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Jumbo Package: Isaiah Bond is small, but mighty

Alabama news and links to tide you over during the bye week

NCAA Football: Alabama at Texas A&M Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

To get your juices flowing this morning, check out this cinematic highlight video of Alabama’s victory last weekend:

“I didn’t know anything about anybody coming to the SEC championship game or whatever,” Saban said. “I don’t have a lot of information or background on all this sign-stealing stuff. I’ve kind of focused on our team.

“But I know back in the old days when I was in the NFL, there was a time when you could send out scouts and scout a game, personnel and that type of thing. I don’t think it was geared towards sign stealing, but that was allowed. They changed that rule I think sometime back. We’ve never had that in college for a long, long time.”

If anything, this whole debacle only further strengthens the case for using in-helmet radio, like the NFL does, and get back to the old-fashioned huddle.

“First and foremost you gotta lead by example by doing the little things right and by just being consistent every day in what you do,” Turner said. “Putting in a lot of work every day, putting in extra work and stuff like that. When you guys see older guys do things like that they tend to follow that and the energy is everywhere on the team. It’s just kind of a monkey see monkey do thing though, but you know it’s in a good direction.”

Turner has certainly been leading by example this season, and leading the SEC in sacks this year with eight of them through eight games, which also ranks fifth in the nation across all of college football. He’s also added 34 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles to his stat line, playing a crucial role in Alabama’s defense that’s been having one of its most impressive seasons in recent history.

Team chemistry goes hand in hand with great leadership within a team, a department in which Turner revealed the Crimson Tide also has all their bases covered in as well.

“I mean honestly with the type of leaders we have on this team and the type of camaraderie we have as a unit, as a whole team it’s a lot of good energy on and off the field,” Turner said. “You’re seeing a lot more guys hang out with each other off the field, doing little things like just getting something to eat, or going to the bowling alley, or something like that. It’s just little things that we do on and off the field that make us the team that we are now.”

Good stuff from Turner here. At times over the years, I’ve felt like some players try too hard to step up and become a leader for the team vocally. But for Turner, it sounds like it’s a more natural thing of him just being a good, veteran player who is fully Sabanized and living in the world of aiming for perfection through consistency.

From CBS, here’s what a 12-team playoff would look like if the season ended today:

Let’s take a look at how the 12-team playoff would look through eight full weeks of the 2023 season.

(9) Ole Miss at (8) Alabama

Winner advances to play (1) Michigan*

(12) Air Force* at (5) Ohio State

Winner advances to play (4) Oklahoma*

(11) Penn State at (6) Georgia*

Winner advances to play (3) Washington*

(10) Oregon at (7) Texas

Winner advances to play 2 Florida State*

Are we really sure that Georgia is the worst conference champion of the group? I’d take Florida State at #1 for sure, but past that, do you really trust Washington or Meechigan? I’m just not sure.

And honestly, I didn’t realize that Ole Miss was still so highly regarded. I guess I stopped paying attention to the Rebels after Alabama beat them, but a #9 overall ranking here is pretty solid, and it makes Alabama’s win over them continue to look even better.

This drive doesn’t get a play-by-play breakdown as it makes no sense from a coaching perspective. There’s only 12-seconds left in the half, Alabama is getting the ball first coming out of the locker room. Jalen Milroe just threw an interception on the last drive. The last thing you want is him throwing another going back the other way. Why Alabama didn’t kneel it out, I’ll never know. Instead Jaeden Roberts got banged up and Milroe took another sack. Very strange strategy to me.

Funny story: While watching this live, right before the hail mary shot, I turned to my friend and said “I guarantee this is gonna be a sack. Milroe never throws unless the guy is wide open.”

Anyway, that aside, this is a cool idea for an article from BamaCentral. The author basically broke the game down into a play-by-play with the drives as Youtube videos, and then talked about each drive.

Bond is known for his elite speed, having won the Georgia 6A 100-meter (10.51) and 200-meter (21.19) state titles as a junior at Buford (Ga.) High School. But he has also shown off a physical side of his game this season. Most recently, he trucked Tennessee’s Kamal Hadden on his way to moving the chains, lowering his shoulder rather than avoiding the contact.

While he will continue to be a downfield threat, he also takes pride in being physical.

“Coming from the South, I’m from Georgia, physicality is kind of something that’s instilled in you young,” Bond said. “So even though you might say I’m not the biggest wide receiver, I play as if I was 6-4, 200 pounds. So just going out there and playing big is the most key part.”

This is something surprising that I’ve really enjoyed about Isaiah Bond. When he’s near the sidelines, he’s not going to go quietly out of bounds... No, he’s going to use all 180 pounds of his slight frame and just blast the defender. He’s trucked multiple guys this year, and that kind of attitude on the field is something that other players rally around.

Finally, if you want the whole transcript of Saban’s media appearance on the SEC Teleconference yesterday, Roll Tide Wire has you covered:

“First of all, Kool-Aid’s done a great job for us back there. And I think that a lot of people are kicking the ball away from him because we had a lot of success on punt return last year. So he’s had a lot of difficult balls to field. In other words, they’re not just kicking the ball to him most of the time. I do think that everybody got all concerned about this. There were two balls in the game – one he could have caught, probably been a tough catch, and the last one that went to the one-yard line, which was significant, he really misjudged the ball. These guys that are rugby punters, the ball doesn’t travel exactly like a normal punt, so this ball flew on him a little bit.

“You can see on the film when you watch it that the ball was going to go over his head and he was going to have to catch it outside his body and make a tough catch, and rather than take a chance on doing that, he let the ball go and unfortunately for us, it rolled to the one-yard line. So I got a lot of confidence in him. I don’t he has confidence in doing it. I don’t think he has an issue. He wants to be back there. He wants to be aggressive. He wants to do what he has to do to be able to return punts. And we have total confidence in him.”

Roll Tide!