This week, our beloved Crimson Tide take on that unnamed evil from the Appalachian Mountains. Use today to let every bit of your pent-up gump out. No holds barred.
Under Jeremy Pruitt, Alabama has become blitz-happy
For opposing quarterbacks, it's downright scary, especially when considering that Alabama has a player — Tim Williams — whose sole job description essentially is to invade the pocket. This season, Williams has rushed on 110 of the 156 snaps he's played and recorded 3.5 sacks, six quarterback hits and 18 hurries.
He's the perfect player for Pruitt's aggressive scheme. And still, he's not the only one wreaking havoc. Twelve Alabama defenders have recorded hurries, and the Tide is producing four sacks per game — tied for the second-highest average in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
This pass rush is bordering legendary. I wasn’t around for the 1992 squad, so this year is the best pass rush I have ever seen at Alabama. We took the players such as Tim Williams, Jonathan Allen, and Ryan Anderson that built the already-fearsome 2015 pass rush and then added an aggressive Jeremy Pruitt who sends blitz after blitz in an endless stream of giant crimson missiles at the opposing QB.
Why Alabama offense suddenly leads the nation in big plays
It also helped Alabama top the nation in extra-explosive plays. Through six games, it's No. 1 in the country in plays covering 40-plus yards (17) and 50-plus (9). Combine that with a nation's best nine non-offensive touchdowns and Alabama's establishing a momentum-snatching identity.
This Alabama offense is well ahead of last year's in the explosive play category. It has 37 that went more than 20 yards, while the 2015 group had 25 through six games.
Make no mistake, this is not your grandpa’s offense. The passing game is more explosive than ever, and the running game is even more so. Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs are ripping off 50 yard runs as often and methodically as Greg McElroy throwing a check down to Mark Ingram in 2009.
Add in the fact that Alabama has a quarterback that is just as likely to bust off a 50 yard run of his own as the running backs are, all while still averaging over 8 yards per attempt.
Alabama has a deadly, explosive offense. Man that feels good coming off the tongue.
Las Vegas sports book updates football national title odds
Sports book Vegas Insider has updated its odds to win the national championship, and to nobody's surprise the Alabama Crimson Tide are the odds-on favorite to win it all.
Alabama has odds of 11/4 to win the title. Check out the teams with the best odds to win the national championship.
247 and Vegas are in on Gump day too. Alabama is widely known and accepted to be the best. Things are as they should be.
Alabama star Minkah Fitzpatrick takes cerebral approach to defense
“There’s a whole bunch of stuff,” he said when asked what he looks for before each play.
But Alabama’s sophomore defensive back is willing to provide a few examples.
One such list item, he explained, is formations, as some offenses will run the same plays from certain formations.
Another is where the receivers line up. It’s a matter of leverage, he pointed out.
“Say a receiver is close to the hash. He’s probably trying to run across the field trying to get away from you,” he said. “If he’s further from the hash, he’s probably trying to get inside of you.”
As he put it: “You just want to look at small things like that.”
Attention to detail is what separates Fitzpatrick from his SEC brethren.
Minkah Fitzpatrick is a true sophomore, guys. He’s exceptionally athletic, has a prototypical frame, and is already proving to be detail-oriented and extremely cerebral.
His three picks, one returned 100 yards for a touchdown, made him an easy choice for the national defensive player of the week.
We are in truly blessed times.
Alabama Football: What I learned watching Alabama play Arkansas
I’m not going to go full Ron Powlus and predict two Heisman trophies, but I’m going to come dangerously close. Hurts has developed remarkably well for a true freshman and we have witnessed first-hand how Kiffin can mold a first-year starting quarterback over a full season – see Blake Sims and Jacob Coker as Exhibits 1 and 2.
If Hurts’ trajectory approximates that trend, and he continues it forward into subsequent seasons, look for him to win multiple national titles during his tenure with Alabama football.
I already trust Jalen Hurts with the ball significantly more than I ever did with Blake Sims or Jake Coker. We saw what Lane Kiffin could do with those two signal callers in the second half of the season, and I expect we’ll see some great things from Hurts very soon.
And this time, we get him for at least two more years afterwards.