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Jumbo Package: Saban pleased that MSU “woke up” the offense

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Alabama John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. As you might expect, there hasn’t been much digital ink spilled on the upcoming Citadel game, but here are a couple of interesting notes.

“We definitely should play these games (annually). We don’t get the opportunity to do it week in and week out. So for us to get the opportunity to go up there and play Clemson last year, South Carolina a couple years ago .. it’s exciting for our players. The good thing this year is that we have the Charleston Southern game (after) this one. So it doesn’t finish off our year like it has the last couple years. It’ll be exciting for us to go to Alabama and then come back here and play another game. I do like it, but not necessarily where it falls at the end of the schedule. I certainly love the stage and experience something we may never ever have a chance to experience again.”

-- Big C from Greenville is next on the phone lines. He wants to know about the redshirt rule and how it impacts things Saturday. Saban said they’ll make the decision tomorrow based on the list who will be in the mix. Saban said there are only two fifth-year seniors on the team right now.

-- Saban likes this redshirt rule for young players who are learning how to get ready and play in a game.

The Citadel celebrated homecoming last week by hosting the Samford Bulldogs. A sluggish star by the home team found Samford ahead 21-0 early in the second quarter. The Citadel used a 35-7 second half to pull out a huge comeback, 42-27, and claim the program’s first home win since October 28, 2017.

This is a mediocre FCS team, which means that they have no reason to rest starters for an upcoming playoff game. I have spent exactly zero time scouting them, so I have no idea whether they use cut-blocking like many triple option teams. If they do, the bigger Tide linemen will need to watch their knees. Other than that, the only reason to watch this game will be the young guys. With the new redshirt rule, pretty much every true freshman should get a little field time tomorrow.

The head man seems pleased with the preparation.

“I think that that’s something that kind of woke our offense up a little bit. Things have gone really easily for us most of the year this year in terms of scoring points, getting ahead in games, and sometimes you get a little lax. You don’t pay attention to detail, you don’t play with the same discipline, you don’t finish things the right way, you take things for granted. And I think that our guys responded really well this week because we have practiced a little better, and hopefully, we’ll play a little better in this game because of it.”

Maybe it’s just a coincidence that the staff made zero adjustments to fairly basic blitz concepts with a three TD lead, but Saban seemed awfully giddy about the team facing some adversity. The man is a master psychologist, at least when it comes to young athletes.

Some Tide commits showed out in the state playoffs.

Byron Young, 4-star SDE, Laurel (Miss.) West Jones — Young is backing up his Top100 rankings bump after tallying 18 tackles, including three tackles for a loss and two sacks in a 25-23 first round playoff win over Stone. The Mustangs face Hattiesburg in the second round this week.

DeMarcco Hellams, 4-star S, Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic — Hellams had arguably the game of the week of all Tide commits, scoring twice, picking off two passes and blocking a punt in a 30-14 first round playoff win over Good Counsel. The Stags will face Gonzaga in the second round this week.

Wow, 18 stops from a defensive end? Have a day, Byron. After missing on Dax Hill, Hellams is a critical piece to this class. The safety depth going forward is a bit frightening.

Apparently the rumor that organizers wanted to bump Louisville for UCF was true.

No official proposal to change the game was ever made. UCF indicated that it would be interested if it became a real possibility, but never heard back after receiving the initial phone call. The idea was raised after UCF defeated Auburn in the Peach Bowl on Jan. 1 and before Alabama won the national championship on Jan. 8.

Alabama was never contacted by Florida Citrus Sports, the organizer of the Camping World Kickoff game; the idea never proceeded that far.

If this had happened, we wouldn’t be hearing about UCF as a playoff candidate but Alabama would have another top 20 win on the schedule. Something tells me that Petrino would have jumped at the chance to get out of it.

Elsewhere, there was an ugly blowup on the Houston sideline last night, as Major Applewhite removed a jacket from Ed Oliver.

Applewhite confirmed after the game that the jacket was the reason for the kerfluffle, and that the coffee is for closers jacket is for starters. It has been speculated that Oliver isn’t really hurt but merely sitting out to preserve himself for the NFL Draft. In any event, the best player in school history screaming at the head coach on national TV and then never returning to the sideline has to be embarrassing for the program.

Last, please help out the LSU fan, won’t you?

Seriously y’all, sign the crap out of this thing and leave your humorous insufferable Bammer comments. We got nothing else to do.

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

Roll Tide.