Left tackle Jonah Williams (86.2) has been playing hurt but has still been the third-highest graded left tackle in the nation behind Georgia’s Thomas and Wisconsin’s Van Lanen, and he headlines the Alabama offensive line once again. An impressive run-blocker, he’s been even better in pass protection, allowing just one hit and three hurries from 157 snaps in pass protection. Opposite Williams, right tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. has also delivered in pass protection, allowing just seven hurries from 157 snaps in pass protection.
PFF is known for their totally-not-arbitrary secret grading that comes from watching each player, play-by-play, and assigning grades. Obviously, there’s no way to know if it’s faulty or not, but I think they generally do a good job for linemen, especially since most conventional stats have a lot of trouble with that position.
The line has been absolutely exceptional at pass blocking all year, as both Tua and Jalen have barely had to move from the pocket. The run blocking hasn’t been quite up to snuff in short yardage, but they’ve been great at opening gaping holes in 1st and 2nd down plays.
Nick Saban made it clear on Monday. He will not adjust the explosive Alabama football offense to chew up more clock and keep his defense off the field. Even though Saban has always relied on time-of-possession as a key weapon, he will do nothing to make the Tide’s offense more pedestrian.
Here’s yet another example of just how adaptable Nick Saban is to the ever-changing football meta, and why he continues to stay on top.
I couldn’t get the video to embed, so you’ll have to click the link, but you can watch the Saban interview there if you want.
“Trust me, as an offensive player, sometimes it’s even frustrating how fast we can score,” tight end Hale Hentges said presumably with his tongue somewhere in cheek. “It’s like, ‘OK, let’s get in a rhythm, let’s get in a groove.’ You throw a block and you’re like, ‘OK, that was one play.’”
I clipped the quote from Hentges because I found it enjoyable. But the article itself has a bunch of numbers, stats, and records if you’re into that kind of stuff. My favorite is that Alabama has had 15 touchdown drives this season that took less than 1 minute off the clock. There are 22 FBS teams who don’t even have 15 touchdowns. The upcoming Missouri defense is a little more highly rated than every Alabama opponent except Texas A&M, but they still likely pose little threat in way of slowing down the attack.
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
This one is no contest. Tagovailoa has been even better than the most ardent Alabama supporters could imagine. That his incompletion total (25) is within spitting distance of his touchdown total (18) is a testament to how efficiently explosive Alabama’s offense has become. The Alabama pass game looked one-dimensional in 2017 with Calvin Ridley being the team’s Nos. 1-5 options. With Tagovailoa and a host of exceptionally talented young receivers, Alabama has gone from juggernaut to seemingly invincible.
Also considered: Dwayne Haskins (QB, Ohio State), Kyler Murray (QB, Oklahoma)
Could it be any other team? Alabama has cruised through the first half of the season and reached 6-0 without much resistance whatsoever (average margin of victory: 40 points). With Tagovailoa at quarterback, the Crimson Tide offense has taken off to new heights. Tagovailoa hasn’t even thrown a pass in the fourth quarter so far this year, yet the Tide still ranks sixth nationally (345.3 ypg) in passing offense and fourth in total offense (567.5 ypg). Nick Saban has expressed some concern about the defense in recent weeks, but the offense has put the Tide so far ahead it hasn’t mattered.
To continue the gump, Yahoo is joining in on the parade and giving Tua the midseason Heisman and the Tide the midseason national championship. However, they gave Brian Kelly coach of the year, with his runner ups being Tom Herman and Ed Orgeron. Maybe that will give Nick Saban something use for motivation?
Daylon Charlot had his most productive game as a Jayhawk, catching one pass for an 18-yard touchdown in a 38-22 loss against West Virginia.
Charlot played his freshman year at Alabama back in 2015. He caught two passes for nine yards on the season. After opting to leave the program, the former 4-star recruit from Louisiana chose Kansas as his next destination. He sat out the 2016 season due to NCAA transfer rules, but played in 11 games for the Jayhawks in 2017. For the most part it appears as though Charlot has contributed on special teams in Lawrence, but has the rest of this season and next to make a name for himself at receiver.
I think 247 is just rubbing salt in the wound for me over here. Charlot was probably my favorite player of the 2015 recruiting class, and boy was I wrong about that one.
None of the former Tide players are really standing out, though TJ Simmons is racking up some yards in the high-flying passing attack at West Virginia. The interesting thing is noticing just how many transfers we had from the 2015 class. It was loaded in star talent, but nearly 50% of the class wound up transferring out, including two 5-stars in Blake Barnett and Kendall Sheffield.