“I’m always concerned about our team. It’s always a concern to me,” Saban said. “I don’t know if anybody noticed, but I wasn’t the happiest camper in the second half or after the game, because we weren’t in control of the game and we didn’t control the game. It’s always an issue, regardless of who you’re playing. Obviously, people that have really good teams have more capabilities to create plays to change momentum, when players have to come through.
“The best time to score is when the other team scores. If they score, you’ve got to answer the bell. You have to control the ball and control the game. That’s what we’re talking about here. Sometimes, you win, but did you really control the game? I don’t think we controlled the game in the second half. That’s not something we can do in the future and continue to win. We’re just not going to do it. Not when you play good teams. Arkansas was a good team.”
I think we can all appreciate how good Austin Allen is and how well he generally played without a functional offensive line or running game. That said, 400+ yards is unacceptable. The Tide let its foot off the brakes mentally and in execution and it showed. Against a team like the Volunteers, who play all sixty minutes, that is an unacceptable effort and that is this week's theme from the head man.
We can’t relax in games, we can’t have lapses in the game,” Saban said Monday. “We always talk about ‘No scoreboard, keep playing.’ When you relax, you let the momentum of the game change and that’s hard to get back. ... I think for everybody on the team to understand that, whether you play on special teams, offense or defense, is really important. “Forget about winning the game. You’re either in control of the game or you’re not. And if you don’t stay in control of the game and you give the other team a lot of opportunities to gain the momentum in the game that they need to get back in the game and maybe come back and have a chance to beat you.”
Again, "finish" is the motto. The Tide have yet to play a complete game, with the possible exception of Kent State. Alabama will need all 85 guys and all sixty minutes on Saturday: Tennessee absolutely will be there all afternoon. I think we all saw in the first quarter on Saturday what this team looks like when everyone is dialed in, executing, and playing up to their standard -- there is not even remotely a team in the country that is close. It's time to make that statement.
Fitzpatrick was named Defensive Player of the Week after he tied an Alabama record with three interceptions in one game. He also returned one of them for 100 yards and a touchdown, which was the longest return in program history. It was also Fitzpatrick’s third pick-six of his career, which ties Alabama’s all-time career record. Fitzpatrick was also named a Walter Camp National National Defensive Player of the Week for his performance.
Hurts, the SEC Freshman of the Week, led Alabama to 6-0, while accounting for 273 total yards of offense and four touchdowns. Two of those touchdowns were rushing touchdowns. Hurts now has five rushing touchdowns on the season.
Scott was named as the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week after he punted four times for 206 yards. He manage to place two of them inside the Arkansas 20-yard line. Scott also recorded a season-long punt of 63 yards in the game.
Whatever ass-chewing Minkah got in the locker room translated, didn't it? He was all over the place in the first half. Then, after the break, he tallied three picks in thirty minutes, tying Alabama records for interceptions in a game and longest INT return. Now, if only we could get Ronnie and Marlon on track like that.
Running back Joshua Jacobs injured a “nerve in his elbow” but was cleared to play during the second half. It sounds like he will be back at practice this week to prepare for Tennessee. As for linebacker Reuben Foster and right guard Alphonse Taylor, they sustained concussions in the game and neither player returned to the field. Their statuses remain uncertain for Saturday.
“From an injury standpoint, we have a couple guys that will be out today, probably,” Saban said Monday during a noon press conference. “Hopefully they’ll be back tomorrow. We’re a little banged up after this game, not serious things but things that may require another day of rest for several guys, including Reuben Foster and Alphonse Taylor.”
Lester Cotton moved in to Shank's spot in the second half and you could literally not tell the difference in offensive continuity -- and he was unpenalized to boot. Even if Taylor is out, the OL should be okay. The bigger deal is obviously No. 10, America's best linebacker (he's literally not missed a tackle all season, per Pro Football Focus.) His versatility, smarts, and overall nastiness set the tenor for the back seven and he captains the defense to boot. There's no one that's ready to fill those shoes.
The proposals – one for the Football Bowl Subdivision and one for the Football Championship Subdivision – would require schools to choose not more than 10 days for conducting or participating in football camps and clinics. This is a modification in the number of days and the manner that football coaches can participate in camps and clinics. Currently, coaches can participate in camps and clinics during two periods of 15 consecutive days. In the new proposal, the 10 days would not have to be consecutive, providing greater flexibility to attend more events and visit with more students at various locations.
This move doesn't just limit the days the circuses come to town, it also requires satellite camps to be hosted at NCAA member schools and signals the beginning of the NCAA's enforcement of recruiting violations. If we're going to have these ridiculous things, at the least the NCAA has finally realized they're about recruiting, not instruction.
"I'm going to take my five visits, but I just don't know where," Harris told USA Today. "Let's say this: My mind isn't set on Alabama. I'm not 100 percent set on Alabama. I'm trying to see what else is out there for me. I'm using my visits to see. As much attention as I've gotten, I feel like I have helped my teammates get some offers, too." Michigan has strongly pursued Harris and is a good bet to get one of Harris' five official visits. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is expected to visit Harris this week, according to Scout.com
The emergence of Joshua Jacobs, BJ Emmons in the background, and Damien Harris' youth have to make you a little nervous about losing one of the gems of the 2017 class, No. 1 recruit Najee Harris. I still think Alabama gets Harris, but Harbaugh can definitely sell him on 200+ carries a season and a guaranteed starting spot next year at an elite program.
If it passes a vote in April, this will significantly change the world of college football recruiting, as players would be able to sign binding National Letters of Intent during 72-hour periods in late June and ,id-December, in addition to the traditional National Signing Day on the first Wednesday in February. “The working group did a deep dive on recruiting from beginning to end, and I think what we came up with as a proposal is both student-athlete-friendly and coach- and staff-friendly,” said Bob Bowlsby, chair of the Football Oversight Committee and commissioner of the Big 12 Conference. “We hit a sweet spot.”
Bowlsby nailed it. This is a sweet spot. It helps elite recruiters, it arguably helps the B1G, it helps student-athletes, but it really hurts the schools that rely on flipping players -- Ole Miss, Ohio State come to mind. And, hey, screw those guys. Go read Bud's writeup.
“What I said the other day about this game being very difficult to reschedule is still true,” Alleva said Monday ahead of interim coach Ed Orgeron’s weekly press luncheon. “I think it’s very difficult. One thing that we’re going to hold very firm on is that we have a home game Nov. 19 and we’re going to have a home game on Nov. 19. We are going to have a home game on Nov. 19. We’re not going to change that situation.”
The simple fact is that Foley outflanked Alleva in the PR battle, and, as loudly as LSU has bitched about playing Florida every year, the AD's comments come off for what they are: churlish, cowardly, and utterly unwilling to play Florida if the Tigers don't have to. Florida screwed the pooch on this one, but the Tigers are paying the bill. That said, the league has to step in here. The SEC races and bowl positioning and money at stake are all simply too high to let Foley/Alleva duke it out in the press with petulant press releases.