Happy Tuesday, everyone. Tonight the surging Alabama basketball team will play South Alabama, for which we will have coverage a bit later on. The Tide will be without Juwan Gary, but the news is much better than it could have been.
Alabama forward Juwan Gary will not be out longterm, Nate Oats said. He’s doubtful for South Alabama but it’s not a major injury, Oats said.— Michael Casagrande (@ByCasagrande) November 15, 2021
Gary defines blue collar and brings an infectious energy to the floor. He is going to be a key cog to any success that Alabama has this season. Tonight’s game should provide us a first look at 6’11” Alex Tchikou, who was suspended by Oats for the first two games.
Aaron Suttles examines just how poorly Alabama is really doing this year.
There are offensive line issues. There have been breakdowns in the secondary. I’m completely aware of all of that. However, in the context of the entire season, the rankings suggest the Crimson Tide are the most well-rounded team in the country.
For all the heat Golding takes, and it’s a lot, his defense suddenly ranks fifth in the country in yards allowed per game and fourth in rush defense. You wouldn’t know it by how fans talk about the unit.
Lately it’s been O’Brien under fire, especially since the Texas A&M game and most loudly after the LSU game. Still, O’Brien is not directing a complete failure of an offense.
Criticism aside, the bottom line is that all goals are still in front of the team and will be reached if they play to their full potential. Here’s what Saban had to say about it.
— “It’s fine. We criticize ourselves all the time,” Saban said with a smile when asked about what fans/media don’t understand about coordinators and their playcalling. He said they are always trying to close the gap to perfection.
— “Criticism is part of the game,” Saban said.
— Mental errors continue to be the biggest barrier to perfection on defense. When everyone is on the same page, they’re good. Saban said they can’t have any more “my bads.”
Alabama is one of a very few teams that hasn’t capitulated to near exclusive soft zone looks between the 20s this season, a group which includes the nation’s top defense over at Georgia. The fact is that the “my bads” are the only thing keeping the Tide from matching the Dawgs’ dominance on that side of the ball. Whether they can eliminate them at Saban’s behest will tell the tale of this season.
Christopher Smith is getting started early on the Arkansas preview action.
The first few possessions are mission-critical in this matchup.
Ole Miss got to the Alabama 6-yard line on their opening drive before a fourth-and-1 stop. The Rebels offense again failed near midfield on fourth down on their next possession.
Alabama scored touchdowns on its first two possessions and was able to follow an ideal game script the rest of the afternoon.
If the Tide seize an early lead Saturday, I predict that they’ll beat the Razorbacks by more than three touchdowns. Take Alabama -20 if you have access to that number.
Sam Pittman has plenty of respect for the Tide.
“It’s not necessarily about the number of wins over what the expectations, to me it’s about how you’re playing,” he said. “Is the team playing hard? Do you have a chance to win. Sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your direction and you played a good football game.”
The former Georgia assistant called Nick Saban “the best coach in the nation and has been for a long time.”
He also said you have to “get into a fist fight” to beat Alabama in regards to how physical the Crimson Tide plays.
Last, this play didn’t count because of penalty but it happened last night, and you need to see it.
First time in football history that a sack contributed to an interception. pic.twitter.com/IJSDtdcvMt— Roll ‘Bama Roll (@rollbamaroll) November 16, 2021
That’s about it for now. Have a great day.