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Jumbo Package: Tide begins preparing for Drew Lock and the dangerous Mizzou offense

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But, they still have to try and play defense against ‘Bama

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">Missouri v South Carolina

I still think he’s the SEC’s Josh Allen.

Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images

Good morning. Today, we’ve got your dose of stats and rage and Random-ness coming. But first, let’s hit you with the news from Tuscaloosa, as Alabama begins preparing for its homecoming game with cross-divisional SEC foe Missouri.

It will be a homecoming of sorts too for Tide senior tight end Hale Hentges,

Hentges picked Alabama over Auburn, Ohio State, Florida State, Michigan and ... the Missouri Tigers. He gets the backlash that could come from Missouri fans. “How can you blame them?” Hentges said. “A local hometown guy, they obviously think I should have gone to Mizzou and that’s OK. I love that school and everything, but I made the best decision of my life coming to the University of Alabama and I couldn’t be happier.”

This link has the video of player interviews and some text excerpts from theie weekly media appearance. And we can’t let the Damien Harris-Honey Bun battle go without comment, can we? It’s been two years since DX34 has had one. I’m guessing the first thing he does after the CFP Championship game is eat an entire sleeve of well-earned Little Debbies.

For some of you, I have some bad news — hope you’re up for a four-hour name-your-score-thrashing on the Third Saturday, while the dulcet tones of Gary and Nessler ease you into your fifth Allstate commercial of the last six plays.

CBS never puts a link when they send this to me, so here’s the presser for the TSiO game crew.

The name of this mail app is Edison, BTW. Highly recommended.

Controversial Opinion: I’m fine with this being on CBS. The Alabama-Tennessee game is meant for a sunny afternoon, long shadows, a crisp breeze in the air, and a Big Orange Beatdown.

Let’s finish wrapping up the Arkansas game. Yesterday, Josh covered some of the defensive breakdowns in match-zone coverage, and some particularly bad injury news. Today, we’ve got Charting for the team. Tomorrow, we’ll break down the individual players on Charting. And Thursday, we’ll have our film review for the inside linebackers.

Perhaps more importantly, the coaches have finished going through their film and have named six Alabama performers as the Tide’s players of the week:

The Alabama coaching staff selected six players of the week following the Crimson Tide’s 65-31 at Arkansas last Saturday in Fayetteville. Damien Harris, Jerry Jeudy and Tua Tagovailoa on offense; Deionte Thompson and Quinnen Williams on defense; and Jaylen Moody on special teams all earned the coaches’ honor for their performances against the Razorbacks.

The media viewing session for Monday’s practice was “very brief,” so here’s a snippet of what AL has got — and it seems uncharacteristic that Saban let the DB depth be known following Trevon Diggs’ injury.

-- With Trevon Diggs out, the cornerback group during drills was Saivion Smith first and then Patrick Surtain, Josh Jobe, Nigel Knott and D.J. Lewis. Diggs, who suffered a broken foot against Arkansas, is out indefinitely.

Here’s Saban’s Monday presser, filled with nothing but praise for Missouri’s Drew Lock, the man many consider to be the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Casagrande’s livestream summary is here, BTW.

If you want something a bit more substantive, but don’t have the ability to stream video, Charlie Potter always has a great verbatim recap:

“I’ve talked about sacks before. They’re something that you don’t like to have any negative plays, whether it’s a tackle for loss or sacks on offense. I think sacks are not a significant statistic in terms of winning or losing, but you sure don’t like to have negative plays because they put you behind in the down and distance. There are stats on when you do get sacked, how many times do you go down and score on that series and it’s a very, very low percentage because you have to overcome a long down and distance situation.

Why the particular quote above? Because Alabama has only surrendered four sacks through six games — only six teams have given up less pressure on the QB, and they are all triple option or zero-step-drop Air Raid teams.

The combination of excellent pass pro, and a QB who makes quick decisions, has made some very good o-linemen look and become even better, including Alabama’s Ross Pierschbacher — the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week:

Pierschbacher graded out at a team-high 93 percent in the Crimson Tide’s 65-31 victory at Arkansas last Saturday. The redshirt senior accounted for four knockdown blocks as the Tide backs accumulated 246 yards rushing and five touchdowns. Pierschbacher did not allow a quarterback pressure or commit a penalty in 56 snaps and allowed time for the UA quarterbacks to accumulate 393 yards passing and four scores through the air.

