The Jumbo Package | 10.11.13

Is Blake Sims Alabama's future starting quarterback? - John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

Fun with Numbers: NCAA targeting stats suggest safer play | CBS Sports

The review process can be cumbersome, the results not always accurate or fair, but anyone who has seen the sterling PBS Frontline documentary League of Denial understands preventative measures are necessary at every level of football.

In fairness to the coaches, they want a safe game. Many just don't agree with on-the-spot ejections -- and potential half-game suspensions the next week if the ejection took place in the second half -- decided by officials who might miss the call.

Interesting to see that, so far, the targeting foul has been called once every 10.1 games.  That means, statistically speaking, every team in the country should expect to have the penalty called while they're playing at least once during their 12 game regular season.  At Bama, we've seen the penalty twice in five games, four times what you would expect from random chance.  The REC is really dropping the ball here.

Kentucky RB Jojo Kemp guarantees his team will score against Alabama | Yahoo

If there’s one thing we all learned in the days leading up to the Alabama-Ole Miss game, it was not to poke the bear.

Apparently, Kentucky running back Jojo Kemp didn’t get the message.

Kemp guaranteed his 1-4 Kentucky team would score against Alabama this weekend. Yes, guaranteed.

Hardly inflammatory, and not much of a stretch.  Bama has only shut out 3 SEC teams in the last year and a half, and two of those (2012 Arkansas and Auburn) were dreadful teams that had quit on their coaches.  If you asked me to bet "shutout" or "not shutout", I'd lay big that the Wildcats don't end up with a goose egg at the end of the night.

Alabama native Eric Dixon looking to be a leader at Kentucky | AL.com

Eric Dixon wants to be a leader, He was a leader at Vigor High in Prichard, where he and Alabama running back Jalston Fowler helped the Wolves win a 5A state championship during Dixon's sophomore year in 2008 and he earned all-state honors as a senior in 2010. And he's learning to be a leader at Kentucky, where the 5-foot-11, 187-pounder earned a starting job at safety this season and is currently sixth on the team with 21 tackles.

Small guy.  Should be a big matchup advantage for Bama.

C.J. Mosley had wind knocked out Saturday, reviews Reuben Foster and young Alabama LBs | AL.com

"I watched most of the younger guys play," Mosley said. It's always fun to see young guys get in and kind of run and around and let them play and get experience. (Foster) still got a lot of work to do, most of the younger guys do. At the end of the day we like to see our guys still play to our standard and then did.

"They didn't give up a touchdown or a field goal. So we felt like at the end of the day they did what they had to do to play to the Alabama defensive standard."

Walk-on Luke Del Rio playing role of Alabama's 3rd-string quarterback, unlikely to play in 2013 | AL.com

Freshman walk-on Luke Del Rio is playing the role of Alabama's third-string quarterback but isn't likely to play this season, coach Nick Saban disclosed on his Thursday radio show.

"We've been really pleased with the way Luke Del Rio has developed as a quarterback as well," Saban said following some praise for backup quarterback Blake Sims. "Probably not playing him this year unless we have to but he's done a really good job as the third guy."

Interesting development here.  We had heard that Del Rio was doing well during camp, but there had been no real word during the season so far.  You have to think it means Alec Morris is on his way out this spring, and if Del Rio maintains the lead over the other two true freshman quarterbacks, at least one of them may follow.

Alabama QB Blake Sims positioning himself well for future opportunities | AL.com

"He has improved to a large degree as a passer," Saban said. "His judgment has improved as a passer and I think he has to continue to have confidence in his ability to pass and know that he doesn't have to make plays with his feet all the time, which I think this last game helped him in that regard."

Reading between the lines and watching what happened inside the lines of Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday, this was Sims taking a giant leap ahead of the pack in the competition to be Alabama's starting quarterback in 2014.

While I'm not convinced that any performance against Georgia State could cause a player to take "a giant leap ahead of the pack", I do think it is becoming more possible that we'll see Blake Sims as the starting QB in 2014.  With Alec Morris possibly on his way out, the team won't have any real viable options that are older than redshirt freshmen.  While it's certainly possible that one of those guys could win the starting job, I think it's at least just as likely that we could sit and season them a bit more, as Blake Sims plays out his redshirt senior year.  Then in 2015, we'd have a number of redshirt sophomores and a super-talented redshirt freshman to choose from.

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