Hello and Welcome to the Alabama Football Podcast! We’re glad you found us. But who are we? Fair question. We’re Tom and Dave, Alabama graduates and big college football fans. However, we have a unique and intense passion for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Over the years we’ve spent countless hour…
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2022 College Football Championship Alabama vs Georgia Alabama Football Podcast breaks down the ebb and flow of a well contested national championship. Well, That's a Wrap Not exactly how we would have drawn it up, but at what point during the season would we have staked that claim? Perhaps after the season opener but it was all fits and starts after that. However, through it all, it was almost perfect. Bryce Young is a Champion Young played well enough to win; he just needed a little more help in a couple critical situations. We talked about it but check out Matt Wyatt's summary for all the truth you'll need. Jamo was Jamo Jamison went out on his shield, doing what he did best for Alabama all season long. Big play dialed up in response to Georgia tying the score and Jamison Williams answered the call. We never root for injury, but Shakespeare never wrote a tragedy any better. Roll the Dice with Brian Robinson Second guessing play calls is our birthright as fans, especially when the Tide didn't run the ball enough for our liking. We try to not be overactive in our space, but truth is when Alabama set up shop 1st and goal at the 5… I'd have called it 4 down territory and kept it on the ground until we score or we don't. Defensive Moments Will Anderson, Christian Harris, Dallas Turner, Phil Mathis, and Brian Branch all came up big in spots for the Tide defense. Kyree Jackson, for a brief moment, had the most unlikely of ‘play of the day' moments. Together it was enough for a lead in the 4th quarter and nearly enough to win. Check out the podcast for more discussion on these and many other topics. Next Up As the 2021 season comes to rest, its important to consider the legacy of this team, as well as the seeds planted for 2022. Stay with us, there's lots more to come this off season. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021 College Football Playoff Round 1 Alabama vs Cincinnati Alabama Football Podcast breaks down the Tide's workmanlike performance in their CFP Round 1 outing against the Bearcats of Cincinnati. Cincy Proved they Belonged Let's get this out of the way. Cincy did enough in their round 1 outing, in my mind, to justify their inclusion. That's not an open invitation for any other Group of 5 wannabe or wish-they-were. Its merely an acknowledgement that Cincy proved the edge case. Besides, they provided more worthy than many other round 1 combatants over the years. Brian Robinson Superman Demonstrating no lingering effects of a recent hamstring pull, Robinson set the pace with his record-breaking performance. While ironically scoring no points himself, Brian provided the bulk of the Tide's chain moving offense. Metchie by Committee Alabama backfilled for the missing John Metchie mostly as predicted. Multiple receivers and tight ends received reps and targets and touchdowns that may have been destined for a healthy John Metchie. However, most surprising was Jamison Williams reprising the possession receiver role. Part decoy and part dependable receiver, Jamo displayed a low-key facet to his game. Defense All Night Long Without question Alabama put up one of their best – arguably the best – defensive performance of the season. Holding the Bearcats to 218 total yards of offense. Multiple Tide defenders registered their best performances of the season. Touchdowns 25% Off Say it with me, they'll give you the ball on the 25 for free if you'll just fair catch it. I recognize KO returns are exciting and sometimes even necessary, but more often they are empty stats and unnecessary injury risks. Check out the podcast for more discussion on these and many other topics – along with a much more colorful rant on Jamo's KO return attempt. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide's fortune? Next Up History repeats itself as Alabama squares off once again with the Georgia Bulldogs in the National Championship game. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week we welcome Brandon with the Go Beercats Podcast to provide preview the Tide's Playoff Round 1 matchup with the Cincinnati Bearcats. Highlights Include: Great time to be a Bearcat, or Beercat Desmond Ritter backstory Alabama's best running back may be Jerome Ford The talented Alec Pierce Blasting Black Cats Don't snooze on these guys Tide fans Favorite Bearcat Favorite Cincy Breweries It's a really fun discussion and I trust you'll enjoy it. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week we welcome Zack and Ryan with the Cincy Slangin Bearcat Podcast to preview the Tide's Playoff Round 1 matchup with the Cincinnati Bearcats. Highlights Include: Welcome to the Playoffs Great time to be a Bearcat All time winner at quarterback Jerome Ford used to play at Alabama Deep receiving unit Attacking Defensive front All America Corners Don't snooze on these guys Tide fans Favorite Bearcat It's a really fun discussion and I trust you'll enjoy it. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021 SEC Championship Alabama vs Georgia Alabama Football Podcast breaks down an outstanding performance registered by the Crimson Tide in winning another conference championship. Prelude to a Heisman Against a defense previously believed to be impenetrable, Alabama's Bryce Young clocked 461 yards of total offense and 4 touchdowns. New Center of Attention The third time may be the charm as 3rd string Center Seth McLaughlin makes his first start for the Crimson Tide and proves a stabilizing influence to a much-maligned unit. Indefensible Alabama doesn't make it to the SEC Championship without the outsized contributions from transfer receiver Jamison Williams. He's speed and proved to be a riddle with no solution for the Bulldog defense. De Mark Made Alabama Defensive back Demarco Hellams made a pair of critical plays against Georgia that may be lost to history given the collection of outstanding performances turned in Saturday by Crimson Tide players. A touchdown saving pass defection coupled with a score preventing interception significantly impacted the final margin. Check out the podcast for more discussion on these and many other topics. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide's fortune? Next Up Alabama gains entry into the College Football Playoffs and is slated to dual round one opponent Cincinnati in Dallas on December 31. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week we welcome Herschel Gurley with the Saturday in Athens Podcast to preview the Georgia Bulldogs and the SEC Championship game. Highlights Include: Kirby Smart building a winner Quarterback Irony Meter selects a winner Evolving and improving receiver corps Talented and deep running back room Sound Offensive Front Defensive Scheme and players to watch Favorite Dog It's a really fun discussion and I trust you'll enjoy it. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021 Alabama vs Auburn Alabama Football Podcast breaks down an Iron Bowl for the ages. 60 Minutes Not Enough Fortunately for Alabama, as it was, the Iron Bowl required additional frames to determine its outcome. In a series that has seen it all, this was the first Iron Bowl requiring overtime. An emotional roller coaster certainly for the fans, but the Tide team remained poised throughout. Offensive Line The Tide's offensive line struggled mightily against Auburn, as it has for much of the season. The Tiger blitz was overwhelming at times and threatened more than once to dictate the outcome. At least until Saban replaced 2 of 5 starters, elevating a third teamer and recalling a previously displaced starter. On paper this move doesn't work. On Pat Dye field it proved just enough to stabilize a staggering offense. Out Goes Jamo Its no secret speedy WR Jameson Williams is a linchpin in the Tide's offensive scheme. His ejection for targeting presented more than simply a ‘next man up' opportunity. The unit as a whole needed to step up and it did. Ja'Corey Brooks stepped in at WR and proved himself a legend. Running Back Is Dangerous Work Alabama suffered yet another loss at the RB position as work horse Brian Robinson exited the contest not to return. At time of recording no update as to his prognosis. Fingers are crossed. Defense Does Work Only a few short weeks ago we asked when the defense was last called upon to preserve a win, as it has been a while given the run of offense the last few seasons. Saturday did us one better as the Tide stop squad kept Alabama in the game long enough for the offense to come on line. Check out the podcast for more discussion on these and many other topics. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide's fortune? Next Up Alabama travels to Atlanta for the SEC Championship and a potential spot in the College Football Playoffs. A game Georgia team stands firmly between Alabama and its many aspirations. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week we welcome John and Van with the AU Wishbone Podcast to breakdown the Iron Bowl Highlights Include: Heisman House Backstory Coach Harsin on the Plains Transition from Bo Nix to TJ Finley Tank Bigsby's utilization Offensive Line performance and standout individual Defensive Scheme and players to watch Favorite Tiger Led Zeppelin It's a really fun discussion and I trust you'll enjoy it. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021 Alabama vs Arkansas Alabama Football Podcast breaks down the Tide's struggle-fest with a game Arkansas team. Historic Day Bryce Young shatters a 52-year-old yardage record against the Razorbacks. Ironically, Young benefits by the close score as Alabama is forced to keep throwing the ball. 40 attempts later, Bryce finishes with 559 pass yards and 5 touchdowns. Former record holder Scott Hunter is on site as an honorary captain. His high yardage mark was 464 yards. Impossible to Stop Jameson Williams demonstrated his speed on a 79-yard touchdown where he split the defenders and hauled in a perfectly thrown pass from Bryce. Watch for the Young-to-Williams battery to dial up the action again as it may be impossible for some teams to defend. Offensive Line Finally Settled? As a pair of injured linemen to duty, another retains his claim to a starting job. Time is of the essence, but this remodeled unit should improve as they continue to gel. Jekyll and Hyde Defense Alabama's defense has looked stout at times and highly suspect at others. Both personalities were on display Saturday. As it turns out, this unit may determine the Tide's success down the stretch. Check out the podcast for more discussion on these and many other topics. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide's fortune? Next Up Alabama travels to auburn. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In this episode we welcome David Bazzel with 103.7 The Buzz and KATV-ABC to breakdown this week's contest with Arkansas. Highlights Include: Arkansas having a nice season – on a good path Sam Pittman is more likeable than we even thought KJ Jefferson is the straw that stirs the drink Skill personal for Tide fans to watch Veteran Offensive Line Linebackers lead the way Favorite Hogs This was an incredible discussion and I trust you'll enjoy it too. It was a really fun discussion and I trust you'll enjoy it. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Show Notes By: Alabama Football Podcast https://twitter.com/BamaFootballPod 2021 Alabama vs New Mexico State Alabama Football Podcast breaks down the Tide's get-right game against the Aggies of New Mexico State. Everybody Plays Alabama fielded 4 quarterbacks, 13 receivers caught balls, 2 emergency running backs had carries, a 7th lineman earned a start, and countless defensive players rotated onto the field turf. Injuries… As decisive as the victory was, the contest may be better remembered for the injuries. Roydell Williams went down with a knee injury and likely is done for the season. JoJo Earle fell prey to an ankle which is expected to sideline him for a couple weeks. Demarco Hellams aggravated a thigh bruise and was withheld as a precaution. Reports are scant, but Emil Ekiyor visited the tent as well. This on top of Darrian Dalcourt and Jovan Cohen sitting out. Defense was Stout After allowing an opening field goal, the Tide defense was relentless collecting 7 sacks and allowing 138 yards on the day. More slowly and later than we'd have hoped, this Alabama defense may be rounding into form. Check out the podcast for more discussion on these and many other topics. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide's fortune? Next Up Senior Night in Tuscaloosa is next on the agenda and the Tide welcomes the Arkansas Razorbacks for the festivities. Sam Pittman has breathed new life into the Hog program. This promises to be an appropriate test for the Tide down the stretch. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Show Notes By: Alabama Football Podcast https://twitter.com/BamaFootballPod 2021 Alabama vs LSU Alabama Football Podcast breaks down the Tide's closer than expected contest with the LSU Tigers in Tuscaloosa. Offense Lays an Egg Sure, give the LSU defense some credit, but its hard to ignore the lack of production by the Tide's offense. Limited scoring, close game, absent rushing attack, and poor blocking. Take your pick as all were on display. Injuries Point the Way? Injuries on both sides of the ball pressed youngsters into action and each performed well. Perhaps well enough to earn more reps in the rotation. Defense Saves the Day Late in the fourth quarter LSU was positioned to score the go-ahead touchdown, potentially stealing the victory. However, the Tide defense rose to the occasion keeping LSU at bay. Hard to remember the last time the defense flat out won a game for Alabama, but it certainly happened Saturday. Special Teams Lacking Overall, the Tide's special team units would like to have a mulligan. A pair of missed kicks, allowing a fake punt, and struggling to punt for distance were critical miscues that could have cost Alabama the game. Check out the podcast for more discussion on these and many other topics. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide's fortune? Next Up Rat Poison Alert as the Tide welcomes slump-buster New Mexico State to town. It should be an opportunity for Alabama to empty the bench and see some of the youngsters the fans are waiting to see. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021 Alabama vs Tennessee Alabama Football Podcast fires up a celebratory stick after watching the Tide dismantle Tennessee both convincingly and unconventionally. What do you see when you look at this Team? We open the podcast with a discussion of what this team looks like. Is it championship material or is it a 3-loss team? Answer is it looks like both, and Saturday's game was a perfect reflection of the contrast. Bryce on the Run Last week Bryce broke through the line of scrimmage and appears he enjoyed the trip as he scampered for yards and first downs on multiple occasions Saturday. The objective is not to evolve Bryce into a running quarterback, but we're convinced if he'll become a quarterback who runs it'll add a wrinkle to the offense. Outstanding Defense Alabama's defense looked outstanding against the Vols, except for when it didn't. Irony is the worst of the defense's can be distilled into three singular plays, meaning there was lots to like. Special Teams Twice opponents have referenced seeing opportunities on film to exploit Alabama's special teams. Twice they have been correct. That's sloppy and needs to be cleaned up. Check out the podcast for more discussion on these and many other topics. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide's fortune? Next Up Its bye week in Tuscaloosa, affording the squad extra days to rest and recover after an 8-game stretch. This also provides the team time to get their minds right for the home stretch which will define the achievements available to this team. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In this episode we welcome back Terry with Rocky Top Talk to breakdown this week's contest with Tennessee. Highlights Include: What happened last week in Knoxville? Heupel's hire and progress and the Vols HC QB roundup Hooker or Milton Skill personal for Tide fans to watch closely Improving Defense Sharing Players It was a really fun discussion and I trust you'll enjoy it. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In this episode we talk with long time Mississippi State personality Steve Robertson in advance of Alabama's visit to Starkville. Steve is a legend among the State community, hosting the Boneyard Podcast, serving as a contributing editor on Gene's Page, and author of multiple books. It was a legit treat to talk ball with Steve. Highlights Include: The Mike Leach Experience, up close Development of Will Rogers within the Air Raid Skill personal for Tide fans to watch closely No Tight End on the roster Improving Defense Favorite Bulldogs and memories of a fun era in State lore Sleuthing It was a really fun discussion and I trust you'll enjoy it. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021 Alabama vs Texas A&M Alabama Football Podcast pursues balance after an unexpectedly frustrating outing against the Aggies in College Station. Obstacles There's a popular book by Ryan Holiday titled The Obstacle is the Way. Saban has studied it and I found it a compelling read. Interestingly, it's an insightful parallel for the Crimson Tide as they seek to rebound from a disappointing loss to Texas A&M. Yes, the Aggies were more obstacle that many predicted but their resiliency is an example that could well serve the Tide. Run the Ball Lot is being made of Alabama's three failed passing attempts following a 1st and goal situation inside the five. But is all of it fair? A&M has a stout defensive front and stuffed Alabama seven times on short yardage situations prior to the possession in question, and another 3 times later in the game. Drops and Misses Bryce Young's passing numbers were outsized given the outcome of the game, yet he finished with 20 incompletions. Consider more than a third were inexplicably dropped and another third were just out of the receiver's grasp. While uncanny these many mishaps befell the Tide on this given day, marginal improvements in concentration across multiple players can have outsized returns as the Tide seeks to right the ship. Check out the podcast for more discussion on these and many other topics. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide's fortune? Next Up Alabama seeks to rebound in Starkville against the Pirate Bulldogs of Mike Leach. Is the Air Raid really what the Tide needs, or is it exactly what the Tide needs? Tune in for our take. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In this episode we talk with my log time friend, Aggie Alum, and Texas native Chad about the upcoming tilt featuring Texas A&M in College Station. Chad knows A&M as well as anyone and shared many interesting takes on the Aggies to help us better understand what to expect come Saturday. Highlights Include: Overall ideas as to the mindset of the team and fanbase given the developments over the last couple weeks. Thoughts on both the quarterback and offensive line play. Discussion on the cause of the issue – scheme or talent. Skill personnel, Aggie RB, WR, and TE tandem rank amongst the most talented nationally. Defensive front is as solid a unit as Alabama will face – talented and deep Solid but not outstanding linebackers and wounded in the secondary Firm vote of confidence for the job Jimbo Fisher is doing. Open invitation to Aggie Land It was a really fun discussion and I trust you'll enjoy it. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Show Notes By: Alabama Football Podcast https://twitter.com/BamaFootballPod 2021 Alabama vs Ole Miss Alabama Football Podcast serves up a fresh bucket of popped corn with a side of custom made Ole Miss game breakdowns. Bryce Young Yep. Young Bryce delivered another data point upon a positively trending line. Mr. Robinson Goes to School That's Brian and he went Alabama Old School on the Rebel Shark Bears from the Grove. Rushing 26 times for 171 yards and pacing the Tide's dominant performance. Though Saban acknowledged this is not the kind of attack the Tide wants to deploy every week – a veiled recruiting pitch to a popular quarterback prospect in attendance – he was clear that Alabama would remain versatile enough to execute a plan suited to challenge any given opponent. Brian was clearly up for the challenge. Defensive Game Plan The Tide's Defensive brain trust simplified the scheme just enough to allow Alabama's defenders to play fast. The one-scheme-fits-all approach simplified assignments and rotations while ensuring Tide defenders had an answer for anything Ole Miss wanted to run. While it may not have always been the ‘best' answer, it was an actionable answer – proving the spirit of a Saban favorite, “we don't have a defense that doesn't cover the tight end”. Healthy Hank Henry To'o To'o looked as healthy as he has all season and it shone through in his play, especially on a snuffed-out 4th and 1 Ole Miss sweep. This is the To'o To'o Alabama fans have been looking for. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide's fortune? Next Up Alabama travels to College Station for a tilt with the Aggies of Texas A&M. Following the wisdom of sages, have your stack of preference ready. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021 Alabama vs Southern Miss Alabama Football Podcast delivers unique insights into the Tide's cathartic adventures with Southern Miss Bryce Young is Nearly Perfect On this night Bryce Young is nearly perfect from the quarterback position completing 20 of 22 attempts for 313 yards and 5 touchdowns. Yes, he did throw a pick but it was a well targeted ball bobbled by the receiver. Hardly a fault in the scheme of things. Bryce is no longer a quarterback the Tide can win with, Bryce is a quarterback the Tide IS winning with. Tight Ends Emerge Its as good as it sounds, with Jahleel Billingsley existing the doghouse and entering the field along side emergent Cameron Latu. The Alabama offense is benefiting by the collective talents at tight end, under a OC known for dialing up production at the position. Keep watch as there remains much left to explore in this facet of the gameplan. Will Anderson Another player making an almost weekly appearance in our notes is OLB Will Anderson. Again Will lights up the stat sheet along with opposing ball carriers. Anderson continues to evolve as a leader on and off the field. Jamo Show Room must be carved for a special teamer boasting multiple touchdowns on the day. 177 yards on 3 return with 2 touchdowns is such a historic day that his 80 yard touchdown and bobbled catch (resulting in an INT), are nearly afterthoughts. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide's fortune? Next Up Alabama hosts Ole Miss in Tuscaloosa for what promises to be an explosion of offense. