Today we (read, “me”) have a bunch of stuff to shoot out to you. So Gump Day’s JP will be light on editorializing. You’ll have to close your eyes and imagine my unedited hot takes banged out at three in the morning, rife with spelling errors and subject-verb disagreements. You’re welcome for whatever mental image that conjures up for you, by the way.
“He’s day-to-day, and he has not practiced yet,” Saban said. “It’s a medical decision that when they decide that he can go out and do something, we’ll use him accordingly.”
No surprise, Tomahawk Nation suggests we might see a repeat of the ‘07 passing scheme. IYR: A very young Marquis Johnson was victimized by De’Cody Fagg all night. This year’s target will, of course, be young Trevon Diggs. It’s not a bad strategy, but it overlooks that 2007 was a transition year for the 3-4 and the Tide had its worse pass rush of probably the last 30 years, as converted centers were playing the nose, for instance. The talent up front for ‘Bama, coupled with a weak overall FSU offensive line, probably does not buy the ‘Noles as much time in the vertical game as we saw the last time these two met. It will be there, sure. But I wouldn’t put my eggs solely in that basket.
The best linebacker for FSU and its leading tackler, Matthew Thomas, has been AWOL this fall. He’s not practiced since Methuselah was a whippersnapper. At this point he’s missed the installation of the game plan. No matter what Jimbo says (and at this point he’s cagey,) I would not expect Thomas to play much, if at all.
Non-participation is a theme this week for the ‘Noles, as several players (including another LB, an OL, and one of the better WRs, Auden Tate) all missed practice, left early, or were gimpy. I’m not much about sportsmanship in these kinds of games: I’m about the win. I want as many of the ‘Noles banged up or limited as possible. Most fans, if they’re honest, prefer a weakened opponent. I’ll just admit it.
On Alabama’s injury front, Shaun Dion Hamilton is like the Six Million Dollar Man: he has returned from his ACL tear even faster and healthier than before. Gentlemen, we have the technology. We can rebuild him. I think SDH and Rashaan Evans are both going to explode this year.
We’ve hit on this some: Bill Connelly thinks this game is going to be somewhat wide open, with the passing game being crucial for a win. I disagree. Both teams will try their shots, to be sure. But, with these two coaches, in a high-stakes early season game, with so many new starters for both teams, will play much closer to the vest than people (and Vegas) think. Jimbo wants to run the ball, play defense, work the ball vertically and clear out the middle for the TEs. Alabama’s offense will have much more of that same flavor this season. But, this game will be decided by the Alabama running game. If the Tide offensive line and deep backfield rotation can control play, then this one turns one-sided. Francois will be passing a lot because Francois will have to pass lot. And, gun to my head, I don’t think it ends within two touchdowns. The Alabama front on both sides will do the things necessary to power out an old school win. These are two old-school coaches, and this one screams of being a #RTDB special. If you’re looking for scads of scores, TCU or Oklahoma State are playing somewhere.
Nice updates on the lines: Womack has probably earned the start at right tackle just edging out Jedrick Wills, and Josh Frazier will be getting plenty of work, playing on Raekwon’s side. Davis missed practice again yesterday.
Kudos, ladies. After defeating Top 10 Florida State, the Soccer team has moved into the Top 25, to earn their first ranking ever (No. 24.)
The Nick Saban Show makes its preseason premier, if you’d like to kill some time at lunch.
Looking for hot takes and locker room material from Alabama? It’s not happening. But, here is what they’re saying.