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Jumbo Package: Justin Eboigbe “100% healed and cleared”

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Utah State at Alabama Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Justin Eboigbe posted some fabulous news yesterday.

This is great news for the person and the team. Justin was looking strong early last season before the neck injury sent him to the shelf, which is always scary stuff. Hopefully he has no more issues with it.

Clint Lamb has some practice photos for you.

Kirk McNair examined the most critical game for each SEC squad.

So many from which to choose. The national narrative on important conference games includes Alabama vs. the teams that defeated the Tide in 2022, Tennessee and LSU, both in Bryant-Denny Stadium this year; Alabama at Texas A&M, which on paper looks like perhaps Bama’s toughest SEC test (even though Jimbo’s Aggies don’t often measure up to expectations); and, of course, the almost default choice, Alabama at Auburn. But I’m going with Texas, the second game of the season on Sept. 9, a game Bama almost lost in Austin last year, a year before the Longhorns join the SEC, Saban vs. former assistant Steve Sarkisian, UT a favorite to win the Big 12 with quarterback greatness, and Texas desperately clinging on the fringe of blueblood status. And, as usual, it’s Bama’s only non-conference game against a team with a pulse.

Kirk says Texas, but I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. Which game do you consider to be the most critical for Alabama this season?

Should they make it to Atlanta, then that game would obviously fit the bill and we know who the likely opponent would be.

The only way Georgia and Alabama would face each other this year is in the SEC championship, so this scenario assumes they win their respective divisions. What Alabama can’t do is continue its 2022 trend of penalties and turnovers. Both teams are searching for a new starting quarterback, but no matter who has earned the job for Nick Saban, he has been effective against the blitz. This could be an advantage for the Tide because Georgia has a tendency to blitz a lot when facing elite quarterbacks, and according to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, under Saban, Alabama has the best QBR when blitzed in the FBS. In Georgia’s two close wins last year, against Missouri and Kentucky, the Bulldogs only attempted four passes over 20 yards, and this also favors the Tide. According to ESPN’s Stats & Info, opposing teams only completed 26% of their deep passes against the Tide last year — 15th best in the FBS.

“Can anyone beat Georgia” she asks after Alabama smoked them in 2021 and both Mizzou and Ohio State took them to the wire just last season. That sounds like the rat poison that Alabama used to endure this time of year, and I’m just fine letting them have it. Let Alabama be the underdogs.

Darius Miles entered a not guilty plea yesterday, as expected, and his attorney released a statement.

“While we are not surprised by the indictment based on the reality that a person accused of a crime is not allowed to present any evidence to the Grand Jury,” read a statement from Turner Law, which is representing Miles after the indictment became public, “we are nonetheless disappointed that the Government presented this case to the Grand Jury as Capital Murder considering the evidence uncovered during our investigation and the obvious weaknesses in the Government’s case brought to light during the preliminary hearing.”

Funny how the national media just stopped caring about this case after Alabama was eliminated, isn’t it?

Last, UConn won the title last night and a legend called his last game. This is good stuff.

That’s about it for now. Have a great day.

Roll Tide.