningly poor weather conditions.
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.Continue reading …
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 …
The last time Louisiana-Monroe visited Bryant-Denny Stadium, the year was 2007 and Nick Saban was in the process of installing “The Process” into the Alabama program. By now, everyone knows what happened: A technically sound and well-coached Louisiana-Monroe squad upset a struggling and largely rudderless Alabama team, which at the time provided a source of great amusement for media across the country, but particularly the media of south Florida.Continue reading …
The Rebels have now hung 70-plus points on each of its first two opponents, UT-Martin and Fresno State. It wasn’t a surprise in the opener; it was definitely a surprise last week against a Fresno team that is typically well-coached and scrappy. It leaves Alabama asking the question of just how good is Ole Miss, and whether Kelly was the missing piece to Hugh Freeze’s offense this whole time.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 …
For Wisconsin, a game against Alabama in Week 1 is a bit like engaging in a demolition derby – against a Ross Winans steam locomotive, rather than an old sedan.
Alabama has been, ever since Nick Saban’s arrival, a machine. It doesn’t always move fast, but it moves deliberately, it’s hard to stop and almost impossible to overpower. And while Alabama has made forays into what many observers like to call “modern football” – i.e., the hurry-up, no-huddle offenses and their variants – Alabama wins with brawn and depth.
Shortly after Barry Alvarez’s arrival in Madison, Wisc., the Badgers became somewhat of the Alabama of the Big Ten – Gene Stallings’ Alabama, that is. Wisconsin throws the ball only when a judge orders it. Otherwise, Wisconsin is content to bury its opponents under a pile of rubble, occasionally lobbing the ball to a receiver just to keep them interested. While Wisconsin finished the 2014 season with an impressive 11-3 record, the Badgers had their hands full with any team it couldn’t physically intimidate. Most notably, Wisconsin fell 59-0 to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game.Continue reading …
The Crimson Tide is hoping to ride a defense that might have 11 upperclassman starters to a title in 2015, but doing so will require a fast rebuild on the offensive side of the ball, not to mention navigating a schedule that many deem to be the most difficult in the nation. Other challenges include a spotty situation at placekicker and the shuffling of coaching personnel, primarily on defense.Continue reading …