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Your Crimson Tide Links for Tuesday, 10/09/07

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It looks like Evan Cardwell did a good enough job at center on Saturday to warrant a start against Ole Miss, while Antoine Caldwell is being listed as a starter at both Center and Guard.

The Sporting News has some quotes about the Tide's need to stop late-game lapses:

Nick Saban says Alabama's tendency to let big leads slip away reflects a lack of "mental intensity."

Wallace Gilberry has a more colorful description for the problem that crept up again Saturday against Houston.

"It's like playing a video game," the Crimson Tide defensive end said Monday. "When you and your buddies are playing and you get up 21-0, you put the sticks down and cut the game off. That's like the mentality we're kind of having."

(Darren) Mustin also thinks it gives opposing offenses confidence that they can come back against the Tide, which visits Mississippi on Saturday. It's one reason why three of the last four games have come down to the final play, even after building big leads.

"If we had come out and played ball and dominated those teams and crushed them like we should have, then other people looking at us on film would be like, 'Oh no,"' he said. "Now they're looking at that. We could have an 80-point lead and they're going to think they can come back."

Despite the win, after Saturday's dismal performance we actually fell in the rankings:

Saturday's homecoming scare did nothing for Alabama's national reputation.

The Tide fell from 35th to 41st in Sunday's Associated Press poll, receiving only nine points and landed two spots ahead of Mississippi State. Alabama dropped two spots to No. 42 in the USA Today coaches poll.

Looking ahead to Ole Miss, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger has the scoop on their offensive struggles:

Louisiana Tech made no secret about its defensive strategy on Saturday, meeting Ole Miss running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis with a wall of defenders no matter which way he turned.

Not surprisingly, that led to a long day for Green-Ellis, who rushed for just 54 yards on 14 carries. The Rebels managed only 65 rushing yards as a team in Saturday's 24-0 victory over Louisiana Tech.

Offensive coordinator Dan Werner said with Louisiana Tech forcing the issue on run defense, there wasn't a whole lot the Rebels could do except make the Bulldogs pay by burning them with deep passes.

The problem with that approach was quarterback Seth Adams suffered through maybe his worst game of the season, throwing three interceptions - all on shots downfield.

David Brandt chimes in as well:

Seth Adams picks a good game to struggle: Adams wasn't awful, but he threw three deep balls that basically had no juice and got picked off by La. Tech. The senior also threw two touchdowns, so it wasn't all bad. But even Seth will tell you he didn't have a good game. His inability to throw the deep ball really hurt the running game, which gained just 65 yards on the ground because the Bulldogs stacked the line of scrimmage, daring Adams to throw over the top...

It's nice to read about an offense struggling and poor QB play and it not be about the Tide.

Though Bob Connelly never got to live out his apparent dream of getting Brodie Croyle or John Parker Wilson killed by sorry O-line coaching, he has at least managed to get UCLA QB Ben Olson seriously injured.

Yep, that looks like Connelly's handiwork, alright.

This can't be right, can it?

Clemson's running back tandem of James Davis and C.J. Spiller managed just 12 yards in a loss to Virginia Tech. In the Tigers' last two games (both losses), they have 74 yards.

That...that's just...wow.

And finally, your morning YouTube comes courtesy of Otis Rush. And since it's Tuesday, we'll make it a twofer: