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The Jumbo Package | 10.27.14

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Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama Crimson Tide 34, Tennessee Volunteers 20: The Amari Cooper Show - Team Speed Kills

Overall, Alabama seems to have righted the ship after the loss to Ole Miss and the near-loss to Arkansas. The Tide beat Texas A&M and Tennessee by a combined margin of 93-20, and while the schedule is full of land mines (a trip to Baton Rouge and home games against Mississippi State and Auburn), the loss by Ole Miss means the Tide are still in the thick of the hunt for the SEC West.

Taking control of this game early, and then milking the clock with a seven-minute drive late, made sure that things never got too interesting for the Tide and kept all those hopes alive.

Alabama jumps Ole Miss in the Associated Press poll entering Tide bye week |

Alabama edged a little higher in the Associated Press poll Sunday afternoon. The Crimson Tide moved to No. 3 after beating Tennessee 34-20 on Saturday. Ole Miss, the only team to beat Alabama, slipped to No. 7 after losing at LSU on Saturday.

Alabama ranked 6 spots ahead of Ole Miss in latest coaches poll |

Alabama moved up one spot to No. 3 in the latest coaches poll after its win Saturday against Tennessee. Ole Miss, the only team that's beat the Crimson Tide, fell six spots to No. 9 after its first loss of the season, a 10-7 defeat at LSU.

The story behind Alabama's first-play touchdown, Lane Kiffin's sprint and why it frustrated Tennessee |

The 80-yard touchdown from Blake Sims to Cooper set the Alabama sideline on fire, though nobody matched the offensive coordinator's excitement. Kiffin briefly sprinted next to Cooper as he streaked by the Tide bench.

"He said he almost beat me to the touchdown," a smiling Cooper later said.

The play worked for a number of reasons. It was designed to look like handoff to T.J. Yeldon running left. The whole line blocked to the left, but Cooper slipped behind them running right. He caught the ball right at the line of scrimmage and got the first key seal block from receiver Chris Black to get the corner. The second and final block was delivered by DeAndrew White at the Tide 45-yard line.

SEC morning links - SEC Blog - ESPN

3. It needs to be said: Amari Cooper is the best wide receiver on Earth who's not in the NFL. Scouts and wonks are lining up to agree. ("He's like a smaller version of A.J. Green!") Cooper had his second SEC game of the season with 200-plus yards receiving and now has 13 career games of at least 100 receiving yards, which is tied with D.J. Hall for most in school history. In other words, it's safe to say Cooper will hold every meaningful Alabama record for a wide receiver when he's through. What is certain is Nick Saban intends to continue feeding the beast. And at the very least it should ensure Cooper gets a shot at some major hardware in December. "He should be up there for the Heisman trophy," said Tennessee coach Butch Jones without the slightest bit of hyperbole. His Vols had the skid marks to prove it.

Nick Saban defends Alabama's Amari Cooper-heavy passing attack |

Saban was asked Saturday if Alabama's passing game relies too much on Cooper. During a season in which he's dropped numerous analogies to other sports, Saban chose baseball for this particular answer.

"Well, you know that's kind of like saying you get 26 outs in the game throwing fastballs, so you should throw a change-up and then the guy hits it out of the park," Saban said. "I mean, should you play to your strengths or not?"

Cam Robinson's injury prompts double switch along Alabama offensive line |

It wasn't a simple one-for-one switch when freshman left tackle Cam Robinson went down in Saturday's third quarter with a high ankle sprain. Leon Brown, who started the game at right guard, moved over to left tackle and redshirt freshman Bradley Bozeman, who filled in for Ryan Kelly at center in the past two games, entered for Brown.

"We think Leon is the next best left tackle," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "So, it's always been our plan that he would be the next left tackle if something happened to Cam Robinson. He practices there each and every week. You don't like to make double switches on the offensive line, but when it comes to left tackle it's a pretty important position."

Alabama Crimson Tide is hitting its stride at the right time - ESPN

We have immersed ourselves in the Magnolia State the past few weeks, but it's time to start to looking at what's happening in Tuscaloosa. Alabama is creeping back into the playoff race at the perfect time.

"This team is getting better and better," said quarterback Blake Sims, who has totaled 650 yards of offense and seven touchdowns in the past two games. "We’re becoming even closer and we just want to play hard for each other. The way our coaches fight for us, we want to play even harder for them."

Nick Saban post game press conference

Blake Sims (quarterback) post game interview