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Jumbo Package: Friday, 16 December 2016

Crimson Tide news and notes

NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Alabama vs Florida Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. Good news: there is college football for you tomorrow! It’s not a terribly exciting slate, evidenced by Houston vs. San Diego State standing as the clear headliner, but you can check it out the schedule here:

By the way, how do you like the new look? The transition to the new format was basically completed as of today. Have to admit, the “read more” previews are more aesthetically pleasing than the standard links we used to get.

Yet another analyst has weighed in on the Peach Bowl:

No word yet on whether Russian hackers influenced Yang Yang’s pick.

He indicated that he was officially cleared to early enroll at Alabama and that his recruitment process is over with financial aid papers signed. Tagovailoa, now Hawaii's all-time leader in passing and a state champion, will play in the U.S. Army All-America Bowl on Jan. 7 in San Antonio and then arrive in Tuscaloosa for the spring semester.

"Signed, sealed, delivered," Tagovailoa said in a tweet. "This will wrap up my recruiting process. Thank you to all. To God be all the Glory and #RollTide."

It’s a sad state of affairs when a player like Tua has to reiterate a decision he made a long time ago just to get fans on social media off of his back.

Five-star linebacker Dylan Moses, athlete Chadarius Townsend and cornerback Kyriq McDonald have also reportedly signed the grant-in-aid paperwork that's often a precursor to early enrollment. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, running back Najee Harris, receiver Jerry Jeudy and offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood are also among those expected to start classes in January.

Look at that list of early enrollees, folks. Saban just continues to reload with top-shelf talent across the board and as many as 14 of them may be on campus in January. We will very likely see significant freshman contribution again in 2017.

How to beat Alabama: Be perfect. No, seriously, you have to be perfect. As in, don’t turn the football over and don’t give up big plays. You have to let Alabama beat itself, not the other way around. If you pressure quarterback Jalen Hurts -- and you can do that with this offensive line -- he has shown that he’s susceptible to mistakes in the passing game (see: Ole Miss and LSU). And if Alabama runs, go for the strip, because Hurts, Damien Harris, Bo Scarbrough and Joshua Jacobs all rank in the bottom 20 of the SEC in fumbles per rush. From there, hold your breath against this defense. Your best bet is to run, take a handful of shots deep and hope to keep it a low-scoring game.

“With this offensive line?” That’s a rather absurd take, but the turnovers have been a concern. To be frank, Jalen’s propensity to carry the ball loosely in traffic is more concerning than the interceptions. As stated, the Tide has put the ball on the ground far too often this season, something that must be avoided in the playoff.

Simmons: Now it's like Alabama, it's almost unfair. It's becoming unfair to college football what's going on in Alabama. It's a legitimate dynasty.

Gucci: It wasn't unfair when Auburn beat us, it wasn't unfair when Ohio State beat us.

Simmons: It's starting to feel unfair.

Gucci: Life is unfair.

Yes it is, Gucci. Yes it is.

Guess FootballScoop didn’t really have the football scoop in this case.

Something tells us that the staff will be doing more than just charting the trick plays with this tape, but that’s at least an indication that the Crimson Tide does not plan to be fooled by anything Petersen has done in previous games. If he wants to trick Saban’s crew, he may have to go to the drawing board for something brand new.

Roll, analysts, roll.

On first view of his statistics, it appears Williams struggled in what was to be his breakout season. He’s 11th on Alabama’s defense in total tackles, and hasn’t reached that benchmark of double-digit sacks. But that view does a disservice to Williams, who has been a terror for opposing defenses on the edge.

Williams is second on the team with tackles-for-loss, with 15.5–ahead of Jonathan Allen. His 8.5 sacks are tied for best on the team. He’s forced two fumbles, including one that resulted in a crucial 80-yard scoop-and-score from Allen.

It’s tough for a pass rusher to put up big stats when he’s racing three or four of his teammates to the QB every play.

Hall led the Tide with a career-high 15 points while pulling in eight rebounds to help Alabama snap a two-game losing streak with a 78-61 win over the University of South Carolina Upstate on Thursday night in Coleman Coliseum.

Hall’s performance comes after he recorded a team-high 14 points and-and seven rebounds during Sunday’s 65-56 loss to Oregon, his first start of the season.

Hall seems to be coming into his own, which is great news for a Tide program that has been devoid of interior scoring for far too long. If he can continue to improve and become a nightly double-double threat, this team can compete in conference play and next year’s group will look even more amazing.

That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.