Alabama gave up 13 first downs? They must be slipping.--A Sea of Blue
Sims is getting comfortable with handing the ball off, which means Saban will have to tackle Kiffin at some point Saturday to stop him from throwing down field on all downs.--Georgia Sports Blog
Won their past two games by a combined score of 93-12, and the overwhelming narrative has been to pick at their flaws. Perhaps our standards are a wee bit high?--And the Valley Shook
Stop Kiffin from throwing downfield? Somebody hasn't watched a single Bama game so far.
With SEC play beginning and Florida coming Saturday, there was a different feel.
What we saw
-- For the first time, freshman Tony Brown was practicing with the first team at cornerback. He was in the spot occupied by Eddie Jackson the last two weeks, but a quadriceps injury took him out of the Southern Miss game Saturday. Cyrus Jones was the other cornerback. Jackson came out with the second team at corner.
Unleash teh freshmans. We really need Eddie Jackson to get healthy in a hurry, but I'm kind of excited about seeing Tony Brown out there this weekend.
The Crimson Tide will be without starting free safety Nick Perry for the first half of Saturday's game against Florida because of Perry's second-half ejection for targeting against Southern Miss. Junior Geno Smith figures to be in line to replace Perry at safety, but there's another important spot to fill because of the chain reaction.
Smith has been playing at Star -- the extra defensive back in Alabama's nickel defense -- since Jarrick Williams went down with a broken bone in his foot. That means sophomore Maurice Smith could be in for significant snaps against the Gators, putting him on the field in a first-team capacity for the first time since the January Sugar Bowl.
Maurice Smith, who received significant snaps at cornerback as a freshman, has primarily worked as Alabama's backup Star since the spring.
This, Collins said, would be the best possible way for Alabama to snap its 15-quarter drought without an interception. Asked to clarify if he knew how long it'd been since the Alabama defense intercepted a pass, Collins nodded and said, "Oh, yeah. We're aware."
"We try to bait the quarterback into taking those deep shots so we can get those good breaks on the ball and try to finally get a pick or something like that," Collins said. "So I'll definitely stay close to the line and try to see what (the quarterback) is going to do."
Landon Collins and younger brother Gerald Willis will line up on opposite sides when Florida comes to Alabama at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Willis is a freshman defensive lineman for the Gators who saw some time on the kickoff coverage team in Florida's first game."I'm trying to get on kickoff return and see I can block him one time," he said with a big smile.
They've never made contact on the field as opponents before, so does that mean he'd slow up if No. 92 in white came his way?
"No, hit him harder," Collins said with a laugh. "No let up."
Amari Cooper is a game-changing talent at receiver. His ability to catch the football, make one guy miss and take it the distance is uncanny. His yards-after-catch numbers are gaudy.
As of Monday, he leads the country with 33 receptions and is third overall with 454 yards receiving. And that’s not counting the passes he hauls in behind the line of scrimmage, of which he has three "carries" for 29 yards. But those are just the cherries on top.
Cooper is arguably the best receiver in the country. But for Alabama's offense to be successful, he can’t continue to do it alone. It’s fine that Cooper is the focal point of the offense, but he can’t be the entire playbook on a weekly basis. Teams like Florida won’t allow it. Cornerbacks like Vernon Hargreaves III and safeties like Jabari Gorman will get in the way of an Amari Cooper-centric attack. Florida's Will Muschamp didn’t look great coaching against Kentucky last weekend, but the man knows defense and understands how to double- and triple-team a receiver.
"Florida won't allow it"?
Through two games, Demarcus Robinson has an Amari Cooper-like share of the Florida passing game. He's accounted for 21 of the 58 receptions (36 percent) and 339 of the 691 (49 percent) receiving yards. (Alabama's Cooper has 48 percent of the catches and 501 percent of the yardage). Robinson's 169.5 receiving yards per game ranks second nationally — a few spots ahead of Cooper's 151.3.
Whether you're a Texas fan or not, by now there's a good chance you know the story of how Texas' coin flip against UCLA went last Saturday: That the Bruins won the flip, deferred to the second half, and then Texas made the choice to kick off and play defense ... thereby gifting the Bruins the chance begin both halves on offense, a major mistake in a game that wound up decided by 3 points.
One of the two Texas captains at midfield for the decision, defensive tackle Desmond "Tank" Jackson, took to Twitter multiple times Tuesday to apologize for the error:
Not much to say about this boneheaded move, but you have to see this vine where the ref (with the stadium mic muted) tries in vain to explain as plainly as possible the ramifications of the decision before it's final.
In other news from around the country, former Heisman trophy winner and alleged rapist Jameis Winston is still doing dumb things.
Tuesday practice footage (inside linebackers, defensive backs, wide receivers)
Tuesday practice (defensive linemen)
Landon Collins interview
Trey DePriest interview