HAWAII 5-0 #RollTide #5-0 pic.twitter.com/BYx6iuk10L— Bama Space Force (@trolltide_) October 2, 2018
What’s the worst fight song in America? Boomer! Sooner! is pretty high on that list, to be sure. But A&M’s nonsensical word salad will always take the top spot for me, especially with the weird milk men and finger guns and jazz hands and all the other appalling things they do in College Station.
Yesterday was Nick Saban’s Monday presser. I thought it interesting that last Wednesday he called out some guys for lack of effort and focus, and then, well...you get what we saw Saturday with the kicking game and the second teamers. And he didn’t spare them from singular criticism either:
“One of the things that’s most concerning is when other players have opportunities to play, what’s their level of performance? We didn’t finish the game very well. Missed a couple of field goals. Gave up 14 points with the second defense in the game and executed not to the level and the standard that we’d like to see those guys play to. They have opportunities to build their own resume in terms of playing winning football and certainly would like to see everyone take advantage of that.
TL; DR: You’re on the second team for a reason. If you want to get better, that’s up to you.
Here’s the complete run-down of the press conference.
That is pretty apparent when you look at the participation chart too. The inside linebacking depth should give everyone the willies:
Saban said inside linebackers Mack Wilson and Dylan Moses have been three-down players, in part, because there aren’t other players behind them that are better in nickel or dime.
Remember last year? Yeah. I thought so.
On the injury front:
Alabama left tackle Jonah Williams left the game early Saturday in the win over Louisiana-Lafayette. That afternoon, Nick Saban said he twisted his ankle.
By Monday, Saban said he sprained the ankle.
Williams will miss practice Monday but Saban expects he will be back by Wednesday, which would make the 11 a.m. CT Saturday game with Arkansas a strong probability.
”Everybody else, I think, is OK,” Saban said Monday. “Some guys we don’t always practice on Monday if they have issues but we don’t have any significant issues from that standpoint.”
He also has some really encouraging news on pass rusher Terrell Lewis.
‘Bama hoops snagged another Top 100 prospect for 2019, shooting guard Jaden Shackleford. Wouldn’t you know it, looking at 247, he’s another Antoine Pettway recruit too.
More at the link below. Welcome to the Capstone, Jaden. #Buckleup
While Alabama was in football gameday mode, it got good news on the basketball front.
Jaden Shackelford, a four-star shooting guard from California, committed to the Crimson Tide. He posted a message on Twitter in which he stated his pledge to Avery Johnson and Alabama.
Shackelford is a four-star prospect ranked 96th overall and 15th among shooting guards, according to the 247 Sports composite.
Alabama’s Freshman phenom, Jaylen Waddle, accounted for 201 total yards and three touchdowns on Saturday. So naturally the SEC’s Freshman Player of the Week was...Florida Kicker Evan McPherson, who went 2/2 in Starkville on two sub-40 yard kicks — from 21 and 39 yards.
I &*#@ you not.
Has made 8 of his first 9 collegiate field goal attempts, adding a 39-yarder and 21-yarder against Mississippi State.@McPherson_Evan is the #SECFB Freshman of the Week. pic.twitter.com/9Xvn1kr7TA— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) October 1, 2018
Look, I know kicking isn’t a gimme around these parts. But let me ask you a question: Among the nation’s Top 50 kickers, making 92 field goal attempts of 20-29 yards, how many were missed?
One. A single field goal — that’s a conversion rate of 98.9%.
And just 13 attempts between 30-39 yards were not converted — while 61 were made. That distance ups the degree of difficulty, but it’s still an 82% conversion rate. Unbelievable. And that’s the effort that earns Freshman player of the week in the SEC?
Ever get the feeling the league goes out of their way sometimes to disregard Alabama’s excellence in order to encourage the other programs? I’m not going to rabble rabble about participation trophies. But, at a minimum, this is tokenism, a sop to the SEC’s largest institution and a program that the league very badly needs to be successful. Georgia is nice and all, and it certainly captures the huge Atlanta market, but the Gators are the national brand out of the East and one that the SEC needs to counterbalance the Tide in the West.
Still, the league’s PR push should not come at the expense of a stellar game by a dynamic freshman who has rightly earned that honor.
And, if Nick Saban won’t get pissed off on Waddle’s behalf, I will.
247’s Director of Recruiter, Barton Simmons, breaks down Alabama’s NSD class of 2019 and its targets — we’re just two months away from the early signing period.