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In this episode we talk with Jamie Arrington from To The Top Talk about the upcoming tilt featuring Southern Miss in Tuscaloosa. Jamie shared interesting takes on the Golden Eagles to help us better understand what to expect come Saturday. Highlights Include: Thoughts and Impressions on new Eagle coach Will Hall Quarterback situation with Trey Lowe's injury and the emergence of freshman Ty Keyes. Skill positions featuring multi-faceted RB Frank Gore Jr. along with an array of active receivers Big, young, and gelling Offensive Line Solid and ranked defense paced by Safety Malik Shorts, talent at all each level Historical respect for So Miss program – team that seemed to always give Coach Stallings fits. Favor Golden Eagle Mascot insights – As the Golden Eagle mascot, Jamie once staged an epic WWE style rampage with long time friend and Big Al mascot. Check it out. It was a really fun discussion and I trust you'll enjoy it. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021 Alabama vs Florida – Alabama Travels to the Swamp Alabama Football Podcast delivers unique insights into the Tide's close contest against the Florida Gators Young Growing Up Bryce continues to impress with his poise and composure. While is production may not (yet) rival Mac or Tua, neither does his experience or weapons – or protection. Yet Young continues to impress and improve. A historically charged hostile crowd in the Swamp, suspect offensive line, determined opponent, close game, foul clock all failed to rattle Bryce. As young continues to pass every test, it becomes increasingly clear that coach Saban was right, the team needs to preform better around Bryce Young. Offensive Line Offends The offensive line continues to regress. While I'll allow ample credit to Florida and their talented defensive front, the Tide's line is capable of more. I'm confident a single move can go a long way to settling down the unit, even if fans most live with a couple weeks of on-the-job training. *note, I'm much more colorful and specific on the pod, give it a listen. Expand the Rotation – Defensive Edition Saban is notorious for running a shallow bench in close games. It's a common tactic in coaching circles but I don't believe it's necessary or appropriate for this team. Alabama is deep with talent across each defensive level – enough to warrant rotations aimed at keeping the starters fresh late into games. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide's fortune? Next Up Alabama regroups in Tuscaloosa with an agenda geared towards building upon the lessons learned in Florida. It likely does not bode well for Golden Eagles of Southern Miss. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In this episode we talk with Allan and James from the Gator Nation Podcast about the upcoming match up. Allan and James share interesting takes on their Florida Gators and help us better understand what to expect come Saturday. Highlights Include: Revisit season expectations given the loss of talent from last season Quarterback situation. Is it a controversy, dual system, slow trigger? Yes, its all of those things. Florida is 2 different teams based on lines up behind center. Bama fans keep this in mind if we play the Gators twice. Emerging skill players to watch. Shared grievances at right tackle Todd Grantham opinions and schemes Strengths and Weaknesses across the defense Who really is Dan Mullen? Favorite Gator Overall a fun discussion. These guys do great work and really know their stuff. I strongly encourage you to check them out, especially their pre/post Alabama content and for added insights into shared opponents as the season unfolds. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Show Notes By: Alabama Football Podcast https://twitter.com/BamaFootballPod 2021 Alabama vs Mercer – Alabama Returns to Tuscaloosa Alabama Football Podcast delivers unique insights into the Tide's disinterested showing against the Mercer Bears. Offensive Line Unsettled Perhaps its an overstatement to suggest the entire line is unsettled after the Mercer game but the Right Tackle position is potentially in flux. As many as four players can lay claim to the position and we likely see many of them take reps over the next two weeks. Wide Receivers in Transition Even with the Tide's outstanding performance against Miami a week ago, we knew the receiver position was still a work in progress. This week Mercer illustrated the point with drops and penalties plaguing the first unit while backups stood out – namely JoJo Earle and Traeshon Holden. My guess is freshmen Hall, Brooks, Baker, and Leary still want a say in the matter as well. Secondary Bust Theories Twice on Saturday the Alabama secondary busted on plays resulting in Mercer touchdowns. We wade through a pair of weak explanations to land on a theory for how this happened against the Bears and why it is unlikely to repeat even against better teams. Will Anderson Replacement Plans Obviously Will Anderson is a difference making player for the Alabama defense and we wish for nothing but a full and speedy recovery from an injury sustained Saturday. However, we outline a 3 step plan (4 if Will is able to return for limited action), intended to triage an Anderson absence against the Gators. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide's fortune? Next Up Alabama travels to Gainsville for its SEC opener against the Florida Gators. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In this episode we speak with Bill from Cane Insight .com about the upcoming match up. Bill shares with us the excitement and expectation level Miami fans have coming into the 2021 season along with potential areas of concern. Its a great conversation and one we think you'll enjoy as you prepare for Alabama's week 1 matchup with the Miami Hurricanes. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Fall Camp Week 1 Here are interesting trends and developments through the first week of camp. Some of these we predicted and others not so much. Kendall Randolph was holding down the right tackle spot early, but his ankle injury has opened the door for the JC Latham, Damieon George battle we predicted. Meanwhile, we called the other four positions and expected the unit to solidify early in camp which appears to have also happened, but its still early. La Bryan Ray faces another injury. We certainly didn't predict another injury but we cautioned it could happen. Dammit. I hate it for the young man and hope he's able to return to form by early season if not late camp. Even if he operates under a snap count, he's talented enough to make a difference. Henry To'o To'o day one starter. Most everyone saw this coming, but the reviews from coaches and teammates is impressive. Alabama fields a legit all-star team at the linebacker position with plenty of depth. Return Game Love to hear that some of the youngsters are getting reps at the Kickoff and Punt return spots. While Alabama has a solid floor with returning contributors Brian Robinson, Slade Bolden, and Jahleel Billingsley, there is remarkable upside if Jo Jo Earle, Kool Aid, Christian Leary, and Camar Wheaton can pull reps. Corner Opposite Jobe Jalyn Amour Davis remains the leader but reports continue to paint an impressive picture for Kool Aid McKinstry. Look for this battle to wage into the season with the freshmen receiving early live action reps. Defense It remains a smorgasbord of talent at each level across the defense. Pete Golding, right, was comfortable, excited, and energetic – right – in his pre camp interview and raved about both individual and collective talent across the defense. He embraced and celebrated the defensive expectations at Alabama, neither seeking nor offering room for equivocation. That's a confident coach right there. Loved hearing Saban declare the DL might go 7 or 8 deep. Its like he lifted that directly from our content. Its only week one so there's plenty of room for new storylines to emerge, but by all accounts, this Alabama team is on track for another outstanding season. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Name. Image. Likeness. There goes the neighborhood, or so is the thinking of those with allergies for change. Certainly, NIL represents a fundamental shift, but long-term impact is much harder to guess. Though I suspect it's not as dramatic as some believe. Here are some random thoughts and even a couple predictions. Rich get richer and the middle class gets squeezed. Don't all changes yield these kinds of results one way or the other? Sports or politics or financial markets or whatever, its hard to imagine a policy that legislates out success. If a businessman or team or coach has worked hard to create an advantage through the mastery of an existing system, it's hard to imagine a new system not being similarly mastered. Right? That's pretty much an underlying principle in life but let's isolate on the world of college football. Will an NIL system designed to reward individual players for their accomplishment and visibility suddenly work against the teams and programs already at the top? Practically by definition wouldn't such a rule simply retrench the powers that be. The programs already getting the most media coverage, already winning the most games, and already dominating the platform, is there reason to believe the players within those programs would not have a built-in advantage? Does it not appear to hand those programs a newly stacked deck? Exactly which rule installed over the last decade intended to slow Nick Saban and Alabama has had the intended effect? Or expressed more pleasantly, this serves development should serve the Tide quite nicely. Water Finds its Level $1 million endorsement deals for players that have barely played seems a risky investment. While I'm certainly not rooting for Bryce to struggle or fail, he's a risky bet. What if he's just really good but not much else? Will sponsors continue to line up for otherwise unproven players? Probably not. What we appear to have is a new market where the values are not yet defined or fully understood. Malichi Moore hocking sweet tea seems a more reasonable toe dip in the sponsorship pool, does it not? Point being the market rules will evolve as the initial energy and land grab nature of the last few months wears off. More Cheesecake Hard not to sound like either a pervy old man or old brimstone evangelist when making this point so let's just acknowledge it and move on. Some college athletes will make money as influencers by growing and capitalizing on the scale of their social media following. Some of these athletes are easier to look at than others. As they compete for likes and looks… well, you connect the dots. Danger Afoot Answer honestly. How many among us would trust our 19-year-old selves with a bank roll stacked 5 or 6 digits deep? How many adults can handle such a sudden windfall? Lottery statistics sing a siren's song and NFL's own history is horrific with tales of broke and broken former players. This is not a rant against wealth and opportunity, but a legitimate concern for what lies ahead for many college athletes. Given the type of player Saban tends to recruit, Alabama will have some insulation in this area but its not bullet proof. Net Positive I tend to favor a free market and allowing people – players even – to capitalize on their talent and fame. I suspect the initial wild west element of the new rules will have negative unintended consequences for marketers and marketees alike, but over time it'll settle down and provide a mostly healthy opportunity for all parties. That's a good thing. For programs, it'll widen the gap between the haves and have nots. 2021 Team Leaders Question presented in a recent support team email thread that deemed worthy of a public response and short pod. Wayne asked a question that I'll paraphrase here. Lots of talk about the talent on this squad, but where's the leadership going to come from? When the Tide has struggled or under performed in the past, its been largely due to a lack of leadership. Great question. For me it rouses memories of the 2010 team and even the 2014 team. Both squads were incredibly talented but fell down at critical spots. So where does the leadership emerge in 2021? My immediate response within the thread included the following thoughts. Josh Jobe is a guy that will