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Jumbo Package: First Gump Day of the season

And boy is it a glorious one

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Why Pro Football Focus rated Blake Barnett higher than Jalen Hurts after USC win |

As Pro Football Focus explained to, Hurts' negative run production grade — he gained an average of 3.6 yards on nine carries — affected his overall mark as did his two turnovers. He also wasn't as efficient a passer as Barnett, who connected on five of his six attempts. Hurts, who completed 55 percent of his throws and threw an interception, was decidedly less accurate and Pro Football Focus made note of that.

Pro Football Focus is notorious for having metrics that mean nothing to anyone. In some cases, they are a good reference point when comparing players under certain criteria, but taking their ratings as bible is folly.

For the record, since everyone else is arguing about this right now, here is my opinion: I do not want a two-QB system, nor do I think Saban and Kiffin will keep it for much longer. In any sport, it takes time to get your body to start operating in a rhythm, rather than in a nervous daze. With most positions on a football field, that has to be weighted with a player's stamina to maximize his effectiveness before his body tires. In the case of a QB, however, it is rare that he will ever tire enough to reach that point.

As to my opinion on Blake Barnett and Hurts, well, I haven't decided yet. I'll give Hurts my support for right now, but only because he was the one to help pull the Tide out of the offensive funk. I will be happy with either one though.

Alabama practice report: Inside LB rotation stays the same |

It doesn't look like there will be any changes on the offensive line. Left tackle Cam Robinson, left guard Lester Cotton, center Bradley Bozeman, right guard Ross Pierschbacher and right tackle Jonah Williams were the first-team unit as they worked off cards.

This line has potential to be good, but was rather inconsistent on Saturday. With Alphonse Taylor coming back from suspension, there is a possibility that he could re-insert himself into the starting lineup. Pierschbacher would likely move back to center with Bozeman becoming the primary backup with pretty much every position along the offensive line. If I had to guess though, it will be a couple of weeks before Taylor has shown enough in practice to even get truly considered for a role.

Nick Saban's no trash-talking rule speaks volumes |

“Ronnie let it emotionally get to him that these other guys were talking,” Saban said. “So he said something, and Eddie said, ‘Hey man, this is not what we do. We don’t talk to the other team.’ ”

In the moment, that didn’t go over well with Harrison. He was heated, and he kept going. Jackson didn’t back down, though, and another defensive back, Deionte Thompson, stepped in between them.

Linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton said it was nothing but coaching from Jackson, who has a strong leadership role among the defense.

The 2016 Alabama squad has no leadership.


Not only did Eddie Jackson try to keep Harrison from doing anything dumb, but Reuben Foster even came over to help settle him down. This team is full of senior leadership, especially on the defense.

I also love our coach. This team is so good that they don't even need to trash talk. Instead, they simply score and walk away like nothing happened. That HAS to be more demoralizing to an opponent than all the trash-talking in the world.

Alabama notebook: Saban stresses more consistency

Alabama players have been reluctant to talk to the media in the past. However, Monday, Tide players were lining up to get inside of Alabama’s media room.

That had more to do with fried chicken chain Zaxby’s catering than the players’ desire to talk to the media. While receiver Gehrig Dieter, linebacker Shaun Hamilton, running back Damien Harris and cornerback Marlon Humphrey were the scheduled players for interviews, that didn’t stop linebacker Reuben Foster and defensive end Jonathan Allen from sneaking up for some free chicken.

Nothing like some good Zaxby's chicken. College students will do most anything to get their hands on some free food, and you can bet that is only magnified by these monstrous human beings.

Western Kentucky cheat sheet: Breaking down Alabama's upcoming opponent |

That wasn't a knock on South Alabama or Southern Miss. It was Saban showing his respect for the Tide's upcoming opponent, which is a much better team than most casual fans probably realize.

The Hilltoppers finished last year 12-2 and ranked No. 24 in the AP poll. Their first game this season: A 46-14 win over Rice.

"This is a good team," Saban said.

He's not wrong. Boasting one of the nations best passing offenses last year, the Hilltoppers will look to challenge Marlon Humphrey, Anthony Averrett, and Minkah Fitzpatrick all day. The front seven will really need to make their presence felt with the pass rush this weekend, or it could be a long day for Tide fans.