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Jumbo Package: Tide favored by 17.5 in College Station

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. Alabama heads to College Station this week, currently giving 17.5 according to Vegas Insider. As usual, Michael Casagrande has one final Ole Miss wrap up.

— All of Alabama’s fourth-down stuffs required an excellent play from at least one player. Backup defensive lineman Tim Smith had the tackle on the first one at the 6-yard line just as Jerrion Ealy appeared to find some daylight. Drew Sanders hurried Matt Corral on the one ending the second drive and Henry To’o To’o made the tackle of Ealy behind the line on the third one.

— Alabama had its highest time of possession of the season with 37:59 and its longest drive of the game was the first one that took 6:31 off the clock. There was more of a deliberate style but Ole Miss giving them short fields a few times cut down on the time it needed to score.

Alabama’s rough second half against Florida was mostly caused by individual players not trusting the scheme and their teammates, freelancing on too many occasions rather than simply doing their jobs. On Saturday, we saw what this defense is capable of when guys execute their assignments.

So, about that Big Al popcorn costume...

She said it began with a text from a coworker who heard about the pregame interview. Alabama was up comfortably, 28-0, at the time so Thrasher said she sent a staffer back to Big Al’s lair in Coleman Coliseum.

It turns out they’ve had this popcorn costume for a few years for use at Alabama basketball games. Big Al even wore it once last season when COVID-19 restrictions had mascots confined to the seating bowl and off the field.

Just outstanding.

Yahoo says that Bryce Young is now the clear Heisman frontrunner.

Alabama’s sophomore quarterback becomes the clear front-runner for the Heisman Trophy after throwing for 241 yards and two scores to lead the Tide past Matt Corral and the Rebels. Corral remains a factor after completing 21 of his 29 attempts for 213 yards and two touchdowns of his own, one coming on the ground. But Young has the numbers for the nation’s top-ranked team to go with the head-to-head win against his biggest Heisman threat.

Sounds like rat poison.

Cecil Hurt was also impressed with the defense.

If there was one area where Saban wouldn’t mind stepping back to a less offensive time, it was the defense. There were some late points, and Saban doesn’t just shake those off like water from a duck’s back, but the argument can be made that, relative to expectations, it was as strong a performance as Alabama has posted in three years. Take every other statistic out of the game and you are left with this: Ole Miss had 647 yards against Pete Golding’s defense last season and less than half of that (291) Saturday.

Check out this nugget from David Ubben at The Athletic.

Young has waited an average of 6.8 seconds in the pocket before deciding to scramble this season, the second-longest in the FBS, according to Pro Football Focus. How many quarterbacks in the country even have the luxury of a decision to make after 6.8 seconds? Many quarterbacks are picking themselves up off the ground seven seconds after taking a snap.

This season, he ranks 47th nationally in the pocket before a pass attempt, at 2.6 seconds. That’s almost a full half-second more on each attempt than players who lead the nation in the stat, like Appalachian State’s Chase Brice, Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker and Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, who are all below 2.2 seconds a dropback.

The Tide keep the pocket clean and allow Young’s talent to shine. That was never more true than Saturday when Alabama overwhelmed Ole Miss.

Many have expressed frustration with the pass protection at times, including Saban, but with offensive numbers down across the country this season, it may well be that this line is playing as well as anyone’s.

Thoughts?

Last, a sampling of this week’s NFL exploits.

It’s all just so beautiful, isn’t it?

That’s about it for today. Have a great week.

Roll Tide.