After every game, Coach Saban releases a list of the players of the game on offense, defense, and special teams. Usually though, these end up being like half of the starting squad. And here on the internet, we aren’t a fan of these participation trophies, and as such will be doing our own weekly award system, decided on democratically by a panel of Roll Bama Roll editors whose names start with B and rhyme with rent. It’s a fool proof system.
As time goes on, we may add or remove awards, based mostly on what I feel like giving out on a given week. There’s no real prize for winning, other than a few fleeting words of internet fame. But what more could someone in today’s culture really want anyway?
Without further ado, here are the picks from week 1:
MVP (Most Valuable Player)
Tua, obviously. He’s been the talk of college football ever since January, and his performance Saturday only inflamed the hype. Everything I could say here has already been said a million times. Moving on.
*This is the runner up on offense, since the overall MVP already got his award. I know I made fun of participation trophies earlier, but a man’s gotta get his word count in.
Jerry Jeudy. The sophomore receiver had two of the Tide’s first three touchdowns, effectively striking at the throat of a still-living cardinal. In the first, he used tremendous spatial awareness to turn around his defender in the back of the endzone and adjust to his quarterback’s unconventional toss. The second was a deep route of absolute beauty at the end of the half.
I very nearly picked safety Deionte Thompson here. He was flying all over the place making tackles, breaking up passes, and picking balls. But, I think the secondary would have played well without him and would have survived.
On the other hand, Quinnen Williams was absolutely dominant up front on a night when the rest of the pass rush was a little subdued. When he went out with an injury scare, I panicked more than if any other player on the defense had fallen. Therefore, he gets the award.
Diggs took a bit of heat last year after he got the start at cornerback in the season opener and got permanently benched before they even made it to halftime. He just wasn’t ready after making the switch from offense earlier that offseason.
One year later, and Diggs quietly had a nearly flawless performance at outside corner, then later on proved he could move inside and play Star. Nobody ever really pointed him out, which is probably the highest praise you can give a cornerback.
Fresh meat of the day
You all saw the same game I did, I assume. Waddle was electric. Since Cyrus Jones and Eddie Jackson left a couple of years ago, the punt return team has been downright unwatchable (and really the three years before Jones’s senior year were pretty bad as well). Then the diminutive freshman came out and strutted his stuff in front of the entire nation, proving to be as slippery as a Walmart bathroom floor while maintaining an absolutely electric speed. On top of that, he cleanly fielded every punt, and made perfect decisions on his fair catches.
Oh, and he did this:
Play of the game
While Waddle was busy returning punts, Josh Jacobs did this on the kickoff:
A quick 77-yard kickoff return for touchdown by Josh Jacobs midway through the 3rd quarter. Alabama leads 41-7. pic.twitter.com/9K579wMnON— BamaInsider.com (@bamainsider) September 2, 2018
Sorry for the lack of a nice .gif. Vox was being difficult, so you just get a tweet link instead. Talk to Josh for a refund.
Anyway, a kick return touchdown, three broken tackles, and a double block from Keaton Anderson is the height of awesome.
Reuben Foster Best Hit award
There weren’t any truly devastating hits that I remembered seeing on screen, so this one won it for me. It would have been a much harder one if the poor receiver hadn’t jumped backwards just before getting hit (which I stand by using as evidence as this shouldn’t have been a first down, since he started going backwards before Mack got to him. But I digress)
Blooper of the game
Just.... Yeah. A 27 yarder.
As always, let me know in the comments if you think my selection for each category was wrong (and if you can post a gif of the play in question, you get extra points). Plus, feel free to suggest new categories for awards. If I like them, I just might give them out. Or not.