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Jumbo Package — Tide takes lessons from the Citadel to heart

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There were a lot of teaching moments Saturday.

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">Alabama v LSU

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

How fast are the Alabama WRs? Well, Henry Ruggs III owns a 100 meter 7A record, if that tells you anything — and they’re still all nearly neck-and-neck in a straightaway.

Troll hard, AL.com:

Did the 2017 Iron Bowl matter?

My take? Of course not. Auburn merely earned a split the Western Division with Alabama, was ommited from the CFP playoffs, did not win an SEC Championship — certainly not a national one, it brought them absolutely zero momentum going into 2018, and worse, the overreaction from that win vaulted Gus into a nearly-immovable long-term extension that is toxic.

Auburn is in worse shape partially because of that win.

By now you’ve seen The Unofficial Alabama (TUA) coaches. If not, then get caught up. Their latest vid dropped yesterday, and Irv Smith stars in this week’s episode of “Momma, there goes my ankles.”

The practice report is up. Nothing too strategic, but a lot of injury updates:

— Safety Deionte Thompson, who was sidelined Saturday after bruising his knee during the game, was also practicing.

— Sophomore Chadarius Townsend continues to work with the defensive backs. He was also wearing some kind of wrapping on his right knee.

Yeah, Chad, this is really gonna’ reel in the recruits — suspend players for flirting with members of the opponent’s dance team.

“They will not be here today or yesterday or any part of this week for unacceptable behavior -- actions that are completely unacceptable to anything we’re about,” coach Chad Morris said, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this partially what college is about? How does attraction to someone or flirting with the dance team at all deter the team goals or performance? Note his use of the word “unacceptable” in relation to behavior — completely unrelated to performance. Buddy, I know I’d take my skills to Arkansas State before I spend four years with this Puritanical weirdo.

But, Chad’s not alone: The buzzkill patrol was out in full swing this week.

Speaking of learning moments, the Tide got them in spades against the Citadel. Not just Saban, but other team leaders think it was a much needed wake-up call.

“It was definitely what we needed, and it was just like coming out and seeing the pace they ran the triple option at, it was something that we haven’t seen before,” Thompson said. “Once we got adjusted to it, realized what they were doing, it kind of slowed down for us and we came out in the second half and did a pretty good job.”

Amazing that as dominant as Alabama has been the past decade that it’s only had one undefeated season.

Saban has led the Tide to five national championships over the last nine seasons, but only one perfect record, in 2009. Alabama hasn’t needed to be win them all, having twice captured national titles after failing to win the SEC West, including last season.

Winning the national championship helped lessen the sting of losing the West plus state braggin’ rights, but not remove it altogether.

’’I think the players all know what happened last year,’’ Saban said. ‘’I think they don’t feel great about it. They didn’t feel good about last year. They’ve had to live with it for 365 days.

And the college football history of wire-to-wire No. 1 champions is even worse — the Tide has never won a title doing so, that feat has never been achieved in a 15-game season, and overall it’s been accomplished just three times in the sport’s long history. 2018 may be the year to erase a lot of ghosts.

Yesterday was Coach Saban’s week-opening press conference. Lots of praise for Auburn’s passing game and special teams (ya’ think he’d forget that one again?). He also updates the Tide’s injuries and talks about what the team took away from a disastrous half against the Citadel:

From Potter and 247

On injuries...

Deonte Brown is practicing today. Alex Leatherwood is better. We’re going to probably hold him out of practice today but expect him to be able to practice very soon this week. Damien (Harris), we’ll hold out today but he’s made really good progress. As everyone knows, we have a concussion protocol. Because we have a baseline test on every player and when a player gets back to his baseline -- this was called a mild concussion, and hopefully he’ll be back to his baseline soon and he can resume activity when that occurs. Deionte Thompson is practicing today.

On the subject of special teams, Saban minced no words: Alabama’s kicking game is unacceptable.

Before Saturday, only one Power Five team since 2005 had missed more than seven extra points in a season.

Now, there are two.

Texas A&M missed eight extra points in 2012. And after two more misses during the team’s win over The Citadel on Saturday, Alabama has now already missed eight through its first 11 games.

In total, Crimson Tide kickers have 12 misses on extra points and field goals of less than 40 yards.

Tonight features the penultimate college football playoff committee rankings. And, a UCF appearance isn’t as implausible as it may appear. Anyone that saw the dismantling of Pitt, Cincy, and to a lesser extent Temple, knows this team can beat quality opponents, particularly in a one-off. Hell, as bad as OSU and Oklahoma’s defenses are, I’d give them a decent shot at least in those matchups. Selfishly, I’m pulling for chaos at the bottom and a UCF-Alabama pairing to hush the (somewhat deservedly) yapping Knights fans: Come get your medicine, boys.

Time for a nice Thanksgiving story. This feature on Jonah Williams — his love of Joe Thomas and fine cooking, and how both have helped his linemates, is stellar

Thomas is a hero to both players -- part athlete, part regular guy. Williams picked his No. 73 in honor of the 10-time Pro Bowler, and after Alabama’s victory over Clemson in last year’s Sugar Bowl, Thomas followed Pierschbacher on Twitter. Williams is still salty he didn’t get a follow, too.

Williams could be the next Joe Thomas. He’s big -- 6-foot-5, 300 pounds -- and quick and is largely considered the top left tackle in the country, blocking for the best quarterback in the country, on a team that might be, again, the best in the country.

But also like Thomas, who famously skipped the NFL draft to go fishing, football doesn’t define Williams. The 20-year-old isn’t brewing beer -- yet­ -- but he can cook up a perfectly seasoned rack of lamb that would pair nicely with Thomas’ 73 Kolsch.

Auburn won’t have to worry about screwing up the field; BDS was a hot mess last week (and, as an aside, looking at the weather reports, Friday and early Saturday more rain is expected in the region:

-- Field conditions will be something to watch Saturday after the Bryant-Denny Stadium turf was chewed up so badly in The Citadel game. Ruggs said Tide receivers coach Josh Gattis noticed the grass was in bad shape in warmups last week and reminded them to focus on footwork. “It’s real frustrating,” said Ruggs, who slipped on at least one catch, “because you don’t get many opportunities to make plays and when you have the opportunity and you feel like you can break a long one and you slip like I did, it’s real frustrating.”

We’ll see you back this evening. Roll Tide