Happy Monday everyone. As usual, we have the wrap-ups from the weekend’s action and, for whatever reason, a copious amount of video content, but will open with a downright Shanktimonious take on the next game:
Tuscaloosa’s weekend forecast: 100% chance of haze.
NEXT WEEK— RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) October 15, 2017
Alabama -34 hosting Tennessee
(Biggest Underdog EVER for Volunteers)
It’s gonna be a good weekend, y’all. Of course, we’d be remiss not to embed the iconic Tennessee Hate Week video:
Share away, folks, and tell us in the comments why you hate those worthless, moonshine drinking, checkerboard overall wearing, trash can wielding, second rate citizen hill critters who don’t even have the decency to be mediocre enough to keep from dragging down our strength of schedule.
The Arkansas game went about as planned, and the school put out a great highlight reel for its latest “Outwork” installment:
Great stuff. One great thing to come out of Saturday’s game was that the college football media seem to finally be taking notice of the unreal season Damien Harris is having:
He leads the SEC and is fifth in the nation with an average of 9.19 yards per carry. That average rises to 11.12 yards per carry in conference play.
The guy is a walking first down.
Harris scores a touchdown on every 7.6 touches. On the year, Harris has rushed for 625 yards and 9 touchdowns on 68 carries.
In Alabama’s last two games, Harris has rushed for 249 yards and 3 touchdowns on 23 carries. Think of what he could do if Alabama wanted to make him a 20- to 25-carries-a-game back.
Yes, you read that correctly. The man has averaged eleven yards a carry through his first four conference games, putting up 467 yards and six TDs on only 42 carries. He is making a mockery of SEC defenses. Let his Heisman campaign begin.
Damien had quite the flock of reporters after the game, including one surprise guest:
This team is winning big and having a blast, folks. The rest of the country may hate it, but they are a machine.
It was bit of a wake-up call for Alabama and quarterback Jalen Hurts, who said he wanted the Tide to avoid a similar fate as the teams that went down during a shakeup that has rocked college football since Friday.
"We know what's going on. We see it," Hurts said after the win over the Hogs. "At the end of the day, we don't want it to be us. Last week, [against A&M] I think we learned from that. It was humbling. Walked away from the victory happy that we won but not too excited how we played and approached the game."
It’s great to hear that the players have their guards up. The best team doesn’t always win a 60 minute game, but you don’t see Saban’s teams losing to mediocre opponents. (Yes, trolls, we know about 2007 before he had his roster assembled.)
The passing game wasn’t prolific against Arkansas, but it did account for one touchdown and a few explosive plays.
“I thought it was pretty good,” junior wide receiver Calvin Ridley said. “It definitely can be a lot better.
“We’re looking great compared to the beginning of the season. Jalen’s going through his progressions, he steps up in the pocket, we’re getting open.”
Emphasis mine. Sounds like this point is being hammered home in practice, which is a good thing. If the eyes stay downfield good things will happen, and we saw it at times on Saturday.
The marginalization of Foster coincided with the increased involvement of the freshman receivers. AL.comcatalogued the first 15 plays Alabama ran and it was interesting how coordinator Brian Daboll organized the personnel. On the first and second possessions, Calvin Ridley was grouped with both Foster and Cam Sims.
Is it just me, or does “The Marginalization of Foster” sound like an indie film title?
But as Alabama games go these days, you realize the Crimson Tide isn’t just playing the opponent on the field. For many in attendance, they watch Alabama playing a real football team and, simultaneously, a ghost. That specter is the image of opponents yet to come. Plays are judged not solely for what they accomplish, but for what those plays would accomplish against some fearsome future opponent between the “now” and the “playoffs”, or SEC Championship, or the season finale at Auburn.
It certainly happened on Saturday. To the satisfaction of almost no one in attendance, Alabama led 24-0 at halftime.
Ah, the consequences of continually raising the bar.
Last but not least, SEC Shorts has been on fire this season. This Arkansas fan’s GPS begging him to stay away from Tuscaloosa is one of their best yet.
That’s about it for today. Have a great and hateful week.