These are my thoughts on the "negative" plays for the Oline and QB's during the first 6 Series of the game. I label a negative play as one that doesn't gain yards, results in a turnover or has blown assignments.
1st drive. Fluker gets beat on a simple swim move. Should of been stopped but Trent slipped out to get the 1st. If Fluker blocks his man its a huge gain.
1st drive.1st and goal from the 1.5 yard line. All 11 defenders are in the box. Simple zone read play for the OLine. LB slips through , trips Trent up for a .5 yard gain. Looks like Jones didn't get up field to cover the LB...We scored on what looked like the exact same play on the next play.
2nd drive. 1st and 10. AJ throws deep to White into double coverage. Over throws him. Had Trent wide open in the flat. Only reason i call it negative is because he had a man open. I dont have a problem with throwing deep to keep the defense honest.
2nd drive 1st and 10. Lacy just had a big run on a screen play.. Single I. Toss sweep to the Right. Underwood misses a block and Lacy is stopped for minimal game. Again, if he doesnt miss the block its a potential huge gain.
2nd drive. On AJ's TD pass to Maze, Steen gets beat bad by Nix and allows pressure. AJ throws off back foot but throws a strike. Only negative was Steen getting beat.
3rd drive. 1st and 10. Single I. D is in their 4-3 but really its a 3-4. DE plays in an up position most the time on the strong side. Run stretch play to the right. Everyone has good blocking but Warmack gets beat REALLY BADLY by Nix. Trent get hits about 4 yards deep. Vlachos does get beat later and the play possibly would of gone for a decent gain. None the less....2nd and 15
One thing Im noticing so far is the D is playing 8 men in the box almost every running play.
3rd drive. 3rd and long. We are in a 4 WR. D brings 5. A LB and DE twist brings a little pressure but Oline holds up. AJ is forced to throw a tad early but is eyeing White the entire way. Throws behind the WR. punting time. Maze was open on the bottom of the screen...wouldn't of been a 1st had Maze been thrown the ball. A perfect pass would of been a 1st.
1st three drives observations. All of AJ's reads seem very simple. Only a few plays were designed for him to go through his progressions. Most were 3 step drops or quick hits to the flat. I would give AJ an A for his first three series. I would say A+ but he threw behind his receiver on a 3rd and long.
Oline I would give a C. They passed blocked ok but missed some assignments. One guys misses a block and the whole play is dead. It wasn't that Kent St. guys did anything great. Our guys just missed a block.
WR's Id give an A. No drops. RB's an A as well. Cant get yardage if you dont have a chance to build steam. D does key on Trent and put 8-9 in the box when he's in. Id give Maze a C on punt returns. He one good return but dances WAY too much. Needed to just get up field.
And Yeah...the Alabama D was lights out. Except for a play here and there..I saw little mistakes.
1st drive for Sims. No passes. Run blocking looked much better on each play. Lacy had the double spin move run. Trent scored from the 9 yard line.
2nd Drive. 1st and 10 from the 27. Single I. Play action pass. (PAP) Smelley fakes the run block and releases into the flat. His man sees the PAP and rushes Sims. Vlachos gets beat. Both defenders meet at the QB. sack. Loss of about 10.
2nd drive. 3rd and 19. Empty back field. Shot gun. Trips left. Maze and Smelley on the bottom of the screen. D comes out in a 3-3-5. We attempt a slip screen to maze but it fails cause Maze bobbles the pass. Sims gets popped by a LB who was released by Warmack. This was designed and the pass rush didn't effect Sims' throw.
3rd drive. 2nd and 4. Pistol formation. PAP. Sims looking for the home run. Good blocking but Sims holds on to the ball way to long. Sims gets hit and fumbles. Had Lacy as a safety valve. That one is on Sims. He comes back on the next play and hits Maze for 15 yards.
3rd drive. 1st and 10. Double tight end single back set. Quick slant to White. Incompete and should of been picked off. White actually stops on the route right as Sims throws.. Had he kepts going it would of been complete. Not sure if that was designed or not. Im going with a NOT. So i blame the WR on that one.
3rd drive. 2nd and 10. Shotgun formation with Lacy to the Left of Sims. Simple zone read for the line. No pulling or trapping. Good blocking on the Right side but there is confusion on the left side. DE goes untouched and gets Lacy in the back field.I know it was a zone read to the right but Jones has to know that you at least put a arm on a guy...These plays are designed to let the RB read the blocks and pick his hole. Had Jones blocked his man, there would of been a huge cut back lane.
Last play for Sims was in a 3rd a long. He hits Maze in an underneath route. good safe check down. punting time.
Observations: Sims looked ok. He didn't seem rattled or nervous. He made a couple of bad throws but nothing to shake your head at. O line blocked poorly and i thought the play calling was odd as well. Just a completely different feel than when AJ was in.
4th drive for AJ. Cyrus in a LT. Beyond that i cant tell numbers. I think Jones is in at center. Again i didn't get this recording in HD. Single I PAP. Cryus lets his guy on the inside and makes AJ rush his pass. He throws it incomplete to Smelley. Trent was wide open underneath after the PAP and would of been a good gain. Instead, 2nd and 10.
