clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jumbo Package: Wide receivers getting healthier but still limited

All the Crimson Tide news and notes worth reading. Or your money back.

Alabama v LSU Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images


If you’re not familiar with him, Trey Sanders is absolutely the real deal.

Hardware season is almost upon us. Safe to say that Davey O’Brien semifinalist Tua Tagovailoa may add a few things to his trophy case next month:

Alabama sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been named one of 16 semifinalists for the 2018 Davey O’Brien Award, the Davey O’Brien Foundation announced Wednesday.

In his first full season as Alabama’s starting quarterback, Tagovailoa is authoring one of the top passing seasons in UA history. The Ewa Beach, Hawai’i, native leads the nation in yards per completion and is second in yards per attempt and passing efficiency. His 27 touchdown passes this season ranks No. 4 on the Alabama single-season list, and he is already No. 5 on the Tide career touchdown pass list with 38 scoring tosses in 18 career games.

Related: I really liked this piece by AL updating some Alabama and SEC records and where the team and players lie.

Tua isn’t the only one starting to make the watch lists — Mike Locksley, as so many coaches before him at Alabama, has gone from a state of noble disgrace to a career renaissance. Yesterday, he was nominated for the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant or coordinator.

Through nine games, Alabama is ranked No. 1 nationally in passing efficiency with a rating of 210.28. The Crimson Tide also ranks No. 1 in scoring at 51.3 points per game and total offense at 565.6 yards per game. Alabama is fifth in the country in passing offense at 341.6.

Some would say they could score 50 with Tua and this offense. Fair enough, but how he has done so has been top notch — how he’s scripted and schemed games, the innovative and diverse sets, the ball distribution and rotations — and those are all on him.

I fully expect Brent to write up some loving piece about the two-back sets one day.

It’s that time of year at the Barn: Dread Vote of Confidence season!

On Tuesday, Auburn Undercover reporter Brandon Marcello spoke to Auburn AD Allen Greene, who stated Malzahn will return in 2019.

“He’ll be the coach next year and I’m confident — he’s already proven we can get through adversity,” Greene said, via Auburn Undercover. “Every team has it and I’m looking forward to working with him for a long time.”

No kidding, Allen. With a $32 million buyout, you will be with him a while.

But, please do enjoy this bit of whining re: UGA - Alabama.

“I’d like, like I said, to have one home and one away like in 2010,” Malzahn said. “... Whatever Allen wants is fine. What I want is one home, one away.”

Since the SEC schedule doesn’t change until 2025, I’m guessing he’ll never have to worry about it.

PFF has been consistent all season. Not only is Quinnen Williams the best defensive lineman in the country, he’s been the best defensive player in America since week one. He’s grading off the charts:

Let’s check in on the health of the wideouts. There was a bit of a panic during the practice session when ubermensch Jerry Jeudy was not in the lineup with the Ones.

“He was out there,” Saban said. “He got a little tweak and went in, and he’s fine. It’s no problem.”

Fellow wideout Henry Ruggs III (leg) fully practiced Tuesday, Saban said on the SEC coaches teleconference, but receiver DeVonta Smith (hamstring) and quarterback Jalen Hurts (ankle) were only able to do “some things.” He provided the latest on that duo Wednesday. “They did a little more, yeah,” Saban said. “They’re doing a little more every day. We just don’t want to push the envelope and make them any worse. We want to try to get them a little better and a little stronger every day and then decide what their role can be in the game.”

I really enjoyed these 10 possible playoff scenarios at TSN:

The one Bama wants

1. Alabama

2. Oklahoma

3. Ohio State

4. UCF

Best part about it: Kyler Murray vs. Dwayne Haskins, and Alabama-UCF in a battle of last year’s national champions. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Can we get there? No. It’s unlikely that both Ohio State and UCF would get in; it’s unlikely UCF gets in the Playoff at all. Still, this would be ideal for Alabama in so many ways. They could silence UCF and get a championship game against Oklahoma, which won the last meeting in the 2014 Sugar Bowl, or Ohio State, which won the last meeting in the 2015 Sugar Bowl en route to the first Playoff championship.

Please, Football Loki, give me a first round UCF game.

From Aye Ell, here’s Saban’s presser:

And, Charlie Potter has your transcript covered:

Opening statement...

”Practice is a little better today. We have lots of respect for Mississippi State. We’ve had some really tough games with them in the past. They’re playing really well right now. I think our team needs to focus on what we need to do to get better. I think a simple question you can ask yourself is, ‘Am I better today than I was yesterday?’

”Seems like it’s been a long time since we’ve played at home, about a month. So we look forward to the energy and enthusiasm and the environment that our fans created in the Missouri game. I know our players certainly appreciate that and hopefully will respond because I think it could have an impact on this game.”

This is the game I least look forward to every year: the emotional and mental hangovers are strong.

One of the best stories of recent years, Levi Wallace, just got even better — Wallace was recalled from the practice squad and is now on the Bills active roster.

Dummy doubles-down on overrated Tua tweet, somehow sounds even dumber:

In fact, he said he first made the Tebow reference during last year’s championship game.

“I think he looks like him,” Giglio said of Tagovailoa. “I think he is a better quarterback and a better thrower. But, he’s left-handed, his size, his ability to run, the way he throws the ball. I think he has a long motion like Tebow did. I think he locks in on a receiver. I kind of saw Tebow in the national title game (against Georgia).”

He’s athletic, not a runner; his throwing motion looks nothing like Tebow’s; his delivery and release are nothing like Tebow; he freaking made his legend looking off a safety in a cover two. They both love some Jesus, helm high scoring SEC offenses, won the natty, and will run away with the Heisman, but that’s about it for the similarities. Never trust yankees with football, man.

Six teams no one wants to play right now. Yup. You really don’t want Bama.

The final pivot is the really mindbending one. Alabama switched to what looked a lot like a spread run game, started a quarterback who was nothing like his predecessors in Jalen Hurts, and ran him to another shot at a national title before switching to the next coming of Football Jesus himself in Tagovailoa.

Switching styles of offense is one thing. It’s something teams don’t do much, much less without a head coaching change. But doing that in three or possibly four different variations over the course of a decade, with five or six differently styled players, all without losing momentum?

That’s something that would kill lesser regimes.

Kirshner does take a crack at four things Georgia can do over the next few weeks to try and prep itself for a rematch — Number 4 is gold.

We’ll be back later to preview the Bulldogs defense and help you folks make some money. Roll Tide