bring it. Couple articles last year about him getting mad at making a good play instead of a great play. Phil Mathis is another guy. Maybe Jordan Battle. He talked last year about being a quiet guy and needing to step up. Evan Neal is likely doesn't say much but the line will hang on his words and example. From there, it's a young team and some of those guys will need to step up. Bryce Young, Malichi Moore, and Jase McClellan may share some of that load. Henry To'o To'o is one to watch. He knows what the bottom looks like and may take charge to get to the top. I stand by all those responses and upon review, I'd add a couple more names and notes to the mix. Chris Owens and Brian Robinson are both super seniors who have waited their turns and are poised to claim starting roles this season. Mathis could have left early but elected to stay and create more value for himself. In interviews he presents as fun loving and serious. I don't expect any of these elder statesmen to shy away from an opportunity to speak wisdom into the team. Evan Neal is already contributing to the development of freshman OL JC Latham, who may emerge as a starting candidate in the second half of camp. To'o To'o is getting rave reviews for his acclamation and mastery of the playbook. Of course, playing at Tennessee under Pruitt helps but let's not discount his hard work. We know its not lost on his teammates. I continue to believe a faction of younger players will emerge impacting the team's personality. I've mentioned some above but add Brian Branch, Tim Smith, and Will Anderson to the list. Important to note. This is all conjecture on my part. I'm not in the hallways, meeting halls, or practice fields. But listen to the player interviews and the snippets shared during camp and from Saban and you start to notice trends or patterns. Its too early to call any of this conclusive, but its fun to watch and speculate. Early returns appear positive. There are candidates across nearly every position group emerging and I suspect the trend will continue. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Transition into 2021 hits the Alabama Offense hard, which makes this fall camp particularly entertaining and informative. In addition to numerous staring positions on the line, including quarterback, the unit also debuts new offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien who may be singularly able to implement the multiple offense of Saban's dreams. Blow the horn, let's go. Fall camp is upon us. Quarterback – Pre-Camp Projections Reality is this is Bryce Young's job to lose, and the early competition may not pose much of a contest. This should allow both time and room for Bryce to spread his wings. Remember, there was speculation a year ago that Bryce might beat out Mac Jones. Funny to reflect back on that now, but it speaks to Young's potential and promise. Roster/Rotation Behind Bryce Alabama dresses two scholarship quarterbacks in soph Paul Tyson and true freshman Jalen Milroe. While stocked with potential, the Tide's quarterback room is rail thin on experience. What to Watch For Bryce will be brought along quickly, getting most of the high value reps with the ones and it'll pay results early. Meanwhile, one of the hottest battles in camp is for the backup position behind Young. Predictions Lots of positive news flowing from camp. I believe Bryce is the real deal, and Alabama will install a version of the offense slanted to his strengths. Milroe wins the second spot on talent and upside. Besides, he is better equipped than Tyson to run the version of the offense being rolled out for Bryce. Further, it may be important to start the clock on his career while determining if he has a viable future at the position. 5-Star Tyler Simpson jumps aboard in 2022 and potentially a Manning follows in 2023. It will be important to break up any apparent log jams as early as possible. Running Back – Pre-Camp Projections Neither graduation (Najee Harris), nor roster defections (Keilan Robinson and Kyle Edwards), have diminished the luster on Tide's depth and talent at the running back position. If there is a complaint, it's that the experience is thin. Yet two backs (Brian Robinson and Trey Sanders), enter at least their third year in the program and talent runs deep across the rotation. Roster/Rotation Senior Brian Robinson has either waited his turn or not delivered on his potential, depending upon who you ask. A valid case could be made either way and B-Rob will have every chance to sway the jury throughout camp and early into the season. The rotation immediately behind B-Rob consists of Sophs Jase McClellan and Trey Sanders, true and red-shirt, respectively. Rounding out the rotation (or leading the charge for many teams), is Soph Roydell Williams and Freshman Camar Wheaton. What to Watch For Trey Sanders' health is the easiest watch item to call across the roster. After a foot injury derailed 2019 and a bumpy start to 2020, Trey looked like an emerging star in a 12 carry, 80-yard breakout performance against Mississippi State. Days later he suffered a devasting injury resulting from a car crash. Depending on his form, he could land anywhere within the pecking order. Fawning over Camar Wheaton is watch-worthy but consider the sources and specifics of the praise. Is it typical 5-star hype or is Camar bringing something unique and dynamic to the table early? Does Roydell Williams bridge the gap that appeared to present on the field between he and Jase McClellan? Was this even a legit gap or was it more the circumstance of play? Predictions Barring injury, Brian Robinson does nothing to lose the RB1 role in camp though I wonder if he has the juice to hold the mantle all season. Jase quickly becomes the feature back even if he does not always get the first carries of the game. He has game breaking burst which forces attention from the defense. Zero chance all these guys finish their careers with Alabama. Either they are as good as we think and won't wait in line. Or they aren't and can't. In another world, we would space out their careers and rest confident in being set at the position for the next decade. Even typing that it sounds like something I've said about a Saban running back room before. Alabama problems, right? We will miss Keilen Robinson once he finds his role at Texas. Wide Receiver – Pre-Camp Projections The receiver position promises as much mystery and excitement as Alabama fans have seen in years. It also carries with it the heavy mantel of expectation after consecutive seasons churning our multiple first round NFL draft picks. Roster/Rotation John Metchie III is the only given at the position, but there is plenty with which receiver coach Holmon Wiggins can work. Slade Bolden is a versatile slot receiver who performed well in relieve of Jaylen Waddle during 2020. He's not nearly as dynamic but he's a perfect candidate for many of the slot packages new offensive coordinator previously ran in New England. Ohio State transfer Jameson Williams exemplifies Saban's selective and strategic use of the transfer portal. Presto, seasoned speed and legit threat ready to stretch the field and open up the underneath. Agiye Hall announced his presence during A-Day with aplomb and many already believe he's the next great Alabama receiver. Sophs Javon Baker, Traeshon Holden, and Thaiu Jones-Bell; along with freshmen Ja'Corey Brooks, Christian Leary, and JoJo Earle round out a deep and talented corp. What to Watch For Pecking order is the key watch item this fall. Specifically, do true freshman Hall, Earle, Leary, and Brooks leapfrog last year's freshmen Baker, Traeshon Holden, and Thaiu Jones-Bell. Individually, each of the freshmen ranked higher than the sophs, who each return with a year in the system. It shapes up to be a live competition. Predictions Jamo's transfer does not bode well for Xavier Williams whose strength is his speed though he has struggled to see consistent action. There have even been mixed reports whether his name remains on the roster. Agiye Hall cements himself as being on par with Metchie. Holden quietly reeled in 8 catches during A-Day. He may develop into a quiet chain moving target. Brooks and Leary both see action, thereby solving the pecking order riddle. Tight Ends – Pre-Camp Projections This is another position with an interesting mix of young and unproven talent. Junior Jahleel Billingsley returns the most experience but represents a departure from the typical mold under the Saban system. Major Tennison most closely mirrors the model but may struggle to retain a role as the 3rd tight end with the emergence of Cameron Latu. Roster/Rotation Billingsley is a super-sized receiver and should post impressive numbers for an Alabama tight end within Bill O'Brien's influenced offense. Latu plays an in-line role but watch for him to leak out against overmatched linebackers. He'll be a chain mover. He's also primed for a breakout after waiting at both DE and TE for the roster to break his way. Kendall Randolph is more offensive lineman but will align as a tight end in short yardage situations. What to Watch For Does Alabama use Latu as a receiver or primarily as a blocker in the passing game? This is the window of opportunity Major needs to capitalize on in order to sustain meaningful playing time. Which youngster makes the most noise in camp Caden Clark or Robbie Outz? Winner here likely starts in 12 personnel in 2022. Predictions Cameron Latu breaks out this season. His production will not rival that of Jahleel but expect Latu to make a name for him self with key first downs, surprise big plays, and physical blocks at the point of attack. He has finally found a home position with accrued service time. He takes full advantage. His assigned jersey number 45 may be influencing me, but look for Robbie Ouzt to play a little H-back, fullback especially in short yardage as the season progresses. Offensive Line – Pre-Camp Projections A sure competitive hotbed during fall camp is along the offensive line. Yes, Alabama returns 3 starters from the national championship game. It is also true only 1 man returns to a position at which he recorded multiple starts during 2020. Suffice to say, there's work to be done. Fortunately, Alabama boasts a talented and deep assemblage of offensive linemen, and an acclaimed veteran line coach in Doug Marrone leading the way. Roster/Rotation Junior Evan Neal is moving to left tackle while Chris Owens and Emil Ekiyor will man the Center and Right Guard spots, respectively. Thus, focusing competition to left guard, right tackle, and swing players the interior and exterior positions. What to Watch For Rotations, rotations, rotations. Finding the best five is a jargon we will hear throughout camp and early on we're likely to hear about players moving around every day. Pay particular attention to guard positions with heated battles featuring Damieon George, Javion Cohen, and Darrian Dalcourt all vying to line up opposite Emil Ekiyor. At right tackle JC Latham will compete most directly with Damieon George. Predictions Left to Right, I suspect we see the following two-deep when the dust settles. LT – Evan Neal, JC Latham LG – Javon Cohen, Damieon George C – Chris Owns, Darrian Dalcourt RG – Emil Ekiyor, Pierce Quick RT – JC Latham, Damieon George Yes, this version repeats players which makes it more of an injury triage lineup than a true line-shift two-deep. The preseason updates will iron out both interpretations. Now that we have reviewed the pieces, let's consider the offense as a whole, and payoff one of my bold statements from the beginning. What to Watch For From a basis of limited viewing periods, it will be challenging to get a sense for how the offense is coming together during fall camp. Scrimmages will help, especially ball distribution stats, just know those are easily manipulated. Listen for less tangible measures to determine how the offense is progressing. How early does the line settle out and what does Saban say about the pressure allowed by the first unit? Is Bryce comfortable with his progressions, are pass catchers turning heads and making plays at varying levels across varying positions? This offense does not have a Smitty or Najee primed and ready to go – at least that we yet know of – suggesting an offense by committee early on. Camp reports will mirror this by underscoring competitions and rotations. Frustrated or negatively minded reports may call this a lack of clarity, or a failure of someone to step up, which Finebaum wannabes will spin into missing leadership. Optimistic reporting will emphasize the talk about the wealth of potential weapons and playmakers on the roster. I lean to the later based on what know about the parts and pieces along with the architect at the helm. If most reports highlight different players but the overall theme is the right work is getting done, then that is a good place. Its messy and not fan friendly where we prefer a pre-packaged menu of stars, but it is aligned with the style of play we'll experience early. Prediction Bryce grows as a football player before our eyes this season. He may even start slow, but my guess is he'll be dynamic by season's end. Meanwhile, Alabama's offense will be a sort of multiple-hybrid – yes, inventing terms over here – and I am coming to believe that new OC Bill O'Brien may be singularly able to implement the multiple offense of Saban's dreams. Multiple in that the Tide can wage attacks from a variety of platforms and formations – 3 TE bunch formations to move the chains and 5 wideouts attacking downfield on the ensuring first down. Dynamic in that the Tide will require defenses to defend the full field. Hybrid in that Alabama will go back to using the offense to protect the defense at moments during the season. It may not be full ground and pound, but shorter passes to occupy the play clock and frustrate the defense, especially once a lead stretches above two possessions. Consider the New England Patriots offense, which O'Brien coordinated for a time. The team's offense gameplan varied week to week. A running game one week and a downfield passing team the next, all based on the opponent and available personnel. This season Alabama has as diverse and deep an offensive roster as I recall. The only knock is youth and inexperience but gameplan vignettes can work better in doses as it distributes the load. Do not get me wrong, to the average fan or naked eye the game play will largely look the same. But watch to see if the personnel and mode of attack adjusts throughout a game beyond the standard changes that occur when its time to rotate in the backups. Yes, I am bullish and adventurous in how I expect the Tide offense to perform during the '21 season, but let's agree it's not the record setting, all gas no breaks attack from 2020. This team will have a distinct flavor. Remembering that Saban is not always on the trend curve because he sometimes is the trend curve, I suspect this incarnation of the Saban offense will play homage to its roots by selectively layering in components of complimentary football. This promises to be fun to watch. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Defense Strikes Back, This is the Defense You are Looking For, The Defense Runs Strong in this One. I can do this all-day, but let's cut to the chase. When Saban set out to remake his defensive template, he did so with the 2021 unit in mind. Significantly increased speed across the board, versatile defenders in the secondary, pass rushers at each angle and level, and size the right amount of size where it counts. Did I mention depth? Wave after unrelenting wave of depth. Commence the attack. Defensive Line – Pre-Camp Projections The 2015 defensive line may be my all-time defensive front at Alabama. Yes, it was sprinkled with stars but what knocked me off my feet was how it wielded its depth as a weapon. A full 8 players were in active rotation – among 3 spots mind you – most of whom still receive pay for play. That is a tall, perhaps even unreasonable, task for any defensive front to replicate so I'll stop short of predicting heroic feats for the 2021 bunch. But understand I count to 6 with barely a hesitation and it makes me giddy. Roster/Rotation Across the front, health is the difference between making a difference and holding just on. LaBryan Ray and Justin Eboigbe, to differing degrees have seen the careers stunted due to injuries. DJ Dale experienced much the same in 2020, while true freshman (and highly touted) Tim Keenan works to recover from an injury during his senior season of high school. If Alabama meets with good fortune on these fronts, the Tide defense should be well anchored – considering that's an all-conference caliber starting front with a reserve by itself. What to Watch For Injury Report, injury report, injury report. Even if the above guys are only part time players, Alabama has the chance to field a stout front. If they are fully healthy, it gets late early for many opponents. Is Phil Mathis the next in a recent run of superb interior pass rushers? Are Tim Smith and Jamil Burroughs ready to capitalize on their 2020 seasons? Are Braylen Ingraham, Byron Young, and Stephon Wynn going to fight to not get passed over? Are the freshmen ready to ride day one? Predictions End – LaBryan Ray, Phil Mathis Nose – DJ Dale, Tim Smith End – Justin Eboigbe, Jamil Burroughs With, incredibly, a full 8 more scholarship players on the roster, look for these projections to change and expand throughout fall camp. Linebackers – Pre-Camp Projections This is another position where Saban assessed his roster and elected to go big game hunting on the transfer portal, landing junior Henry To'oTo'o. The former Tennessee linebacker already fluent in much of the system having played under form Saban Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. To'o To'o was also rated as the top available player in the portal, but of course he was. Yet adding To'o To'o, who mercifully goes by Hank, does not simply add talent to the squad. It allows Alabama to field an all-star team at the position while bolstering an already deep bench. Roster/Rotation Christian Harris and Hank book ended by Christopher Allen and Will Anderson promises to keep offensive players and coaches up at night. Meanwhile, Golding and Sunseri will work hard to develop the bounty of young talent comprising as deep a legitimate bench as the Alabama has had in years. What to Watch For Much of the best news will come from the rotation which should be mined with an eye towards 2022. By the same token, some reporters may spend their words elsewhere but here are a handful or topics worth keying into your radar. How do sophs Drew Sanders and Chris Braswell look during camp? During recruiting and through the summer both players were mentioned in step with Will Anderson, especially Braswell. Does King Mwikuta stay or go? While he entered his name into the transfer portal, he has not yet left the program (as of this writing). If he returns, he stands a chance of earning a spot in the pass rushing rotation. Who among Shane Lee, Ian Jackson, Demouy Kennedy, and Jackson Bratton are going to claim a 2nd team role in the middle? Predictions Jaylen Moody will see plenty of time in the middle and he's earned it. This will keep Hank and Harris fresh during and across games. While Christopher Allen was dynamite down the stretch last season, I wonder if he could fend off a legit charge from an inspired Braswell or a potential super freshman like Dallas Turner. Does Drew Sanders stay at outside linebacker? We asked who would step into a backup role in the middle and with a push for increased speed on the roster does Sanders move his outside skillset to the middle? Another alternative discussed during his recruitment and into last season's camp is if Drew would move to tight end, which some scouts believe is his best position. My guess is he plants a flag somewhere during the 2021 campaign. The bigger mystery may be where. Outside – Christopher Allen, King Mwikuta/Dallas Turner Inside – Henry To'o To'o, Jaylen Moody Inside – Christian Harris, Drew Sanders Outside – Will Anderson, Chris Braswell Note, last preseason we asked if Will Anderson is the next Derrick Thomas. We suggested if that's indeed the case then Williams would win two Nattys during his time in Tuscaloosa. Hmm, halfway there. Secondary – Pre-Camp Projections This position makes me angry. I'm no Bruce Banner, so you'll like me when I'm angry, at least in this instance. Alabama's secondary frustrates me because there are too many worthy players and not enough starting roles. Not to mention, the youngsters we want to see develop or even burst on the scene. Of course, this is a great problem to have, but I am not wrong either. Roster/Rotation Alabama does play plenty of nickel (5 DBs), and dime (6 DBs), packages so fans will get to see lots of defensive backs in action. What to Watch For Can Jalyn Armour-Davis fend off super freshman Kool Aid McKinstry for the right to start opposite Josh Jobe at corner? Between Brian Branch, DeMarcco Hellams, and Daniel Wright who claims the safety spot opposite Jordon Battle? Hellams and Wright platooned at the position most of 2020 until Hellams appeared to wrest the position away from Wright down the stretch. Meanwhile, Brian Branch is a clear talent qualifying each as worthy of a full-time starting role in the base nickel. Other end of the same question, which one does not play with the first team dime? At which position will fellow super freshman Terrian Arnold see the field? Predictions CB – Josh Jobe, Marcus Banks CB – Jalyn Armour-Davis, Kool Aid McKinstry SS – Jordon Battle, Kristian Story FS – Brian Branch, Terrian Arnold Star – Malachi Moore, Jahquez Robinson Money – DeMarcco Hellams, Daniel Wright Undoubtedly this listing will change but it is a starting point to around which to orient camp news. It is also inherently wrong as we are projecting a two-deep at six positions, which is not nearly the same as discussing rotations we'll see during the season. Almost by definition the Star and Money players would elevate into a top four spot in case of injury. In other words, Daniel Wright is much better than the 12th DB on the team. Now, let's consider the defense as a whole. Fast, deep, and versatile at each level are the recurring themes and this should provide the coaching staff with several options when it comes down to game planning. What to Watch For Its as tired as it is true to recognize the offensive era we're in. Alabama led the conference in scoring defense last season while twice conceding more than 40 points and averaging more than 19 per game. Its also possible for Alabama to improve significantly on those totals. The secondary is not rebuilding, and the linebackers are a proven strength as compared to last season's starting point. Predictions Saban's best-ever or challenging 2012 for metrics, let's not go all that way, but we've already called for more complementary tendencies from the offense. Similar to offense, this promises to be fun to watch. 2021 Alabama Football Pre-Camp Field Guide – Fall Camp Primer – Special Teams For the most part, Alabama special teams benefit from being so keenly adjacent to a roster filled with young, hungry players ready to make a name for themselves as aggressive and dependable. As for specialists, that's the measure for true upside. Roster/Rotation Fortunately, Will Reichard returns following his perfect season in 2020. Odds are he does not repeat the feat, but if he can remain injury free, he's a proven commodity. From there its mostly questions. What to Watch For Which of the punting newcomers Jack Martin from Troy or James Burnip from Australia will overtake Sam Johnson and Ty Perine for the job? Does Chase Allen handle kickoffs or does Will resume the full suite of kicking duties? Is Gabe Pugh ready to take snapping duties for Thomas Fletcher? Does Billingsley return kicks and Slade punts of is there a young skill position player like a Jase McClellan or Kool-Aid McKinstry ready to step into the limelight? Prediction Junior transfer Jack Martin averaged 46 yards per punt last year for Troy. If he simply repeats the performance the battle is over before it begins. Chase Allen will be given every chance to handle kickoffs. This is how Reichard sustained his hip flexor injury during 2020. Paul Tyson likely takes over holding duties for Mac. Slade will handle punts but watch for JoJo Earle to get some reps as well. McKinstry will either start or corner or get a long look at kick returner, but he will not be saddled with both as a true freshman. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The 2021 football season is fast approaching. SEC Media Days have passed and oh the whirl wind of storylines they carried with them. NIL, expanded playoffs, and conference expansion are all interesting topics but its time to turn our eyes to the field… or at least the practice field. To that end we'll run a brief series orienting ourselves towards the arrival of camp with updates and refreshes heading into the season. Consider it a two-wave attack designed to jump start your readiness for the return of Alabama Football. First up, the revamped Coaching Staff. An annual rite of passage for Coach Saban and Alabama fans is the inevitable churn amongst the staff. Competing programs looking for a spark of magic from the Saban tree poach and promote while the occasional underperformer is moved out. This spin cycle was turned up in early 2021 following both a national championship and a Covid lock down year which saw much less transition. Let's take a moment to recap the movement and layer in some AFP perspective. Offensive Coordinator – Bill O'Brien replaces Steve Sarkisian No question the biggest change across the staff is the departure of Steve Sarkisian who left to become the head coach at Texas. A program making its own headlines these days. As much as we grew to appreciate Sarkisian, this move will pay lasting dividends for Alabama. First, this is exactly the kind of move that enables Saban to continue hiring analysts and other reclamation project-type coaches. It was not long ago that Sark was toxic. Marinate a spell with Saban and now he captains a legit blue blood program. That is just the kind of move that keeps the coaching pipeline viable and vibrant. Second, many believed, me included, Sark was a front runner to take over had Saban decided to hang up the whistle, even if that meant waiting another season or maybe two. Thus, his departure may signify Saban's intent to continue coaching well into his newly extended contract. A legit win for Alabama fans. Meanwhile, Sark's replacement, Bill O'Brien (BO'B), is no slouch, boasting a resume dotted with impressive career stops; Patriots OC, head coach Penn State, and head coach / General Manager for the NFL's Houston Texans. One doesn't just stumble into those kinds of roles and overall, BO'B has been successful at each of his stops, and nothing suggests this trend won't continue. What to Expect? Watch for a refreshed and energized BO'B following his heavy load/double duty in Houston. Understanding this remains the Nick Saban offense, expect to see an emphasis on new wrinkles while keeping true to the hits. Bryce Young will cut his teeth and evolve his confidence on a steady diet of underneath routes involving the tight ends and slot receivers. Let's agree I would not want to be a linebacker forced into coverage. Side Bet: O'Brien knows he was not hired as a one-year rental, and likely he doesn't leave for anything not on a dream job list he and Saban have already discussed. Who knows, one of those dream roles may require his growing roots in the area. Offensive Line Coach – Doug Marrone replaces Kyle Flood It is no surprise that Flood left town with Sark. They came to Alabama as a package deal from the Falcons and they left town as much the same. Stevie Wonder saw it coming. Interestingly, Alabama got something of a package deal in return. Doug Marrone and Bill O'Brien are longtime friends dating back to their wives being friends in college. So do not be overly surprised if the Bill and Doug shows share a run in Tuscaloosa. What to Expect? Marrone built his career from the trenches up, becoming an offensive line coach when his playing days were over. Earning a reputation as an old- school teacher, Doug is a two-time NFL head coach which speaks highly to his ability to engage and develop players. Watch for Alabama lines under Marrone to be tough, physical, and unrelenting. Given options young and experienced on the Tide roster, Doug may be looking forward to camp more than most. Side Bet: From what I read, Marrone is something of an introvert (me too). Perhaps not the best trait for a front of franchise role. However, amongst the trenches a man could become anonymous in all the right ways. For as long as Doug Marrone is in Tuscaloosa, the Tide line is a threat for the Joe Moore award. Special Teams Coordinator / Tight Ends Coach – Drew Svoboda replaces Jeff Banks The decision by Jeff Banks may be one of the more frustrating ones for Alabama fans. A lateral move underscoring Sark's intent to build Texas in Alabama's image using as many former colleagues as possible. While both fair and true, its not the full story. Besides, side note, I am more pleased Holmon Wiggins elected to stay at Alabama. Consider Banks is from Texas – we poached him from TAMU just a couple years ago. A raise with a chance to move home should not be undervalued. Meanwhile his replacement, Svoboda, is a well-respected special teams coach with prior stints with Rice and a short stay with Memphis State. What to Expect? Look for a young coach ready to make a name for himself on a big stage both on the field and on the recruiting trail. Not more than a couple years have passed since Drew was an extraordinarily successful high school coach in the Houston area. Interesting to note, Banks, Jay Graham (on the job for just a couple months), and Svoboda all have ties to Texas. Clearly Saban has a type in seeking to fill this role. Side bet: Svoboda stays with Alabama for the long haul, perhaps even until Saban retires. Drew is just three years removed from being a high school coach and he is looking to maximize his investment at Alabama and links to Saban. My guess is he squeezes everything he can out of the opportunity. Running Back Coach – Robert Gillespie replaces Charles Huff First off, congratulations to Charles Huff for spinning a running back coaching gig into a head job. It feels like he may have skipped some steps but that is the Saban bump in effect, and further evidence the pipeline is working. As for Gillespie, many will remember him from his playing days at Florida during the Spurrier era. Though more recently Robert has carved out a successful coaching career and an outstanding reputation as a recruiter. What to Expect? Robert is no slouch as a coach having mentored 1000-yard rushers in each of the last two seasons at North Carolina under Mack Brown. Interestingly, Phil Longo, UNC OC, was a rumored candidate to replace Sark. While Saban went another direction, he did dip into the UNC till, so to speak, in poaching Gillespie. Perhaps he brings a couple clever screens with him. Side bet: Brian Robinson has a nice season under Gillespie's tutelage, but watch out for Jase and Camar. Cornerbacks Coach – Jay Valai replaces Karl Scott Jay is a young coach on the move, exploiting every angle to advance his career. When he signed on with Alabama in February it was his 4th job in barely the span of a month. Released from Texas as part of the regime change, Valai quickly joined the Houston Cougars for 2 weeks until the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles called. Valai lasted in Philly only 11 days before accepting the opportunity at Alabama under coach Saban. What to Expect? Footage of Jay on the practice field illustrates a relentless coach continuously peppering players with instruction and correction. Every rep and practice session is maximized. Jay was a team captain at Wisconsin and ran his own training business following his playing career. Further evidence of productive, results oriented, hardworking individual. Side bet: Watch for little drop off in Alabama's corner play even with the departure of All America and first rounder Patrick Surtain. The talent is on the roster and Jay will work relentlessly to set it free. Like Svoboda, Jay is a young coach trying to establish his career. Given the objective, you could do worse than sticking around Tuscaloosa under Saban. I imagine Jay stays at Alabama at least 2-3 seasons. This feels like a safe bet as it gives him reps in recruiting, and he can stand the longevity on his resume. Potential Defensive Coordinator candidate at some point. Overall, I love the blend and themes that permeate this group. Experience runs both extremes with long tenured NFL coaches carving out roles that resonate with their personal strengths on one side and newer entrants to the college ranks on the other. The young and reinvigorated energies should elevate the staff. Recruiting is another theme up and down the list. Whether its pelts on the wall, long standing community connections, apparent acumen, or resumes that speak for themselves, these fellas are poised to wage war on the recruiting front. This group will be fun to watch. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2021 Alabama vs Ohio State – The 2020 National Championship Alabama Football Podcast delivers unique insights into the Tide’s dominating performance against Ohio State in route to an 18th National Title. Yeah, Alabama Does. They Are Who We Thought They Were One could argue the outcome of this game was never up for debate. Yes, Ohio State won their conference but surely no one mistook the 2020 BIG as a land of giants. The Buckeye’s best regular season wins were close games to Indiana and Northwestern, which looked about right. Sure, the Clemson game stood out, but ultimately only as the outlier it truly was. They Too Are Who We Thought They Were The shoe fits the other foot as well. Alabama laid bare the ten-game conference only schedule setting performance records on a nearly weekly basis. This in the SEC, a conference boasting three playoff contenders until the final week of the regular season and two until the final ranking. I Will Break You While cordial and officially regarded as the home team, the Tide made for lousy hosts in Miami. Breaking both Ohio State game plans and collar bones on the first defensive play of the game. While later, and routinely, abusing the Buckeye’s linebacker heavy defensive scheme. Esprit De Corps If nothing else was on display, the pride of the Tide was in full effect. Multiple players battled through injury to make an impact or even just an appearance in the game. Waddle most looked the part of a wounded player but ‘most’ is relative. Metchie and Mac were visibly compromised. But the heartstring tugs were all Landon Dickerson. A giant who begged and pleaded his way onto the field for a pair of victory formation snaps. Dominant Performances Najee, Devanta, and Mac each put up stat lines you want to roll around with like the villain who covers the bed with stolen money. Christian Barmore was similarly impressive along the defensive front. While many other players donning the crimson and white for the last time registered outstanding performances. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide’s fortune? Next Up So quickly the off season returns but there’s still plenty to do and discuss. We’ll be back to discuss coaching changes, departing players, and spring drills. Meanwhile, enjoy the championship.
