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The Jumbo Package | 11.13.13

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott is ‘questionable' for Alabama game | Yahoo Sports

MSU head coach Dan Mullen said Monday that Prescott is questionable after suffering an elbow injury in the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s loss to Texas A&M. Prescott did not practice Monday, and Mullen said more about his status will be known on Wednesday.

Prescott has started six of 10 games this season, while Tyler Russell has started four.

Russell is currently listed as the starter on the Bulldogs’ depth chart, but Prescott played well in relief of Russell against A&M, throwing for 149 yards and two touchdowns while also racking up 154 yards on the ground.

Could be big for the Bullies if Dak is unavailable.  While Russell is apparently technically the starter, Dak leads the team with passing attempts by a nearly 4:1 ratio over Russell (219 to 57).

Alabama source: No leverage plays from Saban's camp | CBS Sports

Alabama has taken a clear-cut approach to Nick Saban's contract in past years: Let the market play out, then do what needs to be done for the country's highest-paid coach at close to $5.5 million per year.

The smoke surrounding emails exchanged from Texas regents based on conversations with Saban's agent Jimmy Sexton probably won't change that stance, a high-ranking Alabama source said. Alabama's higher-ups haven't felt leveraged by Sexton despite the outside interest Saban has garnered in recent years, according to the source, who qualifies past talks with Sexton as productive and civil. The Texas job was not part of past discussions, according to the source.

Not much of a story here.  Just someone on the Bama side saying Texas hasn't been brought up.  Not sure that means anything.  If Saban were planning on leaving for reasons other than money, then you wouldn't expect him to try to leverage the Texas job.

McCarron won't win Heisman, and that's OK | ESPN

McCarron isn't the right man for the award, and that's to take nothing away from what he's done at Alabama. Maybe a decade ago he was, but not today. The time where Chris Weinke and Eric Crouch could hoist the bronze trophy feels like forever ago. Johnny Manziel he is not. He's certainly no Robert Griffin III or Cam Newton. He doesn't put up video game numbers like they did and he doesn't defy the definition of what a quarterback should be like the en vogue runners of today's game.

We get it.  He's not winning.  Can you guys at least invite him to New York out of respect?

Alabama's secondary shows flaws | ESPN

"We were pleased with the way Cyrus played," Saban said. "We have a lot of confidence in Bradley Sylve, if we can get him healthy. There's certainly going to be competition at every position with guys that have played well for us in the past."

The hope, for Alabama's sake, is that competition breeds improvement in the secondary. Another first half like the one the Tide played against LSU could be the difference between a win and a loss down the road.

The final score and the stat book might not reveal a glaring weakness, but the bottom line is that the back end of Alabama's defense needs work. It's good, but it's not great like in years past. The question, though, is whether it's good enough to win another national championship.

A lot of hand-wringing here, and really, most of it is understandable.  The key point, though, is that most teams don't have the quarterback/wide receiver combo necessary to capitalize on this chink in the armor.  Florida State is one of those teams, Missouri may be one of those teams, but nobody else in Bama's way should come close in this area.  

A long time coming, Alabama LB Tana Patrick's forced fumble a product of repetition, instincts |

"It's something I do two or three times a week in practice," Patrick said Tuesday.

"He practices every day busting the ball out," sophomore linebacker Denzel Devall said, "and it paid off this Saturday."

'Relief syndrome' not an Alabama team that's healthier, 'more relaxed' coming off LSU this time |

They'd just blown past rival LSU in a brutal second half for a 38-17 win. Coach Nick Saban's speech dealt mostly with that, but there was something extra at the end.

"He came in there and said told us he was real proud of us and then he mentioned about last year, after we won this game, what happened after we won that game," linebacker Trey DePriest said. "So we can't have that relief syndrome. Same old coach."

The term "relief syndrome" was thrown about liberally in interviews with Alabama players and Saban this week. Memories of last season's post-LSU hangover still loom as the top-ranked Crimson Tide prepare for a 6:45 p.m. Saturday trip over to face Mississippi State.

Frankly, this team can get as hocked up on "relief syndrome" as they want.  There's really no normal scenario that has the Bulldogs taking a win this week.

Florida State backup QB Jacob Coker undergoes knee surgery | Yahoo Sports

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has meant a lot to the Seminoles, but now his role might mean even more after backup quarterback Jacob Coker was ruled out indefinitely with a torn meniscus.

Coker suffered the injury during a noncontact situation against Wake Forest, according to coach Jimbo Fisher, and had surgery Tuesday to repair the tear.

You guys may remember that Coker was the key player in the analysis I recently did about the near future of Alabama's quarterback position.  This doesn't help.  Also, with FSU's star backup injured, Jameis Winston's health now becomes a bigger concern for the Seminoles.  They're going to be keep him upright if they want to make the big dance.


Cyrus Kouandjio

AJ McCarron

Offensive Line practice

Scott Cochran trying to strip the ball from running backs