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Jumbo Package: Saban admits showing mercy to Pruitt

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NCAA Football: Alabama at Tennessee Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. You get to enjoy your annual stress-free fall weekend as the Tide rest up for the typical November bonanza. No image captures what Alabama’s opponents are dealing with this season quite like this one:

For the uninitiated, Stoerner played QB for a pretty good Arkansas team in the late 90s, and by “on air” he means against no defense whatsoever. There is a bit of hyperbole there, obviously, but the amount of yellow on that sheet is just staggering. For those who like to claim that the Tide have simply torched a bunch of nobodies, you may note that they scored on five of seven first half possessions, including four TDs, en route to rolling up 524 total yards on a Texas A&M defense that has allowed an average of 290 yards in their other six games.

In case it wasn’t obvious, Saban indeed showed some mercy to Jeremy Pruitt last Saturday.

Those of us sitting in the bleachers for a first half that took forever thanks to CBS plus all the touchdowns were thankful that he drained the clock in that fashion. He could have easily hung 70+ on them had he been so inclined.

Next we have a few words about Patience. Take heed, recruits: paying your dues at Alabama will pay off for you in the end.

Last week was the Columbia, S.C., native’s last time playing Tennessee. Next week, he will take the field for the final time against LSU. These are the thoughts entering Miller’s mind now.

“For me, every game’s like that,” Miller told BamaOnLine in an exclusive interview. “It’s one less time I’ll be able to put on an Alabama uniform. I wouldn’t say it’s sad because it’s been an awesome journey, but every time I put it on, I’m kind of like, ‘Damn...’

“I’m one of those guys that takes pride in putting it on. I’ve never been one to try to rush things. I’ve always kind of embraced it, and my time’s slowly trickling down. It’s tough, but it makes you appreciate it more. That’s why I go into every game wanting to do as much as I can.”

For the same reasons, NFL talent evaluators and executives seem to have fallen in love with Williams, who according to ProFootballFocus.com, is tied for the team lead in pressures with 25. Phil Savage, the former Alabama radio analyst and current general manager of the AAF’s Arizona Hotshots, said the buzz around Williams is becoming louder.

”The scouts that I have spoken feel like he’s played really well, better than any of the other Bama guys in the front seven,” Savage said. “They’re raving about how well he has played.”

Christian was due for his breakout last year, only to be derailed by a torn pec. He has put himself in fine position to be drafted into a NFL starving for versatile LBs who can rush the passer and play in space. Quinnen is now ranked ahead of Ed Oliver on some draft boards, which is simply incredible. The local product bleeds Crimson and never wanted to go anywhere else, opting for a redshirt in Tuscaloosa over immediate time elsewhere. Look where it got him.

Folks are already talking another Bama-Clemson rematch.

On the other side, Clemson is still undefeated and is playing in a weak ACC conference this year. Despite almost losing to Syracuse earlier this season and having a two-point win over a then-underrated Texas A&M team, the Tigers have cruised to victory in most of their games this year and will close their regular season against Florida State on Saturday, followed by Louisville, Boston College, Duke and South Carolina.

“I think there is a big gap,” Nagy said. “There some teams right there with Clemson. Notre Dame is one of those teams. There is a significant game in my mind (between Alabama and Clemson). In the playing style, too.

“Alabama’s playing style is just so much more physical than any other team in the country.”

Tua Tagovailoa vs. Clemson’s whole dang pass defense. Tagovailoa might run away with the Heisman, and he has four amazing receivers. Clemson’s defensive line is a four-headed monster. The Tigers defense is No. 2 in Sack Rate. What happens when the best quarterback in the country is under pressure and has to throw against a unit that’s No. 3 in Havoc Rate (chaos-creating plays like pass breakups, picks, and tackles for loss)? I don’t know, but I’m interested to find out.

Trevor Lawrence vs. Bama’s evolving, improving secondary. The Tide had to replace an entire defensive backfield after last year. Relatedly, they’ve suffered from periodic big-play problems, especially in the early part of the year. But the Tide have rounded into a top-five pass defense, per S&P+. Clemson’s freshman QB is the only QB in the country who might have more natural arm talent than Tagovailoa has. Can Lawrence throw enough darts to mess with Nick Saban’s personal position group? Again, I’d like to find out.

Right now these two teams are very close according to S&P+, but I think that gap will widen by the end of the season. Most of the communication issues we saw early in the season on defense are correctable, and Saban has already noted significant progress with the linebackers. The talent on the field is certainly better than the statistics.

Oh, if you want to watch it, Skip Bayless thinks Michigan can beat Alabama, but I don’t know why you would.

Braylen Ingraham seems like a great fit.

“Braylen has been an asset on a holistic level,” Harriott told BamaOnLine. “His even temperament has struck a balance of humility, confidence, and integrity. As a player, he is dominant between the whistles. His size, athleticism, strength, physicality, and speed have enabled him to be a formidable force against opponents.”

Yep, sounds like a Saban guy.

Last, Kenyan Drake went off on Thursday Night NFL.

Drake totaled 95 yards on 14 touches with two TDs on the night.

That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.