clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

New, comments

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Alabama Celebration Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Why Alabama offensive line may look much different next season

Former Tide center Bradley Bozeman, the only offensive line starter Alabama is losing, said he believes left guard Ross Pierschbacher will end up at center, that Leatherwood could end up at left guard and that Williams will either remain at left tackle or “maybe” move back to the right tackle spot he played as a freshman in 2015.

”It’s going to be interesting,” Bozeman said. “All the guys can play different positions. They’re good guys. They know how to compete and they’re willing to compete wherever they need to move to for the betterment of the team.”

There’s a lot of speculation on possible combinations for the O-line next season. Does Pierschbacher move to center, like he played in the spring two seasons ago... leaving a spot open at left guard? Or does Jonah Williams move to center to allow Alex Leatherwood to play tackle? Can Jedrick Wills unseat Matt Womack at right tackle, after he nearly did this season as a true freshman?

Or, there’s one combination that nobody has talked about: leave the 4 returning starters in their current spots and let Brandon Kennedy take over at center. The junior from Wetumpka, AL is a smart, technical player that I think could really succeed at center. Plus that way we could leave the other 4 in place to preserve as much unity and chemistry as possible.

Former UTSA star: Alabama got a ‘great one’ in Pete Golding

“I think UTSA lost a great coach,” Davenport said. “I love Coach Golding. He really taught me a lot about the game and made me better understand football. ... I love Coach Golding.”

Under Golding, UTSA ranked seventh nationally in total defense last season and eighth in scoring defense.

That’s even more noteworthy considering UTSA ranked 101st nationally in total defense in 2015, the year before Golding took over as the team’s defensive coordinator.

”He made us smarter,” Davenport said. “There were times where he would ask us how we felt about the game and we would be able to give our input and actually be able to learn and adjust ourselves. ... Alabama got a great one.”

We’ve already talked about Golding a good bit here at RBR, but it’s always good to get the thoughts of his former players. Marcus Davenport is a potential top-10 draft pick at defensive end, so we know that Golding has helped to groom a small-school guy into an elite player at least once.

Way-too-early over/unders for 2018: Defense

Sacks for Davis: 7.5

Sacks for Lewis: 7.5

Sacks for Christian Miller: 6.5

Numbers of note: Going over in the regular season would place Davis, Lewis and Miller in the same zip code as Jonathan Allen, Ryan Anderson and Tim Williams in 2016. After leading UA in sacks in 2017, Davis can expect more double teams as a junior -- especially with Payne no longer around. Lewis and Miller will provide elite edge rush ability and they’ll get some help from Anfernee Jennings.

247 is giving us some over/unders for many Alabama defenders. Personally, I’m taking the over on both Davis and Lewis, but the under on Miller. What about you? Explain your reasoning below.

Wallace reaches weight goal after illness; wants to add more

But checking in one pound heavier than his goal for Tuesday’s weigh-in was an accomplishment for the now-former Tide defensive back, who’s hoping to continue to add on the pounds.

“By the Combine, like 185,” Wallace said of his next weight goal. “I got sick prior to the Georgia game. In the championship, I was playing like at 167. I didn’t eat for a couple of days because I was so sick with the flu going around. Getting my weight back up was most important to me.

“I definitely wanted to be over 175 today. I’m glad I made it over that. By the Combine, 185. I’m excited. I’m on a 4,000-calorie diet plan. Just eating everything in sight. I’m looking forward to it.”

So not only did Alabama win a national championship game with like half the defense hurt, now we learn the starting cornerback played while recovering from the flu.

It would be huge for Wallace to get up to 185 by the combine, as the pro folks will balk at a corner playing under 180 pounds. That said, he also measured out with 33 and 3/8 inch arms, some of the longest in the draft at his position. Many NFL GMs use arm length as the main physical filter for their cornerbacks, especially teams that run a primarily cover 3-based defensive scheme.

Alabama Basketball: Tide falls again in Oxford, losing 78-66 to Ole Miss

Of the 351 college basketball teams playing at the upper level, Alabama basketball is No. 348 in playing experience. That is a fact, but it cannot be an excuse. In the first half Tuesday night, the Tide made 13 field goals off of 10 assists. That controlled style disappeared in the second half. Alabama became a team too dependent upon scoring off the dribble which resulted in too many forced shots.

Ole Miss scored off the dribble when it was available because its players went to the basketball under control and put up shots they could finish. The Tide, less under control, put up shots that at best could draw a foul. And as is always the case on the road in the SEC, the fouls were not called. But the Tide did not lose because of poor officiating. It was simply outplayed, not by a more talented team, but by a more organized and structured team.

This makes me sad. Here’s to hoping for a major 180 for the basketball program and taking down Oklahoma this weekend.

How long will Saban coach? Will recruiters target his age? Ready for Clemson-Alabama 4?

While the final college football game of the 2017 season might not have been the best overall championship game in recent memory — I’d rank 2016 (Clemson over Alabama) and 2013 (Florida State over Auburn) firmly ahead in terms of entertainment value and drama — the final play was one of those shocking, forever moments to end a game where it actually takes you a second to process everything and realize what happened.

I’ve had that feeling a few times before covering sporting events: When Gordon Hayward’s running halfcourt shot against Duke nearly banked in to give Butler a national championship in 2010; when Michigan State blocked a punt and ran it back to beat Michigan in 2015; Kris Jenkins’ buzzer-beating three-pointer to win the 2016 national championship for Villanova; and, of course, the Kick Six. Purely as a moment, Tagovailoa’s pass stacks up with any of them.

Speak for yourself, dude. I personally found the Alabama-Notre Dame championship game to provide the most entertainment value.

Poll

Which has been your favorite Nick Saban championship (and tell us why in the comments)

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    2009 Alabama vs. Texas 37-21
    (166 votes)
  • 19%
    2011 Alabama vs. LSU 21-0
    (185 votes)
  • 27%
    2012 Alabama vs. Notre Dame 42-14
    (255 votes)
  • 10%
    2015 Alabama vs. Clemson 45-40
    (100 votes)
  • 24%
    2017 Alabama vs Georgia 26-23
    (235 votes)
941 votes total Vote Now