Happy Thursday, everyone. As you well know, Alabama heads west to College Station on Saturday, and Saban updated us on two injuries.
Nick Saban provided an injury report on two Alabama starters during his Wednesday evening news conference, calling center Chris Owens “very questionable” while stating the team will continue to evaluate kicker/punter Will Reichard on a day-to-day basis.
I will be somewhat surprised to see Owens on Saturday. If he is unable to go, it will apparently be Landon Dickerson in the middle, flanked to his right by Deonte Brown. No issue at all with the names involved, but continuity is always a positive and you hate to see an injury before a tough road game.
After the Ole Miss game that saw John Rhys Plumlee gain plenty on the ground, containing QB Kellen Mond has been a major topic this week.
2. Can Alabama make tackles on the perimeter?
Alabama’s defense wasn’t able to contain Ole Miss on the edge, particularly QB John Rhys Plumlee. It was an issue Tide coach Nick Saban emphasized after the game. Texas A&M could try to exploit that weak spot this week to see just how much Alabama worked on its containment issue.
They have been using a walk-on WR to simulate Mond. The good news is that the kid probably throws it as well as Mond, too. Last year Mond didn’t get much going in the air against the Tide, but did gain 98 yards on the ground. If that happens again Saban is liable to have a coronary on live TV, regardless of score.
Sporting News put out its preview a shade early.
Texas A&M will pull out all the stops for this one, and the key will be keeping it reasonable at halftime. The Aggies trailed Clemson 14-3 last year before making it interesting in the second half. On the other hand, they trailed Alabama 31-13. It’s about not getting buried by the Tagovailoa onslaught. We’ll see what Texas A&M learned from last year, but ultimately the Crimson Tide’s arsenal of receivers is too much to handle.
I think most people see it the same way. Alabama should he able to hurt their defense a whole lot more than they are able to hurt Alabama’s.
Jimbo says he’s pleased with Mond, despite the rather putrid stats.
Though the pieces around Mond have been in flux, Fisher has been pleased with the junior quarterback’s development.
”He loves the competition and he’ll be right there and he’ll be the first one out there working his tail off,” Fisher said. “He’s getting better and better each and every week.”
The defense, which took a huge step forward last season, has been solid but far from perfect. Defensive tackle Bobby Brown III lamented the mental mistakes against Clemson, noting that the defensive line alone had 20 missed assignments. Against Auburn, “our eyes got lazy” against the Tigers’ misdirection and the Aggies didn’t respond accordingly.
I mean, what else is he going to say? And Bobby, you should’ve been in Tuscaloosa, son.
Jimbo shared his thoughts about playing the Tide.
“You’d rather play him at home than you would in a neutral or on the road, that’s for sure,” Fisher said Wednesday on the SEC coaches teleconference. “Unfortunately they’re still bringing the same really, really good players and really well-coached players too, so that makes it tough.
“it’s a challenge. That’s the things you look forward to. That’s why you came into this league. That’s why we come to A&M and you get to play in these games, your players get to play in these games and you look forward to these opportunities to create these memories and the things that go on.”
We should certainly expect their best shot coming off a bye week. Be ready for anything.
People love talking about the Tide’s schedule this year.
However, Alabama’s other two non-conference opponents before November, Duke (44th) and Southern Miss (86th), have a higher ranking than some of the Tide’s conference foes this season. They also rank higher than the average non-conference opponent (92nd) before November over Saban’s time at Alabama.
For now at least, the rankings of the Blue Devils and Golden Eagles help keep Alabama’s non-conference schedule in the middle of the road of those in the Saban era
Just win ‘em all and you got nothing to worry about, right?
Last, Dabo is getting a real taste of the media treatment of a big boy program, and he isn’t handling it well.
“I’m not getting into medical information that I don’t put out there, especially that he gets a bruise in the Texas A&M game. There ain’t nothing wrong with him. Nothing. Zero. Had his best game at Syracuse. Played a great game up there. Ain’t nothing wrong with him. So all the drama-- I’m hot about this because I got a text at home last night and I was pissed. Because it’s like, ‘Oh my God there’s some conspiracy going on.’ No! I tell y’all the truth. I try to be transparent and honest. If there’s something wrong, I would let people know. There’s nothing wrong with him! Nothing! Zero! So people need to get over themselves and quit creating drama when there is none. Zero! Drives me crazy. I’ve been mad about it since last night.”
That’s just a part of his rant. The whole thing is four paragraphs of circular bitching, and it’s fairly amusing.
That’s about it for today. Have a great day.