4th drive. Very next play. 2nd and 10. AJ tries to squeeze a pass into double coverage to the TE Williams. both Williams and Norwood ran a double out with about a 5 yard spacing. Neither was open. It was a zone by the D and Williams did look open but the WR covering Norwood broke off and nearly picked it off.
4th drive. Very Next play. 3rd and 10. shotgun. Trent is in blocking to the right of AJ. No pressure what so ever. AJ tries to hit a wide open White on a crossing route. Ball floats on him. Interception.
5th drive. Looks like we have the starting five Oline out there.This drive was a good one in the sense that there were no negative plays. Oline blocked really well. A nice run by Trent got us to about the 20. White drops a screen pass and then AJ just barely misses Smelley on a back shoulder throw to the endzone on the very next play. White gets held on 3rd and 10 but they call the ball "uncatchable" even though the ball hits white in the hands. FG good.
I know Kleph wanted to know if the QB's were starring down their receivers. Hard to tell. It does seem as if AJ know who he wants to go to before the ball is snapped. I dont see much "going through your progressions". Haven't seen a check down throw much.
6th drive.2 minute drill. Lacy gets a big run on 1st. AJ hits Maze over the middle for a huge gain. He had nice pocket awareness. Oline blocked really well. Foster misses the 54 FG. Its another positive drive. No negative plays...well besides the badly missed FG.
1st half observations. AJ looked better but Sims only had 3 drives to AJ's 6. Offense just didn't look in sync. Ill say this. the play calling is much more aggressive than at this point last year. Or maybe its that the QBs look like they can hit the deep pass cause i see more passes over the middle. Outside of the one over thrown pass by AJ, the passing game looked great. Oline was inconsistent at best. If they put a hat on a guy the running game is much more effective. I dont see us getting pushed around at all. We are just missing blocks. Big difference. On the plays where the RB gets hit in the back field its due to blown assignments, not the lineman getting pushed in the back field.
4th drive for Sims. 1st three plays were 2 runs and a pass. Trent actually missed the hole twice.
4th drive. 2nd and 3. Single back with an upback to the right. PAP. Sims seems to force a throw to White when he had Smelley open for a 1st down. Again, he was looking that way the whole time. He also had Trent open in the middle AGAIN. Trent would of run for about 20 yards.
4th drive. 3rd and 3. Shotgun. 5 WR's. 3 to the right. D shows 3 down lineman with two LB's playing on the outside of the DE's and showing blitz. At the snap, the LB over Fluker drops into coverage. The other blitzes untouched. We run a short out and the WR is open but Sims is hit by the blitzing LB and the ball sails. INT. Jones and Warmack seem caught up in a dline twist and dont see the blitzing LB. Jones should of seen this prior to snap and made the audible or the TE (who was split just off the line) should of come down to help. Either way bad pass blocking play.
5th drive. Pistol. TE lined up next to LT. D showing a 4 man front and 3 LBs. CB is showing blitz. (8 in the box) Its basically a man on man blocking scheme by the olineman. Its a simple off tackle .play to the left. We actually get ok blocking initially. Cyrus is in at LT and drives his man well out of the way. Warmack gets pushed a little into the back field but either the TE or Vlachos miss an assignment as No one goes out to get the Middle LB. Im thinking the center should of gone to the 2nd level and blocked the LB since it was a run to the left. TE needed block the CB, even though Maze attempted to block and failed miserably. What could of been a good play ended up as a 3 yard loss.
5th drive. 3rd and 3. After a good pass to Smelley to make a managable 3rd down we come out in the shotgun with trent in the back field. 3 WR's and Smelley again just off the LT. D is in a 3-3-5 with the WR's all getting a 5 yard cushion. They bring only 4 and the oline picks it up rather easily. Immediately Norwood is open (lined up on the left side and running a simple 4 yard in route) Sims never looks off his primary receiver and throws the ball late. Had he been on time it would of been an easy completion. Not sure why he hesitated. Call it a rookie mistake. This INT led to the only score of the day for Kent St.
So thats it. AJ comes in on the next drive and gets a TD. I would say that play calling and some back blocking assignments hurt Sims more than AJ. But both need to not lock in one WR. One thing GMac did well was go through his progressions. He knew he couldn't make certain throws so he checked down a lot. These guys know they can make the throw and we are seeing more forced passes. I believe this will change next week.
AJ had two INT's. One was his fault the other the WR. Sims also had two INTs. One was definitely his fault and the other, though it was caused by pressure was also on him. He held the ball just too long.
As for the Oline. Missed assignments and a constant 8 man front was our problem. I didn't see anyone getting pushed around except on one play where Warmack didn't get a push. We controlled the LOS but one guy kept screwing up. You cant have that on the Oline. One guy misses a block and the play is dead.
So that was it. 6 drives for AJ. 5 for Sims. I would call it a win for AJ and say he's leading 60% to 40% right now.