A few tidbits from the weekend...
Senior quarterback Blake Sims led the offense with 227 yards while completing 70 percent of his passes (16 of 23) and tossing two touchdowns. Kenyan Drake rushed for 60 yards with a touchdown, while Tyren Jones had 49 yards and Derrick Henry and Altee Tenpenny had 40 each. T.J. Yeldon carried four times for 20 yards. Junior Amari Cooper rolled up 190 receiving yards and two scores, including a 75-yard strike from Sims. Senior Christion Jones hauled in three passes for 23 yards and freshman Cam Sims caught two balls for 48 yards.
Some encouraging stats on the offensive side of the ball, particularly Sims and the ridiculous line from Cooper. This, of course, is much less encouraging for the defense.
Alabama coach Nick Saban said Jackson landed on his knee awkwardly after he jumped to catch a pass. It was a non-contact injury, he said. Sophomore linebacker Reuben Foster suffered a stinger during the scrimmage, Saban said, stressing that the injury was relatively minor.
There is an MRI scheduled for Jackson's knee, which is never something you want to hear. This would be a huge blow to a cornerback position that was already in need of an overhaul. Keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best.
Alabama's 5-star freshman re-injurerd a shoulder that was originally suffered during the UnderArmour All-American practice in December. Coach Nick Saban said he got hurt last week going over a hurdle in track practice.
More dubious news on the injury front. This is one to watch, folks. I had mentioned in the comments a while back that some teams had cooled off on Brown due to a balky shoulder that was injured multiple times in high school and may never be right. Here's hoping it isn't a chronic problem that derails Tony's career.
-- Saban liked the effort and mental toughness out there today. It showed on the field. -- The "togetherness" on the team is much better this year. -- Execution could be better, but they made good plays. They ran the ball well and had good intensity on offense. Situational things need work.
Some positive comments from Saban about the effort and attitude of the team. There should certainly be no prevailing sense of entitlement coming into 2014. Oh, and DeAndrew White will miss the rest of the spring with a toe injury. Fabulous.
"Blake has had a really good spring and has taken some command," Saban said after the closed scrimmage Saturday. "Cooper Bateman has made a lot of improvement and done a great job. Alec (Morris) is still competing. So those three guys have sort of emerged as the three guys that look like they're the most ready to play. Nobody is disappointed in anybody else."
The QB competition will obviously look different in the fall as Coker joins in, but Sims appears to be leading the pack right now. I also find it interesting that David Cornwell's name isn't even mentioned. I'll be shocked if he competes for the job this season.
"Advancing to the finals of the NCAA Championships never gets old," UA head coach Sarah Patterson said. "I think there’s a lot of pressure around this meet and certainly we traveled a long way to get here, but we were able to come out and do our job and advance to the NCAA finals, and that has been our goal since day one of the season."
Coach Patterson has built a powerhouse. Congrats on another regional title.
The differences are endless between this year's Alabama softball team and last year's, but none is more striking than its number of sweeps against SEC competition. The No. 4 Crimson Tide added to that total Saturday when it won both of its games against Arkansas, 12-1 in five innings and 4-3 to complete its latest three-game sweep. It was Alabama's fourth sweep in five SEC series, as it moved to 14-1 in conference play.
Roll Tide, Ladies!