Happy Monday, everyone. Another week, another blowout win. Your latest #OutworkYesterday video:
Everybody is weighing in on Tua this morning.
Tua Tagovailoa is your Heisman frontrunner after three career starts and it’s not particularly close if you follow the national conversation during Alabama games.
Tagovailoa’s scintillating performance in Saturday’s win over Ole Miss was particularly impressive early following the lefty’s 79-yard touchdown strike to Jerry Jeudy down the seam that gave the Crimson Tide a lead they would never relinquish.
A whole bunch of Tweets are embedded in there from various writers, but this one sums it up the best.
watching bama with tua feels like when the warriors added durant. good grief.— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) September 16, 2018
That’s about right.
Tagovailoa completed 11 of his 15 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns. The quarterback also rushed for 47 yards on nine carries as the team’s second-leading rusher behind running back Damien Harris (5 carries, 62 yards, 1 TD). Through three games, Tagovailoa has directed 20 drives as the Tide’s starter with 14 resulting touchdowns and one culminating in a field goal.
“I thought he played really well. I was really pleased,” Saban said of Tagovailoa.
The numbers really are staggering. Of course, they come with the caveat that the Tide hasn’t been tested by even an average defense. That will happen this week.
Wrapping up Ole Miss:
Alabama’s 49 points through two quarters mark the most by an SEC team in a conference game since 2005. You know how UA coach Nick Saban always preaches the importance of starting fast? Well, the Crimson Tide is outscoring opponents 117-7 in the first half alone so far this season.
-- Diggs made another big breakup near the goal-line early in the second quarter on another vertical pass.
-- Ole Miss tried to go deep to Metcalf again on the third possession but Patrick Surtain II was in tight coverage with Deionte Thompson helping over the top. Saban said they adjusted cut down the chances of another big bomb.
-- The five first-quarter possessions for Ole Miss after scoring first: punt, punt, interception, fumble, punt.
-- The fumble came on Deionte Thompson’s big open-field hit on Jordan Ta’amu scrambling for a first down. What’s notable was on the next snap, Tagovailoa took off and ran for 15 yards. He slid instead of taking a big hit.
Lost in the flood of points that Alabama scored was the fact Ole Miss had shown itself to be a potent offensive team, a team that has a win over a Power 5 opponent, Texas Tech, on a neutral field. Sneer away about “Big 12 defenses,” but that game was a fair measure of what Ole Miss can do.
Against Alabama, they made one big play, the first one. The Rebels made no others, at least not any that amounted to anything. After the first 11 seconds, Ole Miss never reached the red zone again, not with three vaunted receivers, two of whom were essentially invisible.
Alabama safety Xavier McKinney jumped the slant route, snagged the ball and raced 30 yards to the end zone for the Crimson Tide’s final touchdown on a night when the No. 1 team in the land shredded the Rebels, 62-7, during a cartoonish romp.
”I didn’t too much think he was going to pass it,” McKinney said. “But he passed it and I was there and I made a play.”
It’s funny and a referendum on the mindset of most college fans around the country that everyone wants to talk about the offense and not a defense that pitched a shutout for more than 59 minutes of game time. The secondary won’t see a better set of WRs this season, and they acquitted themselves quite well. The pass rush was there when Ta’amu didn’t throw the quick stuff, and the DL managed to bat down quite a few when he did. That side of the ball seems to be rounding into form ahead of schedule. If the offense stays healthy and the defense lives up to its top 5 potential, this team won’t be challenged.
Looking ahead to the Aggies:
The betting line is out for this weekend’s matchup between No. 1 Alabama and No. 22 Texas A&M, and the defending champions are nearly a four-touchdown favorite over its fourth opponent.
The Crimson Tide opened as a 27-point favorite over the Aggies, according to VegasInsider.com.
Saban is 12-0 against former assistants after defeating Georgia’s Kirby Smart, his longtime defensive coordinator at Alabama, in last season’s national title game. Saban has won six national titles overall, including 2003 at LSU with an eager offensive coordinator by his side.
“One of the best things he did as a coach was never let you get divided offensively and defensively,” Fisher remembered. “That was the greatest thing about those LSU teams, even though there were battles during practices and the pride of winning the day.”
Saban vs. Fisher will be the storyline this week. The fact that Alabama is favored by 27 points over a team that gave the #2 team in the country all it wanted only a week ago underscores the confidence in this group.
SEC Shorts has an amusing installment this week.
Good for Dacoacho, but about that FSU fan...
Alabama won the third quarter 11-0 and the fourth 3-0, slowly bleeding out whatever hopes FSU had of an upset.
In the fourth quarter, QB Deondre Francois got sacked and tore a tendon in his left knee.
He missed the year, and FSU struggled with true freshman James Blackman in his place.
Before the last game of the regular season, when FSU was 5-6, Texas A&M threw $75 million at Fisher. An era was over just like that.
Hypotheticals are unprovable, but if FSU had beaten Alabama and Francois hadn’t gotten hurt, there’s no telling how good FSU would have been.
Poor ‘Noles. Yes, they have had attrition and some bad injury luck at thin positions, but the fact remains that they just brought in the #11 class on the 247 composite despite a coaching change, and it was preceded by three consecutive top five classes. There is no excuse for the team being this awful, and the locals seem to agree. At least eight different GoFundMe accounts have been set up to pay for Willie Taggart’s buyout. So much for honeymoons.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.