Happy Monday, everyone. Alabama took care of Arkansas and now move on to their so called “Battle Line” rival Missouri. Wrapping up the Hogs:
“They play a lot of sink. They play a lot of stuff where you’re going to throw the ball, so if they’re going to play it, we’re going to throw it,” Saban said. “It don’t matter. I don’t care how we score. Do you get points for running more than passing? ... It don’t matter to me.”
“We made a lot of mistakes on defense today,” he said. “We didn’t play very well as a unit...We are going to play a lot better offensive teams. We are going to play a lot better offensive team this week -- one of the best offensive teams in the country in Missouri -- so we just need a lot of guys to have a little more focus, a little more discipline, a little more confidence in believing that if they do the job that we want them to do it they are going to the best chance to be successful.”
Then Saban paused.
”You got to give Arkansas a lot of credit,” he continued.
After all, the Razorbacks did the Tide a favor by showing Saban and his staff what Alabama must fix in order to avoid potential trouble down the road.
Now, the offense is more like some fierce pack of velociraptors — Hawaiian ones, if you prefer — that hits you so hard and so fast that by the time that you see them coming, they’ve removed your left lung and are coming back for your solar plexus.
It’s great entertainment, and highly effective, but allows little time for oxygen on the defensive sideline. Arkansas ran 71 plays and had almost 33 minutes of possession time. They still couldn’t keep pace, but perhaps a more dangerous offensive opponent could. Arkansas was a play or two away, not from winning, but from at least making things interesting.
It was refreshing to hear that quote from Saban about running vs. passing. Compare that with his comments after the Texas A&M game about “having to be able to run the ball” after the offense stubbornly ran into a brick wall for much of the afternoon. Modern offense is about reading what the defense is giving you and taking it. Thus far, teams are still choosing to commit extra resources to the run while Tua Tagovailoa is having a historic season throwing the ball. You have to believe that somebody will clue in at some point and choose the death by a thousand cuts route.
On the defense, the hand-wringing is a bit much. Yes, Chad Morris figured out a way to use misdirection and gain more yards than Alabama fans are comfortable with. As Rainer notes, the coaching staff now has some exposed weaknesses to show on film. We will do some film work on that later in the morning, but it certainly isn’t something to be alarmed about at this point, especially since the offense had exactly three possessions that didn’t end in a score, two of which ended the halves.
Cecil has a great point as well about the offense scoring so quickly. The defense doesn’t have a lot of depth so fatigue could be an issue, but with greener players in so many key roles, the lack of time on the sideline between possessions to look at film and make corrections on the fly is more critical. Talk about your good problems to have.
Last, the entire second half of that game was played in garbage time. Talk all you want about how they should all be able to maintain their intensity and focus, etc. but they are human beings. It’s human nature for the foot to subconsciously come off the gas a little bit once a game is out of hand.
Tua hasn’t had a single-game efficiency rating of lower than 223 yet this season, which is preposterous. Last two games were 316.90 against Louisiana and 394.27 Saturday against Arkansas — not far off the NCAA single-game record of 404.
The biggest threat to Tagovailoa breaking the season record may be getting enough pass attempts. To qualify he has to average 15 attempts per game, and at present he’s barely over that at 16.8. The main reason why: He hasn’t attempted a fourth-quarter pass all season because all of Alabama’s games have been so far out of hand by that point. Presumably he will get to play a full game a few times in the season’s back half. As it stands, Tua also is on pace to break NCAA single-season records for yards per attempt (14.8) and completion percentage (75.2, tied for best in the nation with Colorado’s Steven Montez).
HALFTIME:— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 6, 2018
334 Pass yds ✅
4 Pass TD ✅
First Power-5 QB with 300 passing yards & 4 TD in the 1st half of a conference game since Patrick Mahomes on Nov. 25, 2016 vs Baylor ✅ pic.twitter.com/ZrRISpbQGO
Dude is on pace to break all of the NCAA efficiency metrics. The Tide scored TDs on seven of his nine possessions again on Saturday, and one of those was the end of the first half.
This week’s game is another projected blowout.
The betting line is out for this weekend’s matchup between Alabama and Missouri, and the defending champions are more than a four-touchdown favorite over its seventh opponent of the season.
The Crimson Tide is considered a 29.5-point favorite over the Tigers, per VegasInsider.com.
The 31 points allowed to Arkansas undoubtedly affected this line. There is no reason to think that a Mizzou defense that has somehow been worse than Arkansas against the pass will hold this offense under 70 if Drew Lock and company up enough points to keep them firing. I don’t know what the over in this game will be, but anything below 70 seems like a slam dunk.
Jordan Davis re-committed to Alabama after getting what he needed academically in junior college.
For One I would Like to Thank God for putting me in the situation I’m in. This commitment will have a lot of people thinking different. But I’ve been talking too God and I have something to Prove. So I would like too announce that I’m “Re-Committing to university of Alabama ” pic.twitter.com/VRZ2jRIKtV— Jordan Davis... (@jlpdavis99) October 7, 2018
Davis was a four-star WDE prospect in the 2018 class originally.
[ED. NOTE: Davis will be part of the 2020 class and should be an early enrollee joining the team in December 2019. One correction: Davis plays WkDE. ~ CB969]
Some #BuiltbyBama for you:
Oh my goodness. Watch DJ Fluker (RG) with the savage pancake of Suh on this touchdown. pic.twitter.com/OleSTLNNrQ— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) October 7, 2018
Mark Barron returned from injury for the Rams as well.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.