2021 Pre Ohio State Public Non Interview... the title is a mouthful to be sure. Let me break it down for you. Prior to most or at least several games this season we've done interviews with a reporter or podcast from our opponent. 20-30 minutes of good discussion and perspective from the other side. We've released all but one, now two, of these exclusive to our listener support team on a secondary private podcast feed. Today we actually dropped our 41st show over there, wow. In case you're interested in checking it out, drop me a line and we'll do an off season special rate. So that covers the pre and interview parts. What about the 'non' you ask. Twice, including the Ohio State interview we were prepped and ready to go but the schedule fell through in the end and we weren't able to reschedule. Life happens even to your intrepet podcast team. In these events, since we've already done the prep, we improvise and ultimately do what we do best.... talk to ourselves. Basically I run through the questions and topics I wanted to cover in the interview. I answer some of the questions and point to the discussion I was hoping to provoke with others. Its not as good as the two sided interview would be, but its some discussion thats better than none. Since this next game is kind of a big deal, I wanted to share it with everyone on Saturday - we released it to our support team Thursday night. So there you have it... enjoy and Roll Tide
2021 Rose Bowl Alabama vs Notre Dame Alabama Football Podcast breaks down the Tide’s opening round victory against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. The End is in Sight In his post-game comments Saban indicated Alabama “didn’t come here to end here”. An indication that Notre Dame, while certainly respected, was perceived only as an obstacle to be cleared, much like a running back sets up his next move with little regard for the tackler at his feet. Alabama played the game with this ‘next move in mind’ clearly on display. The offense turtled in the second half while defenders were rested or shelved altogether. A clear indication that this team understands there is more work to be done. Jahleel Breaks the Matrix Twice Billingsley made plays that appeared as cut and paste reels from prior games. A DeVonta deep cross draws the safety while effectively land granting Jahleel the left quarter of the end zone was plucked from the LSU game. Meanwhile, a chain moving catch on a left to right shallow cross with a defender draped on his back was a dead ringer for a play against Florida. The only difference is the Gator defender was flagged while the Irish got away with one. Knife to a Gun Fight Notre Dame had a solid offensive game plan for Alabama. The only hitch is that it lacked explosiveness. Recognizing Alabama can struggle with running backs and tight ends in coverage, Notre Dame doubled down allocating 58 of 80 offensive plays to either these positions or quarterback runs, another Tide soft spot. Meanwhile, the Irish conceded a 3rd of the field in willfully not attacking corner Patrick Surtain for most of the ballgame. It was a strategy that worked in some regard but never demonstrated an ability to keep pace with Alabama’s full arsenal. Clever Move A full breakdown of my breakdown is available on the pod, but the Tide defense unfolded a clever wrinkle in starting strong safety DeMarco Hellams ahead of regular starter Daniel Wright, electing to go with he 210lb thumper in anticipation of the Irish tight end attack. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide’s fortune? Next Up Alabama takes flight to Miami for a matchup with Ohio State with the National Championship on the line.
2020 Alabama vs Arkansas Alabama Football Podcast breaks down the Tide’s cookoff with the Razerbacks of Arkansas Plan B for the Win Arkansas mixed it up in electing to take away Alabama’s deep passing game, forcing the Tide into shorter routes and a more methodical approach on offense. And this approach worked, at least to a point. While Alabama logged only two plays greater than 17 yards, and the Hogs enjoyed an early 3-3 tie. However, eventually the Tide's outstanding defense and special teams coupled with an opportunistic offense yielded a result in line with expectations. Offensive Defense Apparently, Alabama’s stop squad needed only a retreat to the Arkansas mountains to realize its full potential. The results were impressive with 8 sacks, 4 turnovers and 188 yards allowed spread over 3 glorious quarters of shutout ball. Will not be Denied With Arkansas’s 3-deep shell and selective double coverage, Alabama’s passing game played it safe, only taking advantage of the available routes. This largely left DeVonta out in the cold. Or so we thought. Smitty shattered a tied score and jump started the Tide’s scoring in racing 84 yards for a punt return touchdown. Another Heisman moment? Time will tell. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide’s fortune? Next Up Alabama returns to Atlanta to face the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship.
2020 Alabama vs LSU Alabama Football Podcast breaks down the Tide’s 2020 revenge tour as it takes to the road for a game day in Red Stick. Big Three Alabama fields a big three on offense of nearly epic proportions. Looking for the best QB in college football, look no further than Mac Jones. Hankering for the best running back, checkout Najee Harris. Need the best receiver to round out the ensemble, DeVonta Smith is all the rage this season. Speaking of Heisman Candidates While each of Alabama’s big three is a worthy candidate, there is a time-tested path for Smitty to walk away with the trophy. DeVonta has incredible stats and added a singular moment to go along with his apparent sudden emergence on the scene – voters like to think they are being original – but there is one element he can add to his resume very soon that would virtually guarantee him the hardware. Sorry, gonna have to listen in for this nugget. (but its towards the beginning!) Red Leader, Stay on Target Hold. Do not allow two singular in nature busted plays accounting for 28% of LSU’s yards (82% of their points), loosen your grip or lessen your confidence in the Tide’s defense. Granted, this is not 2012 incarnate, but this unit continues to improve and is good enough for 2020. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide’s fortune? Next Up Appears the Tide is traveling back in time to play the Hogs… wait, I’m looking at the old schedule. This week, Alabama travels to Fayetteville to do business with the Razerbacks of Arkansas.
Show Notes By: Alabama Football Podcast https://twitter.com/BamaFootballPod 2020 Alabama vs auburn Alabama Football Podcast breaks down the 2020 Iron Bowl and a visit from the Gus Bussers. Satisfaction A win against any opponent is a welcomed event, but there is just something extra about beating this pride of in state Tigers. So much more so when the victory is a contrast of excellence and ineptitude. Quarterback Competition Of course, quarterbacks do not compete directly against one another during a game but it is no less a competitive arena and all comparisons are fair. Or perhaps not. Comparing Mac Jones and Bo Nix ultimately seems unfair to both parties. But consider the progress each player has made since the 2019 Iron Bowl. Most would agree Nix has regressed while Mac has elevated his game into Heisman and first round contention. Saban Stayed Home? If you didn’t know, you wouldn’t know. Of course, within the SEC footprint and particularly within the Yellowhammer state we might wonder which rock you crawled out from under given all the media coverage, but the game itself offered no clues. It was not just the win, or the margin, or improved defense. Covering Saban’s game time duties, Sark even had the nuances down. Leading the team off the buses, the pregame stadium walk, and the (not always so), faint conservatism in big games. Overall a great, and welcome, impression. Train Kept a Rolln’ Don’t stop me if you’ve already heard the one about the defense improving week to week. Don’t stop me because this Tide defense isn’t finished yet. If it were a cake the pleasing aroma would fill the house, but we’d have to keep it in the oven because its not yet finished developing. Fortunately, these days, the defense is not a cake so we get to enjoy each iteration, each cycle of improvement. Saturday fans were treated to the angry edition. A rare flavor that signals ‘almost ready’ with hinted notes of ‘potential greatness’. Ah, the tastes of the season. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide’s fortune? Next Up The revenge tour continues as the Tide’s foray into Baton Rouge is rescheduled.
2020 Alabama vs Kentucky Alabama Football Podcast breaks down Alabama’s return to action after a three-week hiatus to face off with the Wildcats of Kentucky. In this episode Alabama Football Podcast breaks down the Tide’s dominant performance against the Kentucky Wildcats. As Expected The contest with the Cats included many predicted storylines including Alabama’s slow start, Kentucky’s physical attack, first quarter scoring, and the Cat’s tendency to possess the ball and shrink the game. Also predicted, the outcome, or more accurately the Alabama’s margin of victory would depend upon the Tide’s ability to regroup, shake of the rust, and get back to business. By all accounts Alabama responded well in posting a 63-3 final score. Defense Trends Additional predictions pointed to the Tide secondary improving weekly and such would rise the performance of the defense as a whole. With 11shutouts in the last 14 quarters of play, its hard to deny the value of this current trend line. The Beauty of Youth Saturday offered a glimpse of what fans most enjoy from the UTC-esque matchups typically smattered across a non-Covid schedule. A legit chance to see the next generation of Tide players see meaningful action. Let’s just say the offense is in good hands. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide’s fortune? Next Up The Tide hosts auburn.
A little something extra to get us through a bye week. Grab bag of topics. What we observed in the Georgia, Florida game along with the Notre Dame, Clemson game. Predictions for the playoffs, mid season awards, mailbag, and a revist of several preseason predictions. Roll Tide
2020 Alabama vs Mississippi State Alabama Football Podcast breaks down Coach Nick Saban’s birthday bash featuring tricks and treats for the Pirate Bullies from Starkville #Hail State. In this episode Alabama Football Podcast breaks down the Tide’s balanced and dominant performance against the Bulldogs of Mississippi State. Defensive Uprising The Alabama Defense rose to the occasion against a game and potentially effective Mississippi State Air Raid passing attack. At the least, the game represented an opportunity for the Tide secondary to step up. And step up they did. The Alabama secondary played dime (6 defensive backs), all night, featuring a blend of zone and man coverage principles. 60 minutes and three turnovers later and the Tide defenders recorded their first shut on the season. A feat most considered improbable three short weeks ago. Balanced Offense Alabama continues to feature an effective and balanced offense as well. Scoring only passing touchdowns a week after posting only rushing scores belies the in-game balance over the last four weeks. With or without Waddle, this Tide Offense poses problems. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide’s fortune? Next Up The Tide enjoys a break in the action with a bye week setting up a four game homestretch to complete the regular season.
