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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

Can Dallas Turner surpass Will Anderson in sacks in 2022?

NCAA Football: Alabama at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

“What I learned the most probably is to always finish plays and always go hard, right or wrong,” Turner said prior to Tuesday’s practice. “And I feel like that’s what I did last year as a freshman coming in and stepping up into that big role I had to fill.”

Through two games, Turner has been in the starting lineup and has recorded six tackles and two hurries. More than a year in the program, he revealed where he has grown the most.

“I feel like my maturity on the field and understanding defenses and offenses a lot more,” he said. “And also I feel like my pass rush has developed a little more, as well. I feel like as a group, too, a lot of people have been getting better. … I would say I’m starting to get more comfortable rushing against college offensive linemen because high school is not the same at all.”

With Utah State refusing to pass the ball and then the Texas fiasco, Dallas Turner hasn’t had much of a chance to rack up any sacks yet. As the season progresses, look for him to continue to build on his improvements and start adding to the stat sheet. I still predict he winds up with more sacks than Will Anderson this season.

“It was pretty tough watching on the sideline vs. Utah State, only because that’s my home state and I would love to play versus them,” he said Tuesday meeting with reporters prior to Alabama practice. “Also, how much I can help the team and I felt like I was not only letting them down but I wanted to be out there.”

It was a very good thing for Bama, however, that Latu was able to play in last week’s game at Texas.

“It felt great,” he said. “Being out there, it kind of felt like a dream come true again. It just felt amazing.”

Alabama got along fine without Latu in the opener, defeating the Aggies 55-0. That may not have been the case in Austin Saturday when the Tide squeaked past the Longhorns, 20-19.

Latu had some key moments in that game.

After watching week 1 and then seeing Latu back in the game in week 2, I think it’s pretty clear he’s easily the best TE on the roster for the Tide. I saw him make quite a few very good seal blocks on the edge, only to have it go unnoticed as the running backs got tackled by blown interior blocks. And it’s clear Bryce Young trusts him more than most on scramble plays.

Corners of the internet collectively shuddered at the thought of what Alabama’s next practice might entail as Saban, a man obsessed with the eradication of complacency, puts his team through its paces after an early season scare. But nail-biters in the opening weeks off a season haven’t been uncommon for playoff contenders in recent years. Twenty of the College Football Playoff’s 32 bids were secured by teams that won at least one of their first four games by 8 points or fewer.3 And three of the past four national champions — and both of last year’s national title participants — experienced a one-score outcome before the fourth week of the season.

Here’s an article that did some homework! Seriously, give it a click for a couple of nice graphics looking at recent college football history of National Championship contenders playing close games in September. There is both some cause for alarm, and also some solace for Tide fans.

Meanwhile, there’s drama in Finebaum land again...

“I wouldn’t give that man the time of day,” he said. “If I had to, I damn sure would. He’s not worth it. That’s what Pete’s told me. ‘He’s not worth listening to, so forget him, dad.’ Sometimes I can. Sometimes I can’t because Pete would kill me.”

Skip Golding assured Finebaum that Pete Golding won’t be happy he called Finebaum. “I’m sure he’ll call me and not be very happy I called you.”

Essentially someone called in to complain about Pete Golding’s defense being unable to stop a hobbled backup QB from scrambling 20 yards, and Golding’s dad, Skip, called in to defend his son’s honor. It turned into a bit of a spat.

With those criticisms in mind, here’s a poll just to gauge the audience (and maybe stir up some RBR comment drama)

Poll

Would you prefer to keep or replace Pete Golding as Alabama’s defensive coordinator?

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    Keep
    (755 votes)
  • 34%
    Replace
    (405 votes)
1160 votes total Vote Now

With the NFL kicking off this week, Charlie Potter has his weekly roundup of Alabama players in the pros:

Entering the first week of the season, only three teams do not currently have a former Alabama player on their 53-man rosters – Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers. For Week 1, the Seattle Seahawks elevated long snapper Carson Tinker to their active roster – the same goes for cornerback Tony Brown (Colts) – bringing the number of Crimson Tide alums in the league to 59. The New England Patriots have the most former UA standouts with five.

Notably, Carson Tinker arrived in Seattle just a few days before the Monday Night Football game when their regular snapper separated his shoulder. Tinker making it to the Seahawks active roster drops the the count down to only 3 NFL without an Alabama player.

And in hoops news we now have the official 2022-2023 schedule!

Alabama will play home-and-home series against Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt this upcoming season. The Crimson Tide will host Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Ole Miss at home and face Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas A&M on the road.

In addition to its SEC slate, Alabama will play a tough non-conference schedule to start its 2022-23 campaign. The Tide will face Longwood, Liberty, Jacksonville State, Memphis, South Dakota State and Jackson State at home, Gonzaga in Birmingham, Oklahoma, Houston and South Alabama on the road. UA will also play in the Phil Knight Invitational from Nov. 24-27, along with Iowa State, Michigan State, North Carolina, Oregon, Portland, UConn and Villanova.

Alabama will open the 2022-23 regular season with back-to-back home contests beginning Monday, Nov. 7, against Longwood, followed by a matchup against Liberty on Friday, Nov. 11.

December is going to be certifiably nuts, as Alabama plays Houston, Memphis, and Gonzaga all in the span of 8 days. Add in a January tussle with Oklahoma, plus the regular SEC schedule, and this is going to be just as tough as it was last year. The Tide will definitely be battle-tested come March... whether they pass or fail that test remains to be seen.

Finally, Auburn’s passing game is on the receiving end of this Joe Goodman zinger:

The season is still young, but a worrisome pattern in the SEC already trends foul. Auburn’s passing game is starting to smell like an illegal dumping ground of rotting chicken parts in Winston County.

Just imagine the horror.

Just imagine if someone were actually paying attention.

Auburn coach Bryan Harsin was billed as a quarterback specialist when he was hired, but quarterback is arguably the worst position on Auburn’s team two games into Harsin’s second season. There’s no more hiding behind obscure warm-up opponents and also-ran airtime on ESPNU, though

Woof. You hate to see it.

Roll Tide!