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Sunday Morning Hangover: Everybody Plays, 3 Redshirts Removed

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Alabama Crimson Tide Emptied the Bench in a Blowout Win Against Vanderbilt

Alabama v Vanderbilt
Everybody plays!
Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt was a near domination of historic levels. The Crimson Tide lined up against the Commodores and ran it down their throats. After awhile, the second team came in and THEY ran it down their throats. This was followed by third team players with similar results. Nick Saban emptied the bench in this 59-0 blowout win. A week ago, the Tide head man was not happy with the effort from his bench players but they responded in a positive manner this week.

REDSHIRTS REMOVED

According to the official stats sheet, 65 Crimson Tide players saw game action, though it felt like much more. Three players had their redshirts removed with their first playing time of the year. The most obvious was #24 running back Brian Robinson. The Tuscaloosa native proved he belonged in this amazing running back corps gaining 51 yards on only 5 carries plus the first touchdown of his fledgling college career. It is uncertain why Saban chose to make this move. The likeliest reason is that Robinson earned the playing time through hard work in practice.

Also seeing the field for the first time were tight ends Major Tennison (#88) and Kedrick James (#44). These moves were probably due to the loss of Miller Forristall who tore an ACL in the win over Colorado State. Tennison recorded a 9 yard reception in his only target of the day. James saw extensive playing time but mostly as a blocker.

The redshirt removal of these players were not spur of the moment decisions. The possibility of such a move is discussed beforehand with the player and often time the parents have input as well.

EMPTYING THE BENCH

Alabama had nine players carry the ball, six of whom are running backs. Five receivers recorded at least one catch, although Cam Sims’ sole catch was on a deflection of a pass off the hands of DeVonta Smith. Robert Foster’s only reception went for -5 yards. Three running backs and two tight ends also caught balls.

On defense, 18 players recorded a tackle.

OFFENSIVE LINE

You know it has been a long day when the sixth string running back is running through holes. Those running lanes don’t develop by themselves. The Tide played 12 offensive linemen by my count. First off were the regulars:

LT Jonah Williams
LG Ross Pierschbacher
C Bradley Bozeman
RG Lester Cotton
RT Matt Womack

Midway through the third quarter, Jedrick Wills stepped in at the right tackle spot for Womack. He was joined later in the quarter by other second teamers. The lineup at that time was as follows:

LT Scott Lashley
LG J.C. Hassenauer
C Brandon Kennedy
RG Josh Casher
RT Jedrick Wills

In the fourth quarter Alex Leatherwood came in at left tackle, while Lashley flipped to the right. Casher moved to left guard and Deonte Brown came in at right guard.

LT Alex Leatherwood
LG Josh Casher
C Brandon Kennedy
RG Deonte Brown
RT Scott Lashley

This line finished out the game.

ADDENDUM
(Updated 11:55am CT)

If you didn't notice, linebacker Ben Davis did not play and has yet to step on the field in his second season in Tuscaloosa. Davis was a 5-star and nationally ranked in the top 10 of the Class of 2016.

Sophomore safety Jared Mayden has yet to play in a game this season after playing in four games a season ago. He had a hip injury from last season that required surgery. Perhaps he has not fully recovered. Also in that vein, redshirt freshman DB Nigel Knott has yet to participate in an Alabama game. He had knee surgery before his senior year in high school and took a redshirt last season to give him time to heal.

Freshmen who have not played this season and will likely redshirt:

  • DL LaBryan Ray
  • OLB VanDarius Cowan
  • OLB Markail Benton
  • DL Phidarian Mathis
  • ATH Chadarius Townsend
  • WR Tyrell Shavers
  • OG Kendall Randolph
  • OT Elliot Baker
  • QB Mac Jones
  • DB Kyriq McDonald
  • C Hunter Brannon
  • PK Joseph Bulovas