Happy Monday, everyone. Alabama is back at home this week, playing the highest-ranked opponent on the schedule. We'll get to that, but first let's speak alliteratively about some particularly pouty pumpkins:
Some players went back out onto the field to enjoy the Third Saturday in October rivalry’s traditional victory cigars on Tennessee’s field. Per a since-deleted Twitter video by WR Calvin Ridley, they stayed until they were shooed away by stadium security. (That’s fine. It’s been Bama’s secondary facility for a decade now.)
I'd never seen security prevent a visiting team from taking pictures on the field after the game until last night. Odd.— Aaron Suttles (@AaronSuttles) October 16, 2016
According to several replies to the above Tweet, security officials also shut down the Million Dollar Band in the middle of "Yea, Alabama!" after the game was over. Those were some ornery garbage truck workers. Sounds to me like some folks have been fully processed.
There were also runs of 85, 45, 37, 29, 22, 21and 18 yards. Hurts led the way with 132 yards, including three touchdowns, and was joined by Bo Scarbrough who had a career-high 109 yards, including an impressive 85-yarder down the left sideline.It was the eighth time in school history that at least two rushers went for more than 100 yards in a single game.
"I think they didn't have a lot of depth," Howard said outside Alabama's cigar smoke-filled locker room. "That's why we went fast. We saw they didn't have a lot of depth on defense. We kept going fast-paced tempo and they got tired." Alabama's 438 rushing yards was the program's most since a 1986 win over Tennessee. Three different players ran for at least 94 yards while all five Tide offensive touchdowns came on the ground.
Hurts became the first Tide quarterback to run for 100 yards in a game since 2001 when he ran for 146 yards during Alabama's win over Ole Miss Sept. 17. Now, he owns two of the top seven single-game rushing performances by a quarterback in Tide history. And, in just his seventh career game, Hurts became the first quarterback in Alabama history to run for 120-plus yards a second time during his career.
Maybe they are so angry because they looked across the field and see all those freshmen contributing to the beat-down, including the QB whose running ability made life miserable for them.
To Howard's comment, congratulations to the Oregons and Auburns of the world: you got what you wanted. When Saban asked if this is what we want college football to be and referenced player safety, perhaps he was warning all of you. Alabama already had great depth and players who were capable of running you over, now they are playing fast and running you over while you're worn out. Sounds pretty dangerous, if you ask me.
After surrendering 400 passing yards to Arkansas' Austin Allen, the Crimson Tide's secondary was frustrated. The Tide's crew of defensive backs knew they were better than they performed in that victory earlier this month. So, safety Eddie Jackson called a players-only meeting among the members of the position group, and they all agreed they would just have to buckle down and prepare harder.
If only this team had some leadership...
"I knew it was coming," Harrison said. Tennessee faced a third-and-7 from Alabama's 37-yard line, a situation Harrison had seen the Volunteers run screens out of in games against Florida and Texas A&M. The Vols ran a screen on a third-and-7 early against Texas A&M. Harrison was ready when he saw Tennessee lined up in the same formation. "We knew that when they're aligned like that, we knew what was going to happen," Harrison said, "so we just played it the right way."
Roll, analysts, roll.
As usual, Casagrande has several more links on the Tennessee game for you HERE.
On to the Aggies:
Alabama is a 16.5-point favorite over Texas A&M, per @TwitVI— Marq Burnett (@Marq_Burnett) October 16, 2016
Crimson Tide hosts the Aggies on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS.
That is a massive spread against an unbeaten top 10 foe.
ESPN announced the popular College GameDay road show will be back at Bryant-Denny Stadium for Saturday's visit from Texas A&M. It will be a record 16th time Alabama's hosted the Saturday morning tradition. The show has originated from Tide games 36 total times, also a show record.
Ho, hum. More records.
The Crimson Tide has the top-ranked rushing defense (63.9 yards a game) ready for Texas A&M's No. 7 rushing offense (274.3). Both teams score more than 40 points a game, though the Aggies have had a few more issues on defense. A&M has the No. 98 total defense allowing 437.5 yards a game. It surrendered 684 yards to the same Tennessee offense that managed just 163 on Saturday against Alabama.
The Aggies still aren't much on defense, but that offense can present some problems with all of the NFL-caliber skill talent. Alabama's ability to pressure Knight while keeping safeties back will be critical.
Tomlinson says practicing against Hurts all week helps prepare Alabama's defense for mobile quarterbacks. That work paid off Saturday as Tennessee's Joshua Dobbs threw for just 92 yards and was sacked three times and held to minus-31 yards on seven carries.
Good stuff. Jalen is making both sides of the ball better.
"I've narrowed it down to two, so most of the pressure is really gone now," Petty said.
He is scheduled to take an official visit to Kentucky on Oct. 28. He visited Alabama on Aug. 25.
It's always tough to compete with Kentucky on the recruiting trail, but folks, as an elite local product who is coveted by all of the top programs, this is the guy who could be a program changer in the mold of Julio Jones. Coach Johnson has done a fabulous job building his roster no matter what Petty decides, but with him in the fold there would be legitimate hype around the team as a potential Final Four contender. That Alabama is a finalist for the services of Petty and top 10 overall prospect Collin Sexton speaks volumes about the job Avery is doing.
And they wondered if he could recruit. #BuckleUp
That's about it for today. Have a great week,