Good Monday Morning, everyone. Saturday's game wasn't pretty, but the end result worked out fine, setting up a huge tilt in College Station this week against the unbeaten Texas A&M Aggies. A few links for your perusal...
When it comes to turnovers, both the Tide’s offense and its special teams (see Ole Miss game) haven’t done its defense any favors. Alabama’s opponents have scored 40 percent of their points off turnovers. That’s 38 of 94 total points coming directly after a mistake made by the Tide’s offense or special teams. Many of those situations have given the opposing team’s great field position, which makes it tough for any defense to hold. If the Tide’s offense takes care of the ball, the defense will do its part.
This is absolutely the key for this team. If the offense can move the ball just a little and avoid putting this defense in bad positions with turnovers, the defense can win a national title. Easier said than done, it appears.
Alabama's dropped two spots in the latest Associated Press Poll, which was released Sunday afternoon. The Crimson Tide is ranked No. 10 following its 27-14 Homecoming victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday. UA was previously ranked No. 8 in the AP Poll following its impressive 38-10 win over the Georgia Bulldogs. Alabama's next opponent, the undefeated Texas A&M Aggies, is ranked No. 9 in the latest poll. The Aggies were previously ranked No. 9 in the AP Poll. The Crimson Tide-Aggie matchup will kick off at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Oct. 17.
Some folks were complaining about the drop in the polls, but it really doesn't matter. If the Tide wins out through Atlanta, they make the playoffs.
"I think we are the best defense in the country, honestly," Jones said. "As long as we come out there and execute like we're supposed to, I don't think anybody can beat us." The numbers say something close to that. After six games, Alabama's defense ranks No. 6 overall, No. 4 against the rush and No. 34 defending passes.
Hard to argue with Cyrus Jones here. This defense is the best I have seen in college football this season.
According to Ragland and junior running back Derrick Henry, several of Alabama’s leaders stood up in front of the team at halftime, when the Crimson Tide faced a 7-3 deficit and had gotten off to a sluggish start to the conference matchup. Players like Ragland, Henry, Robinson and defensive tackle Jarran Reed made their voices heard. "Guys stood up and they said what they had to do," Ragland said. "Derrick was one, J-Reed, A'Shawn, everybody. All the leaders stood up and said ‘It’s time, man. When you start off flat, you gonna play flat so we can’t start out flat.’ "A good team like that will be on you until you get on them and you gotta play them tougher. And that’s what we did in the first half, we started off flat. But in the second half, everybody came out hitting on all cylinders."
Nice to hear that some of the upperclassmen are taking leadership roles. Something certainly changed at halftime.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Fromm is rated as the No. 158 overall player and No. 9 pro-style quarterback in the 247Sports composite rankings. Through six games for Houston County High School, Fromm had thrown for 1,521 yards with 15 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
This is interesting, as Fromm differs greatly in style from the dual-threat types that Saban and Kiffin have been focusing their recruiting efforts on.
Now Alabama faces three consecutive teams that have open dates before playing Alabama. The first of those is Texas A&M in College Station at 2:30 p.m. CDT Saturday, a game that will be televised by CBS. Ever since Bama’s first Southeastern Conference game of the year, a six-point loss to Ole Miss, college football has been waiting for the Crimson Tide to be out of the picture. The first opportunity, at Georgia, was handled cleanly by the Tide. Now there will be many expecting the Aggies to deliver that Alabama elimination game.
Such is life for the Tide. Three straight games against rested teams with the whole country rooting against them. Good luck, men.
Coming off a 27-14 win against Arkansas, No. 10 Alabama opened as a small favorite against No. 9 Texas A&M. Alabama (5-1) opened as a three-point favorite against the Aggies, according to VegasInsider.com. The line was as high as 3.5 points on Covers.com for the SEC West clash at Kyle Field.
A least Vegas still loves us.
"It’s two different teams," Sumlin said. "A lot of people played in last year’s game who aren’t even on the field [this season]. This year’s very different." But the comparative stats are similar to those that have surfaced heading into this matchup for four consecutive years. A&M produces more yards (480.4 per game) and points (39.2 avg.) each week than Alabama. The Tide is stingier on defense, allowing 110.3 fewer yards each week than the Aggies. A fresh stat twist to watch: In scoring defense, A&M (21.7 avg.) is closer to Alabama (15.7 avg.) than it has been heading into prior matchups.
The Aggies have definitely improved on defense, but there is still hay to be made there. Watching the Tide secondary that seems to have grown up over the course of the season match up against Kyle Allen and the high-flying Aggies offense is going to be fun.
"When I got here, I knew that he was just a special guy — just how fast he is, how great of routes he runs, how he catches the ball," Mullaney, a graduate transfer, said. "And I feel like he's just calmed down into the system and has really gotten to know the plays, feels comfortable out there, and he's just making plays and doing big things for us."
We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to watch Calvin Ridley for the next 2.5 seasons. He is special.
That's about it for today, folks. Hopefully the Tide can get some of the kinks worked out on offense. Otherwise the defense might just have to shut out that Air Raid again. Have a great week.