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Offensive Line Changes, Experiments and Snap Counts

Nick Saban and the Alabama coaches got a good long look at a true freshman.

Louisiana-Monroe v Alabama
There should be plenty of tape Tyler Booker (52) for the Tide staff to evaluate.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

A major topic of discussion last midweek was the spotty performance by the offensive line after two games. A change was needed and new faces needed playing time against overmatched ULM. One big change came this week in guard Tyler Booker. The true freshman saw extensive playing time at both right and left guard against the Warhawks. He made his first appearance in the Crimson Tide’s third possession in place of starting left guard Javion Cohen. He would later swap to Emil Ekiyor’s spot on the right side while Cohen returned on the left.

Starting center Darrian Dalcourt and starting tackles Tyler Steen and JC Latham played deep into the game.

OFFENSIVE LINE LINEUPS

SERIES DETAILS LT LG C RG RT
1 Touchdown - 4 plays, 75 yards, 1:48 - ULM 0 ALA 7 Steen Cohen Dalcourt Ekiyor Latham
2 Interception - 1 play, 0 yards, 0:12 - ULM 0 ALA 7 Steen Cohen Dalcourt Ekiyor Latham
3 Touchdown - 4 plays, 41 yards, 1:45 - ULM 0 ALA 28 Steen Booker Dalcourt Ekiyor Latham
4 Downs - 4 plays, 7 yards, 1:31 - ULM 0 ALA 28 Steen Booker Dalcourt Ekiyor Latham
5 Punt - 4 plays, -6 yards, 1:47 - ULM 7 ALA 28 Steen Cohen Dalcourt Booker Latham
6 Touchdown - 6 plays, 93 yards, 1:05 - ULM 7 ALA 35 Steen Cohen Dalcourt Booker Latham
End of 1st Half
7 Interception - 3 plays, 16 yards, 0:59 - ULM 7 ALA 35 Steen Cohen Dalcourt Ekiyor Latham
8 Touchdown - 4 plays, 53 yards, 1:23 - ULM 7 ALA 42 Steen Cohen Dalcourt Ekiyor Latham
9 Touchdown - 5 plays, 55 yards, 1:56 - ULM 7 ALA 49 Steen Booker Dalcourt Ekiyor Latham
10 Punt - 5 plays, 34 yards, 2:30 - ULM 7 ALA 49 Steen Booker McLaughlin Ekiyor Latham
11 Touchdown - 10 plays, 49 yards, 3:17 - ULM 7 ALA 63 Kight Ferguson McLaughlin Booker Randolph
12 Downs - 9 plays, 47 yards, 5:23 - ULM 7 ALA 63 Kight Ferguson J. Brockermeyer Bowles T. Brockermeyer

GUARD SERIES TOTALS

  • Emil Ekiyor - 8
  • Tyler Booker - 7
  • Javion Cohen - 6

GUARD SNAP COUNTS

  • Emil Ekiyor - 31 snaps (50.8%)
  • Tyler Booker - 31 snaps (50.8%)
  • Javion Cohen - 23 snaps (37.7%)
  • Terrence Ferguson - 20 snaps (32.8%)
  • Tanner Bowles - 17 snaps (27.9%)

When asked about Booker in his ULM postgame press conference, Nick Saban stated “I’ve got lots of confidence in him. He’s a young player that has played extremely well. He started out at tackle and then we moved him to guard. I view him as a guy that’s competing for a starting position with the other two guys. He’s physical, and we need to be more physical on the offensive line, so we’re going to play him.”

OBSERVATIONS

  • Booker was the only one to play both guard spots. He played with four different combinations of linemen.
  • It was interesting and unexpected to see both Cohen and Booker in the lineup for the fifth and sixth possessions with Ekiyor left on the bench.
  • Kendall Randolph started the first two games at left guard but shared time with Cohen and Ekiyor. For last Saturday’s game, he switched out of his No. 60 jersey back to his more familiar No. 85 and started at tight end. He stayed there most of the game but did return to No. 60 late in the game and played right tackle along with several Tide reserves for one possession.
  • Dalcourt was seen limping during series No. 9 and was relieved by Seth McLaughlin in the ensuing possession. Dalcourt has battled several injuries over his Alabama career. It is good that his back-up got some playing time with the ones.
  • Steen has not been spectacular. He has gotten beat a few times over the last three Saturdays.
  • Junior Damieon George, who started three games last season, blocked on field goal/PAT teams but did not get any offensive snaps on Saturday.
  • Second year reserve Jaeden Roberts has not seen any action in two seasons.
  • Walk-on redshirt senior Jackson Roby got in for the kneel downs at the end.

ASSUMPTIONS

  • It sure appears that Dalcourt, Steen, and Latham are in no danger of losing their starting spots.
  • Randolph likely stays at his blocking tight end spot for the rest of the season.
  • It doesn’t seem likely that Preseason All-SEC Ekiyor loses his right guard spot unless his injuries that kept him out of spring ball are still holding him back.
  • Saturday versus Vanderbilt might just decide this thing. Stay tuned!

Poll

Who you got?

  • 7%
    Team Cohen.
    (49 votes)
  • 66%
    Team Booker.
    (457 votes)
  • 26%
    They are both equally good.
    (181 votes)
687 votes total Vote Now