Alabama working the middle of the field in the passing game is no accident; it is a very concerted by all and sundry. Perhaps the best week for throwing into no man’s land was against Tennessee. But, Hurts is improving more each week using the whole field.
On Saturday, according to ProFootballFocus.com, eight of Hurts' 19 aimed attempts past the line of scrimmage went between the numbers, and seven of them were completed for 132 yards and a touchdown -- the one Irv Smith produced.
Normally we see the Maxwell Award list become pared down as the season progresses. Alabama had four players on the preseason watch list. But, that’s just not enough: On Wednesday, Damien Harris was added to the list.
Harris has rushed for a team-high 697 yards and 10 touchdowns on 81 carries through eight games. The Madison, Ky., native is averaging an SEC-best 8.6 yards per carry this season and ranks No. 3 in that category nationally during the Crimson Tide's bye week.
Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, quarterback Jalen Hurts, receiver Calvin Ridley and running back Bo Scarbrough were named to the Maxwell Award's watch list prior to the season.
It’s no secret Alabama has hemorrhaged defensive linemen the past two seasons, and this year will see the Tide lose several more. So the Tide are JUCO shopping, this time offering Iowa commit Daviyon Nixon out of Western Iowa CC. Better yet, Nixon has said he’ll come for an OV to Tuscaloosa.
No one really understands the early signing period or how it works or will work, not even the master of recruiting. 2018-2019 is going to be super weird as we see how this plays out.
Yesterday’s practice report was very light. We learned Josh Jacobs and Da’Shawn Hand were practicing yesterday, but both were in black no-contact jerseys. What was most interesting was Ben Davis: He began the season on the inside, was moved outside after not playing physically enough, and now (for the second day) is back inside. That’s his natural position, so it’s good to see him getting on track.
- Everything about the Jim McElwain/Florida/death threat story is weird. Jim’s not elaborating, and the Gator administration is hinting pretty strongly they don’t believe he or his players were the subject of threats. Then again, UF has 12.4 million reasons not to: a termination for-cause frees up all that buyout money and lets the impatient Florida admins get in on the ground floor of the Jay Norvell / Scott Frost bonanza. Jim is trying to extricate himself form the situation by stating that it was wrong to bring up old threats -- implying that these are not present threats. We’ll see if it works.
I’m not picking a side or deciding the truth or falsity of his allegation, but I am suggesting that if the Gators fire him and he’s not guilty, then you have just witnessed an extraordinarily crappy decision. Due to suspensions, transfers, and inheriting a terrible roster, we’re only now seeing the freshmen that make up a future roster. Despite that turd sandwich Muschamp left him with, he’s still won two East crowns
- Call this “PR for that future job.” It looks like Butch has resigned himself to his fate. So, rather than swim upstream, he’s going to take the hit that comes with benching the Vols’ best player on the eve of a must-win game against Kentucky. Future ADs will be pleased that he “tried to win the right way.” Pretty shrewd there, Butch.
- After the unconscionable situation where Jim “never won a title at any level” Harbaugh was actually making more than Nick Saban, the ship o’ finance has finally been righted. Saban is now the nation’s highest paid collegiate coach and the first $11 million dollar man.
Hey, you can almost buy two bionic Lee Majors with that!
Better. Stronger. Faster. Go forth to evil.