GO! READ THIS NOW!
What’s changed is the window dressing to disguise how Alabama goes about its business, and believe me, business is still a-boomin’. Since 2009, the Tide had over 5 yards per carry every year besides last season. They have been No. 11 or better in rushing yards per carry in every season except 2010 and 2015. Bama runs just as much this year, at 44.3 attempts per game. Adjust it for opponent, and Alabama’s rushing S&P+ ranking is fifth, the highest its been since 2012. I imagine Lane’ll have some tricks up his sleeve Saturday against LSU, but using tape from a few Bama games this season, here are some of the ways the Tide have beaten behinds.
This is fantastic analysis and film review of Alabama's revamped offense. You can see, as with the rest of Kiffin's offense, Alabama's spread option is very eclectic, schemed exceptionally well and executed well -- it's not a complicated offense, but when it's schemed like this, with the talent on-hand in Tuscaloosa, it's nigh impossible to stop.
"I think that with every player that you put out there and you give an opportunity to play, you want to know that you can trust a guy to do what he’s supposed to do," Saban said earlier this week. "That would be no different with Tony and any other player that we put out there on the field. You know what your assignment is, you know what your key is, you know what your read is, you’re going to go do those things and we can trust you to do your job. "That’s what we want from any player on our team. That’s certainly what we’d like to get out of Tony Brown if he gets the opportunity to play in the game."
For the love of God, Tony. Please keep it together for just seven more games.
"I think he gets them in and out of good and bad running plays and I think their play action game and vertical passing game is something that they've always had, but I think it's more effective now relative to their skill guys and their quarterback. And they've made a lot more explosive plays." The big plays have ticked up in recent games. Before the coaching change, LSU had five passes that covered 20-plus yards in four games. In the three wins since, that number is up to nine. And the chunk yardage has been an occasional issue for the Tide defense. The 28 passes allowed of 20-plus yards ranks 79th nationally.
Saban is seeing what we're seeing: LSU's already-vertical passing game has definitely improved over the past few weeks (Cameron was a disciple of the Air Coryell offense, and those influences still remain.) Later today, the folks at ATVS suggest that, despite the numbers, Etling's game isn't really suited for the moonshots. I think they're sandbagging: Etling has scrambled a lot more when he has to make secondary throws with pressure from the front four.
Ridley stood off to the side while other wide receivers went through drills. He had what looked like a sleeve on his right knee. Here are some other notes from the media viewing period on Wednesday: — Injured offensive lineman Alphonse Taylor wasn't present during the media viewing period. Neither were running backs Bo Scarbrough and B.J. Emmons.
Update: Shank is day-to-day (no change there,) Ridley is nursing a knee injury it seems, Bo has some sort of cooties and is also-day-to-day. That is sort of an issue because now B.J. Emmons is out for the rest of the season. I thought bye weeks got you healthier, not injured and sick?!
Alabama freshman running back and kick returner B.J. Emmons has a sprained foot and is out indefinitely, Tide coach Nick Saban said Wednesday. Emmons has been Alabama's primary kick returner in recent games. For the year, he has a 26-yard kick return and has rushed for 173 yards and a touchdown as a reserve running back.
It's time for Diggs and Marks to step up, maybe even find a return role for Robert Foster (if he's healthy), Gehrig Dieter or Tony Brown. Maybe let ArDarius Stewart redeem himself? Suddenly depth at running back and KR/PR is an issue, on top of a thin DL and untested backups in the secondary.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Alabama’s quarterbacks have been in the shotgun or pistol on 87.4 percent of their snaps this season (513 of 587 plays). In the previous two seasons with Kiffin calling plays, Alabama’s QBs were in the shotgun or pistol 56.3 percent of the time in 2014 and 75.6 percent in 2015. In Saban’s first seven seasons at Alabama, the Tide lined up in the shotgun or pistol on 22.2 percent of their offensive snaps.
Honestly, I'm surprised that shotgun snaps have only accounted for 56% of Alabama's offense this season -- it seems a lot more. And, on a personal note, the Pistol and the old Bills/Oilers iteration of the Run-and-Shoot are my favorite offenses ever...but especially the pistol as ran by its inventor, Nevada legend Chris Ault.
Saban to _____!
There's a reason we've not covered the Saban to Giants/Cowboys/Longhorns/Insert Your Team Here nonsense, and that is because it is precisely nonsense. Saban explained why he's not in the pros, and this mentality is hard-freaking-wired; you can't change a high need for control over your destiny.
Can we please, please retire this now?
"When that happened, I said I can't control my destiny here. I can't control my destiny here. There's too many things that, no matter how hard I work or what I do, I can control my destiny better in college by working hard and making good choices and decisions and creating a good program for players. I think that happening made me lean back to coming back to college. It was still tough to leave (owner) Wayne Huizenga who was good to us and our family. It was a tough decision, but it certainly worked out great and we've been very happy here for 10 years."
"Obviously this is a tremendous challenge for us to play what is arguably an undefeated team, to me, because they've been undefeated since their new coach, Ed Orgeron, took over," Tide coach Nick Saban said.
Yeah, LSU is arguably undefeated - but that's because they haven't played a quality team since dropping two of the first three, not because of Orgeron.
"I do think guys that play quarterback, most of the time, have a bigger-picture understanding of the game, because of what they have to do as a quarterback," Saban said. "Whether it’s what the offense is trying to do or what the defense is trying to do. "In most cases, in my experience, the guys that play quarterback that have the physical characteristics have the critical factors to play another position and are fairly instinctive guys that have a pretty good understanding of the overall game."
Good article on Ronnie Harrison, and what Saban looks for when he's recruiting versatile athletes, particularly to play in the secondary.
That's it for today. Go forth to evil.