Also in crootin’, six Alabama commits have been selected for the annual Mississippi-Alabama All-Star game. The full breakdown is here:
Pierce Quick, 5-star OT, Hewitt-Trussville (Ala.)
Coming off shoulder surgery in the offseason, Quick has proven why he’s one of the top linemen in America helping the Huskies amass 2,988 total yards of offense in six games.
This is definitely a change that the FBS teams may want to adopt.
The results have been astonishing in the two-year Ivy league experiment. Yes, it ups touchbacks to be sure, but it doesn’t completely gut field position strategy from the game as the new D1 rule does — where a returner can foolishly field the ball at the three and then gain 22 yards of second-thought field position. Giving up a quarter of the field is simply way, way too much.
During the 2015 season, kickoffs accounted for 6 percent of plays in all Ivy League games but made up 21 percent of all concussions in league games. To combat this, league schools moved kickoffs from the 35-yard line to the 40 to help kickers boot the ball into the end zone. To incentivize teams to use those five extra yards to actually kick the ball into the end zone and instruct their kickers to boot a rainbow that will land just shy of the goal line, the Ivy League brought touchbacks out to the 20, not the 25.
Two years later, the change has worked.
According to a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association, touchbacks surged from 17.9 percent of kickoffs to nearly half — 48 percent. At the same time, the number of concussions on kickoffs plummeted. From 2013-15, kickoffs created 10.9 concussions per 1,000 kickoffs.
Both Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa were named among Alabama’s nine players of the week.
Hurts and Tagovailoa combined for 246 yards and three scores on 12-of-14 passing against Louisiana, part of the Tide’s efficient performance through the air. Tagovailoa was a perfect 8-of-8 for 128 yards and two scores with the sophomore adding a pair of rushes for 12 yards. Hurts, a junior, followed and finished his day 4-of-6 for 118 yards and one touchdown while contributing four rushes totaling eight yards on the ground. The duo helped the Crimson Tide signal-callers finish 13-of-16 for 340 yards and four touchdowns on the day.
Speaking of quarterbacks...this is unreal: Alabama’s *backup* QBs have more passing TDs than 34 teams. Jalen Hurts alone is 83rd in the nation in passing touchdowns thrown. That’s just absurd.
Despite housing 8 NOTS through five games, forcing fumbles has been a real issue:
It is not particularly surprising that there have been no fumble returns for touchdowns five games into this season. Among the 66 NOTs in the Saban Era there have been only nine fumble returns for touchdowns.
What is unusual is that Alabama has forced only two fumbles — one by Trevon Diggs and one by Deionte Thompson — and recovered only one, by Phidarian Mathis at Ole Miss.
I’m not sure if this is a technique issue, or more likely, just that old turnover luck that is completely arbitrary. Unlike an interception, where you can force the play, how well another guy hangs on to a ball is out of your control sometimes.
I would also posit that Alabama just hasn’t had as many opportunities to force them. Teams are blown out of the water so quickly, and taking to the air so early, that we just don’t see the days of pounding the rock 40 times against this front.
I hope you have a strong stomach. I can’t even with these Maryland Terrapins. At a minimum, the S&C coach needs to be behind bars and D.J. Durkin needs to never be in charge of young men. Nick Saban is a hard ass, but he doesn’t throw players under the bus, much less torture them.
This is a tough read. Not gonna’ lie.
This is interesting. Back in 2016, during the fallout at Baylor, everyone was wondering where the NCAA was at. Moreso than Penn State, there seemed a clear nexus between Briles/McGraw/Starr’s actions and ommisions and keeping players eligible.
Turns out, they didn’t go anywhere. Baylor admins have been flying back and forth to Indianapolis the last few years knowing there was a huge investigation coming down the pipe. In fact, they informed coaching candidates that the self-imposed sanctions would be enough. Turns out that’s not correct: The NCAA noticed the school yesterday with its NOA regarding lack of institutional control and failure to maintain a culture of compliance. Since the NOA specifically names coaches, dragging them into it personally, this could end with show cause orders and effectively end the career of Art Briles and several of his staff. Keep an eye out to see if Kendall Briles, Lane Kiffin’s OC at FAU, eventually becomes embroiled here.
So, let’s end with some happy thoughts: Auburn’s pitiful offensive line. The crew at SEC Shorts knocks it out of the park.
We’ll have more for you later today, including some tasty Meltdown goodness and Random Thoughts. Have a great Tuasday.