That’s just a filthy stat line. If your enthusiasm lasts longer than four hours, please call your doctor.

So, you say you want an advanced stat breakdown of Tua Tagovailoa, eh? We’re simply running out of words to describe what he’s doing this season — after just six starts as a collegian.

Bill Connelly takes a look at Tua’s numbers and compares them to the best games by Heisman quarterbacks, ever. The results are...wow.

This can’t wait any longer. We just have to talk about Tua Tagovailoa.

More specifically, we have to talk about his stats. I’ve never seen anything like them. You haven’t either.

If you ever asked yourself, in one of your more masochistic moments, “I wonder what it would be like if Nick Saban had the best quarterback in college football,” wonder no more. Hell, he might not only have the best quarterback of 2018 — he might have the best QB of the decade. There have been a lot of good quarterbacks this decade!

It’s no surprise that Tua is now beyond an even-money favorite to win the 2018 Heisman Memorial Trophy. He began the season with 12/1 odds to win the Stiff Arm. After two weeks, he had moved up to 9/1. And, after six weeks, he’s now sitting at 4/5 and there’s not anyone within sniffing distance of those odds.

I’ve never seen anything like it. And, as Bill C. writes, neither have you.

Only cherry-picked Jameis Winston can top Tagovailoa in completion rate, and only cherry-picked Mayfield can top him in yards per completion. Tua’s touchdown rate is the highest, and uh, he has yet to throw an interception.

Only one of these cherry-picked (and spectacular) QBs comes within rating 30 points of Tagovailoa.

Damn.

#GolfSchool

The third-ranked Alabama men’s golf team finished the opening day of the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate with a 36-hole total of 6-under par 554 (277-277) on Monday afternoon at the Old Overton Club. The Crimson Tide will enter Tuesday’s third and final round just one stroke back of clubhouse leader BYU (553).

Tee times, complete recap, pairings and more are right here. You can also follow live coverage on Golfstat.com

Want the definition of a meteor game? Vols at Barn this weekend. And, for reasons known only to God himself, Gus Malzahn is accepting questions from the Al.com readers. The comments are an hilarious mini-meltdown unto themselves, as well as being a crime against all that is holy and grammatical. I woke my dog up laughing at these this morning.

Representative comments below:

Gus,
Does it seem like family to you that the people who sung your praises and mocked their two biggest rivals after you beat them, and did not want you to go to Arkansas are calling for you to be fired less than a year later?

Gus,
At what point does your longing for Waffle House get so bad that you win a game? Surely you can’t go another week.

Gus it is early shake things up put D line as O line let them play both ways

Coach, I know you want to get butter. It’s on aisle 5 at Kroger on Dean Road.

1) will your inside linebackers shed blocks & tackle the Quarterback in case he decides to run up the middle?
2) will your quarterback throw the ball TO the receivers?
3) will your receivers catch the ball if he does?

Coach, do you think Nick Fitzgerald might run it up the middle?

Coach how do you start a 49 million dollar ponzi scheme and get away with it.

And those are selected from just the first 20 comments.

#SwimmingSchool:

Alabama swimmer Rhyan White earned Team USA’s first swimming medal of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games Monday night. The Crimson Tide freshman from Herriman, Utah, earned a bronze medal in the 100-meter backstroke during the second day of the games being held in Buenos Aires, Argentina this week.

Seriously, that is an awesome accomplishment. Congratulations, Rhyan. Roll Tide; Roll America. YEWWWW ESSSSSS AYEEEEE.

For fans of the historical side of the game, the winningest coach in College Football history passed away yesterday, the legendary St. John’s head man, John Gagliardi:

Legendary St. John’s head coach John Gagliardi has died at the age of 91, his family confirmed on Sunday. Gagliardi’s unorthodox coaching methods drew national attention to a small school in Minnesota, where he was not only subverting trends but winning a ton of football games.

Gagliardi recorded more wins than any other college football coach during his 64-season career, totaling 489 wins, 138 losses and 11 ties. He also won four national championships during his time at St. John’s, an all-male Catholic school in Collegeville, Minnesota, that competes at the NCAA’s non-scholarship Division III level.

The Johnnies won some championships, to be sure. But a lot of the credit for their success was an unbroken six-decade run of just playing fundamentally sound and consistent football — and he all of this did this despite having zero scholarship players and never running a contact practice in 64 years.

RIP, coach.

Finally, let’s take you out on a lighter note: This man is all of us.

Have a great day. Roll Tide