Due to my real job, this article is being written not in my normal haven, but in the west Georgia area.... the heart of Auburn country. As such, the gump must be extra strong in this one.
5: Alabama players have reached at least 2,000 receiving yards with WR Calvin Ridley joining Amari Cooper, D.J. Hall, Julio Jones and Ozzie Newsome on the Crimson Tide's career list on Saturday, when he caught three passes for 92 yards in a 41-23 victory over Colorado State. Ridley, who has 2,031 receiving yards, on his first reception of the game - a 78-yard touchdown in the first quarter that's the longest pass play in the SEC this season.
Calvin Ridley has moved up into the top 5 receivers in Alabama history, and still has 10-12 more games to play this season. If he continues to get as many targets as he does right now, he should definitely surpass Julio and may even pass D.J. Hall, winding up 2nd in Tide history behind Amari Cooper.
"It's just small things, you know," Fitzpatrick said. "Some plays DBs didn't win 50-50 balls. Some plays I, myself, I just didn't play aggressive enough, try to get the ball out. We didn't fit the runs the right way sometimes. Just small details that can be very easily fixed, and it's just stuff we've got to fix in practice, doing it in practice the right way. Just flying to the ball, moving around fast, playing fast, playing physical in practice, and it will definitely turn over to the game."
Minkah gave us a few good quotes here. The biggest thing is that he wants the defense to play faster and more aggressive, rather than reactive.
Alabama practice report: Update on player who moved positions
-- Freshman LaBryan Ray was back working with the defensive linemen after spending the last few weeks at outside linebacker as that group worked through injuries. He was with the linebackers Monday.
-- Anfernee Jennings and Rashaan Evans were back for a second straight day along with Dylan Moses. Evans was leading the line with the middle linebackers after missing the last two weeks with a groin injury. (See video below of the players back from injury).
-- Evans on a few occasions worked with freshman Markail Benton, helping with drills when there was need for an assist.
-- Shyheim Carter and Trevon Diggs were the second team cornerbacks with Deionte Thompson and Xavier McKinney the second-group safeties. Daniel Wright was shadowing the second team safeties in a scout-team jersey.
I really don’t want Evans to come back just yet if he isn’t needed. A groin injury can be played through, but literally every movement will make it worse. It’s one of those injuries that you can sit out for a couple of weeks, think it’s better, play for a 4th of a game, and then end up on the sideline again as it slowly gets worse and worse.
That said, I’m sure they have better rehab than I did in high school.
If anything, LaBryan Ray moving back to the defensive line is as good an indicator as any that Jennings and Evans are getting close.
"I mean ball security ... you hear, 'The ball, the ball, the ball,'" Hurts said.
That mantra has echoed in Hurts' head throughout the last 26 quarters, when Alabama hasn't committed a turnover.
Since Hurts unleashed a pass that was intercepted by Auburn's Daniel Thomas late in the first half of the Iron Bowl on Nov. 26, the Tide has played 396 minutes, 26 seconds without a giveaway.
Hurts definitely isn’t one to try many risky throws. That’s been pretty apparent from day 1 of his college career. Fumbles were definitely an issue for him for most of his freshman season though. He has since done much better in that regard. Here’s to hoping that streak continues.
"We didn't execute pressures very well," Saban said. "We made a couple interceptions, which were huge in the game in turning the game around. But look, all of these things are issues. We have five linebackers that aren't playing. I don't care who you are or what team you are, that creates some issues and some problems."
Nick Saban is spitting truth. In our quickness to find fault in even the smallest imperfections in our football team, it’s easy to forget that the outside linebackers have been operating without all three of the expected contributors, plus Rashaan Evans, the middle linebacker/outside hybrid. We’re expecting a former walk-on and a true freshman to create as much pass rush as two seniors drafted in the second day of the NFL draft last year. It’s just unreasonable.
Give it time. Jennings will be back. Allen and Moses will gain experience. Evans will be able to contribute on the edge since Holcombe and Wilson are stepping up inside. Things will be okay.
“I’m always going to be Under Armour Bo,” Scarbrough said. “Maybe even better. … He’ll be like, ‘The Under Armour Bo would have caught that.’ And I’ll be like, ‘If I lose a little weight, then I can catch it.’ So, I lost a few pounds and I’m able to catch those passes.”
Scarbrough said he has lost “like 15 pounds,” but that wasn’t in one offseason. Listed at 235 pounds, the junior running back said he currently weighs 227 pounds. He was listed at 240 in 2015 and has been working to reach this point. But by doing what?
“Hard work and dedication, right?” Scarbrough said with a smile.
“My body feels more clean, it feels more stable so I can move the way I want to move and I’m able to do some of the things I couldn’t do.”
One of 10 players of the week chosen by the Tide coaches, the slimmer frame won’t be stopping Scarbrough from running over and through defenders during his junior year.
“Ain’t nothing changed but the weight,” he said. “I still do what I do.”
I’ve said since his days in high school that Bo would make just as good a receiver/tight end hybrid as he does a running back.
Losing weight has apparently helped him gain better body control on the field, and the results are showing. Not only is a terrifying battering ram that looks like a charging defensive lineman, he’s also 2nd on the team in catches.
And that’s just terrifying for opposing defenses.