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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.
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
About a month ago, LSU was 4-2, coming off a 41-7 pasting at the hands of Auburn, and a lot of college football fans and pundits alike were writing the Bayou Bengals’ obituary.
But things change in an instant in this game. LSU’s alleged slide into mediocrity continued the following week with a 30-27 near-loss at Florida, a game many people believe the Gators would have won had Florida not suspended QB Treon Harris over off-the-field allegations that eventually proved false.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 …
TideFans.com doesn’t often make reference to betting lines, as that’s not our thing. But when Alabama opened up as roughly a two-touchdown favorite over Texas A&M, it got everyone’s attention in the sports media world.
Alabama, a team that had just scraped to a 14-13 victory over Arkansas, the SEC West’s presumptive worst team, was being made a two-touchdown favorite over a team that beat Alabama in Bryant-Denny Stadium in 2012, carried the Crimson Tide to the wire in College Station in 2013, and has many of the same pieces returning from those teams in 2014. On the face, it doesn’t make sense.Continue reading …
It is the height of irony that the principal reason for Alabama scoring more points than Arkansas Saturday came as a result of a special teams play on the part of the Crimson Tide.
A’Shawn Robinson and Jonathan Allen have been crushing opponents’ field goal and extra-point formations all season long. And, for the second consecutive week, one of those plays gave Alabama the opportunity to win.Continue reading …