Get your minds right
Running backs Ronnie Clark and Derrick Gore were wearing No. 3 jerseys, representing Razorbacks tailback Alex Collins. At one point, defensive coordinator Kirby Smart shouted to the inside linebackers that they are tasked with tackling a "big hog" this week while they were hitting the blocking sleds.
There are big ole' boys to hit, and the excellent Tide defensive line faces the largest offensive line in all of football -- at any level. I'm sure those guys relish the physical challenge.
"It really doesn't affect us," Allen said. "We don't have time for things like that. Coach Bo (Davis) does a good job of keeping us humble. We really don't worry about what people say about us. We let our play do the talking."
Sounds like Allen has his mind right, and is ready for the challenge. And, let's say a word about Bo Davis; the work he's done with the line this year is phenomenal. He has taken raw, gifted products and refined them into a ruthless, grinding machine of destruction and intimidation. That's the way football is played, folks.
On a very selfish level for the team, Coach Davis is ensuring that guys like Reed and Robinson get fat paid next April, as well (although, you expect at least 7-8 players on the defensive line will hear their names called by Roger Goodell at some point between now and April 2018.)
But, some people hate football (looking at you, Big Twelve.)
“The lack of tackling is a plague throughout the country," says former Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti. “Instead of giving out flu shots, they should give out tackling shots to college football players. It's an epidemic."
Poor tackling is easy to see and difficult to quantify, as there are no official statistics to back up what coaches are seeing. But with teams averaging 30.4 points through the 601 FBS games played so far—nearly a point more than the scoring record of 29.5 set in 2012—coaches point to missed tackles as a glaring issue from coast to coast. Coaches have a variety of theories to explain the tackling issue, including fear of concussions, changes in practice rules and the evolution of offense, which has been forcing players to tackle one-on-one in space more often.
“NFL scouts tell me most college teams just aren't physical in practice," says Temple coach Matt Rhule. “They are into the whole new age mindset of being fresh, rejuvenating, running plays and getting off the field. It's an offensive mindset, and it leads to bad defense."
This is a great piece from Thamel; Josh and I were talking about this yesterday. The lack of coaching fundamentals has become an increasing refrain from the NFL guys for the past several years. But, now you're seeing those associated with the college game bemoan the lack of simple things, like wrapping up, putting a hat on a hat, and, you know, generally playing defense.
Could this signal the eventual (and inevitable) pushback against video game football we're seeing now? Who knows. For our part though, it's not just a lack of coaching. The HUNHS offenses that exploit overly-generous downfield linemen, coach illegality, exploit part-time (and an insufficient number of) officials, as well as the inconsistent application of the rules have certainly led to much of the increased scoring.
As long as rules are stacked so grossly against an entire half of the players on the field, and as long as the bush league, high school, cheating-on-every-passing-down garbage that people call "football" is permitted to endure, we'll keep seeing this. And, so long as those rules are in place, teams that play the game within the letter of the rules will continue to be at a disadvantage.
Say farewell the the Washout; on to Arkansas
It happened again. Seven years after the infamous “Blackout” game in Athens that announced Alabama’s return as a national power, Georgia had an opportunity to make amends. There were no special jerseys, no crazy buildup (at least internally). Mark Richt took a low-key approach to the week, at least as much as possible. It was basically the opposite everything that happened seven years ago.
You misspelled "Alabama just lined up and whipped their ass."
Henry was named the SEC offensive player of week for the second time this season, and Calvin Ridley was named the SEC freshman player of the week.
Fantastic effort from both of these guys, although Minkah Fitzpatrick had just as good a claim to the FPOW, if you ask me.
Speaking of fantastic efforts...
Senior quarterback Jake Coker did everything he had to do in the University of Alabama's 38-10 romp over the University of Georgia. While UGA quarterbacks Greyson Lambert and Brice Ramsey combined to go 11-for-30 with two interceptions and just 106 yards, Coker did everything asked of him, finishing the game 11-for-16 for 190 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions, his first pickless game since the season opener against Wisconsin. “If they call it, I'll do it,” Coker said. “Whatever they call, I'm going to run it. Hopefully it'll turn out the way we want to.”
Completely unsurprisingly, a conservative gameplan, where Coker still thrived and go to put up decent numbers, led to his best game since the season opener. It's not sexy; it's not going to generate basketball scores, but it demoralizes opponents and wins games.
The early play of redshirt freshman cornerback Marlon Humphrey Though Humphrey bounced back with a late interception, he was targeted successfully early by Georgia. Wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell beat Humphrey deep on the Bulldogs' first play.
Most of our fans are rightly crowing about the big win, but, folks, there were some serious warts still: penalties, turnovers, vertical pass coverage among them. More work to do, but Alabama is on the right track (we hope.)
Don't make him angry...
"I said before, I believe in our team. I do believe in our team and we're going to work hard to make our team better. And I hope our players respond the right way. "And it's not going to be for you. The fans, yes. Because if it was up to you, we're six-foot under already. We're dead and buried and gone, gone." He paused briefly as the microphone was passed to another reporter. And he continued. "So if that was the case, we'd have to get some respirators out or something down there to put life back in people," Saban said.
All those ’Bama obits from a couple weeks ago will go back on the shelf until the next time the Tide lose a game – which could well be later this month. The Tide reaffirmed Saturday against Georgia that their physical defense will shut down any team that depends too heavily on its rushing attack, like say, this week’s foe Arkansas.
Fox is already cueing up the "well, but Arkansas isn't Texas A&M" storylines. Seems some folks never learn from premature burials.
For my part, I'm sick of the "dynasty is over!" hue and cries every time Alabama loses a game. Honestly, do pundits expect that Alabama will win the national title every season? That the Tide will go undefeated every year? If that's our barometer, even Red Auerbach's Celtics were a disappointment. What is a "dynasty" then?
In case they don't remember: Alabama won an SEC championship last season. Alabama is a top-10 team again this season -- against this schedule, with these question marks. But, #hot #take away, media bros.