Alabama Football Podcast breaks down the Tides’ trip to Knoxville to vanquish the Volunteers for a staggering 14th consecutive victory in the series. In this episode Alabama Football Podcast breaks down the Tide’s dominant performance against the Volunteers of Tennessee. Pyric Victory? Losing Jaylen Waddle to injury on the game’s opening kick-off is incredibly unfortunate. We well up with empathy and compassion for the young man and we are heartened by the early medical reports. We’re a little angry, prone to second guessing, and our initial concerns for the season’s balance are overstated as a sort of grief-stricken homage to the young man. While all responses are valid, the Tide offense still requires eleven players to take the field and trust they intend to compete, avenge, and honor while also continuing the fight for their original goal. Najee’s Big Day This may have been one of Najee’s best performances. Sure, he’s had more highlight reel moments, but his balance, vision, and redirect within compact spaces for extra yards time and time again are the backbone of a fluid and functional offense. While there was indeed a coaching moment for the young man, I believe Najee cemented his status as the top runner in the college game. Slade’s Day Out With zero warning Slade Bolden was pressed into starter action and acquitted himself quite well. His pre-snap motions and short-to-medium route running provided a close enough facsimile to Waddle that it allowed the in-place game plan to function according to design. No single player will replace Waddle’s skill set and production, such is the nature of his talent. However, a piece of the puzzle was confirmed Saturday in the person of Slade. Secondary is Primary The preseason prediction was and remains – the Tide defense will go as far as the secondary can take it. Saturday, we caught sight of the unit’s continued progression and it was of little surprise the Tide defense overall registered one of its best performances on the season. Saturday the secondary gets another test and watch for it quickly to become a game of cat and mouse. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide’s fortune? Next Up The Tide hosts the swashbuckling pirate Mike Leach and his band of Bullies from Starkville. Together we’ll celebrate Coach Saban’s birthday with a big win and cake. There will be cake, right? Nick Saban and Alabama are College Football
2020 Alabama vs Georgia Alabama Football Podcast breaks down the Tides’ smashing success against its very own funhouse mirror image, the Georgia Bulldogs. In this episode Alabama Football Podcast breaks down the Tide’s reversion to the mean with guests Kirby Smart and his cuddly lapdogs. Styles Make Fights As predicted, Alabama rose to the occasion and did work against Georgia. Yes, some of the improved effort was motivation for the big game, but credit is also due the matchup itself. Georgia’s 2020 mystique is (was?), rooted in its defense. While praiseworthy, the defense was a diversion, a distraction from an offense sporting a rebuilt offensive line and under performing offensive stars, or 5 stars to be more specific. Oh, and let’s not forget a former walk on QB, who, while sporting the endearing backstory and clever nickname, lacked the requisite gravitas to pilot a top shelf program through the true rigors of an SEC schedule. Alabama’s Made for TV All Stars If Georgia’s offense was conducting Star Search competitions on an Athens hillside, Alabama’s was completing an AGT-styled exhibition on the field in Bryant Denny, mystifying the Bulldog defense in the process. Mac passed for 400, Najee ran for 150, and both Smitty and Waddle compiled 160 receiving. It was as if godmother Oprah delivered the pregame speech – you get a career day, and you get a career day, and you get a career day. . Habits and Goals Progress with Small Steps Even the previously traumatized Alabama Defense had its Stuart Smally moments in the first half with an interception, forced punts, and a couple near misses on Georgia scoring plays. In the second half the confidence soared to full blown Tony Robbins levels as the Tide shut out the increasingly weary and defeated dogs. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide’s fortune? Next Up The Tide travels to Knoxville for a little leaf peeping in the mountains and time permitting may squeeze in an afternoon frolic with the Volunteers in the area. A good time is predicted for the visitors from Title Town.
This is our pregame interview show for the Ole Miss game. So far we've been doing interview shows for all 4 of our opponents - the GA show dropped mere minutes before this one. These shows are bonus materials for our support team members but I wanted to share this one with you. Its not too late to get all the benefit out of this seasons support team so check us out at AlabamaFootballPodcast.com for all the details. Roll Tide
2020 Alabama vs. Ole Miss Alabama Football Podcast Breaks Down the Tides’ rain and offense drenched foray into Oxford to take on the Rebel Land Bears of Ole Miss. In this episode Alabama Football Podcast breaks down the Tide’s 2020 laser light show with the Rebels of Ole Miss. Credit Lane Ole Miss took Alabama to the wire Saturday night. Lost in the Alabama angst is an outstanding game plan by former Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin. From the opening kick, the Ole Miss offense had Alabama on their heels. Yes, errors and poor play were factors working against the Crimson stop squad, but so too was a brilliant plan and full throttle attack executed masterfully by what may be college football’s most underrated signal caller, Matt Carrol. Every play had multiple well executed fakes that played tricks on the eyes of the defense. Of course, this makes the faithful nervous, but allow room for excellence on the other side and recognize the Tide may not face an offense so prolific, and motivated, until at least the post season. It will help with your sleep. Offense Production Under Pressure Meanwhile, the Alabama offensive stat lines are both brilliant and record setting. Mac Jones passes for over 400 yards, again, while completing nearly 90% of his throws, 28 of 32. Najee Harris uncorks the running game to the tune of 206 yards and 5 touchdowns, averaging 9 yards per carry and finally cementing the win on a 39 yard burst that was at least partially powered by the collective exhale of Tide followers around the globe. Record setting or tying performances both individually and collectively. Perhaps most impressive, and overlooked, is the pressure heaped onto the offense. The mandate of having to score on every possession or risk losing the ballgame is serious business, and uncommon for Tide offenses. Intensity is escalated as each next mistake could play an outsized outcome. Eventually this same pressure capsized the Landsharks. Defense Under Construction By my count there are 8 or 10 factors that conspired against Alabama’s defense on this night. It is not a single or binary circumstance and as fans we would do well to recognize and appreciate it. But that is not to say we should just grin and bear it – last Ole Miss mascot joke, I promise. Rather, let’s recognize Ole Miss has managed to give Alabama fits for years, including handing the Tide a pair of losses that many bemoaned as harbingers of an ending era. Let’s recognize the challenges of this game were somewhat unique and educational while also maddeningly frustrating. This game will bring change, even if not as swift and pointed as some want for. This season is a long game, let’s play it. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide’s fortune? Next Up The Tide hosts the Georgia Bulldogs in Tuscaloosa for the first time since 2007. With the recent post season matchups, it doesn’t seem like its been 13 years but a lot of great football and nearly the entire Saban regime, to date, has elapsed in the interim.
2020 Alabama vs TAMU Alabama Football Podcast Breaks Down the Tides’ 2020 home opener against the Aggies of Texas A&M In this episode Tom and Dave from the Alabama Football Podcast break down the Tide’s 2020 home opener against the Texas A&M Aggies. Mac Strikes Again In case there were any doubts, Mac Jones again proved himself capable behind center, this time against the Aggies from Texas. Nearly perfect, as quarterback play goes, Mac connected on several down field strikes in posting an all-time top four yardage mark and leading the Tide to 35 first half points, and 52 overall. Metchie Makes Three In the spring we predicted John Metchie would win the third receiver spot. A call quietly validated against Missouri was loudly vindicated Saturday as the Canadian receiver hauled in 5 passes for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns. Consider yourself on notice SEC. Offensive Line Strong in Pass Pro The Tide line held strong all night as Mac had time to read the defense and wait for his targets to flash open. The line performed less admirably in sustaining a running attach and was at times poor in avoiding the pre-snap errors. Both areas for improvement. Chi is a Star Malachi Moore isn’t only manning the Star position, he is threatening to emerge as a star in the Tide defensive backfield. In only his second collegiate game, Chi stuffed the stat logs with 6 tackles, 2 pass deflections, and an interception. Keep an eye on this one. Tide Remains a Work in Process As the slate will affirm, this squad is not yet in mid-season form, but the trendline is promising. Individual performances are blooming across the roster and on both sides of the ball. With all of the early success, Alabama has much room for growth and development as the season continues to unfold. As Tide fans, let’s enjoy the process while appreciating it remains a process. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide’s fortune? Next Up The Tide travels to Oxford to match wits with another former Saban assist in the person of Lane Kiffen and his band of Rebel Land Sharks. Join the support team for an early look at the matchup.
2020 Alabama vs Missouri Alabama Football Podcast Breaks Down the Tides’ 2020 season opener against the Show Me State Tigers In this episode Tom and Dave from the Alabama Football Podcast break down the Tide’s 2020 opener against the Missouri Tigers. Welcome to 2020 What a year this has been. Football will not fix all that has plagued 2020, but its sure a swell tonic and affords us all some semblance of normalcy. Let’s all agree to do right by one another and spend a few minutes letting talk of the game distract us, if only just a little. Mac Jones Leads the Way As many expected, Mac Jones started at quarterback for Alabama. Mac demonstrated poise in the face of pressure and accurate with his deep passes, staking the Tide to a 35-3 lead before giving way to freshman Bryce Young. Bryce acquitted himself well considering it was his first collegiate action. I think the coaches can work with this. Offensive Weapons Pop Stars will be stars and so its with little surprise that DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and Najee Harris all burst off the screen with outstanding performances. Coupled with a deep supporting case, this Alabama offensive roster has a chance to shine. Offensive Line Not sure I saw the seven starter-ready players Saban referenced recently in a press conference, but I was pleased with the starting five. Things became unstable when Evan Neil was sidelined and remained so even as he returned and manned the left tackle position with reserve center. Room to develop and not yet cause for alarm. Defensive Weapons Pop Too Alabama’s defense looked sharp, explosive even at time, but still has room to grow. Dylan Moses, in his first action since January 2019, performed as expected. Christian Harris performed as we predicted in our recent preseason content, and true freshman Will Anderson performed as we hoped. The front seven promises to look even better with the return of Christian Barmore. Mini Game balls Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide’s fortune? Next Up The Tide opens their reduced home slate by hosting the Texas A&M Aggies, fresh off their close call with Vanderbilt. Join the support team for an early look at the matchup.