Fake Alabama Crimson Tide football Jerseys

1. Saban’s knows the offense is good and the defense needs to be improved

“I guess a win is a win,” said Saban following Alabama’s 59-31 victory over Ole Miss. “We did some very good things out there today, but we also didn’t play some things very well. I think it’s pretty obvious that we left some money on the table on offense. We had some plays that we could have made that we didn’t make. We made a lot of plays. Smitty (DeVonta Smith) obviously had a great day. Tua (Tagovailoa) was good today. We ran the ball fairly effectively. We didn’t probably keep the ball as much as we need to. We didn’t get off the field on defense when we had opportunities, and that allowed them to extend drives and keep the ball. We didn’t stop the run very well on defense. We gave up a couple of explosive plays at the end of the game.”

Yikes.. The defense

Final Stats vs. Ole Miss

Ruggs III Injury (Update)

Observations from Saban’s opening comments: Most importantly, the Crimson Tide is 2-0 in SEC play, but this was not Alabama’s most complete game of the season. As Saban likes to say, you are only getting better or getting worse and on Saturday against Ole Miss, the defense regressed. While the offense scored almost at will against the Rebels, the defense was on the field for 88 total plays and allowed a mindblowing 476-yards with 31 points to Ole Miss, a team that scored just 10 points against Memphis in week one. The highlights of Tagovailoa and Smith were exceptional, but the defensive play was sub-standard for a Nick Saban team.

2. On Tua Tagovailoa's record-setting day

Tagovailoa continues to set records as Alabama’s quarterback and on Saturday against Ole Miss, he threw a record six touchdowns in a single game and also broke the touchdown responsibility record previously held by former quarterback A.J. McCarron.

Tua Tagovailoa sets Alabama's total touchdown record

“I don’t think it says too much about me,” said Tagovailoa following the game. “I think it says a lot about the guys that I’m surrounded with. I think today was good and bad for us offensively. To me, it was more bad because we had a lot of opportunities to start drives but had a lot of penalties. I think the O-line did a really good job for us today. They gave me an opportunity to step up and make plays with my arm. I think the running game was really good, as well.”

* Tagovailoa now leads the Alabama career touchdown responsibility list with 84 career touchdowns, a number that includes 75 career scoring tosses and nine rushing scores in 29 games, an average of 2.9 touchdowns per game for his career. Tagovailoa threw for 418 yards against Ole Miss, marking his ninth career 300+ passing performance at Alabama, the most in school history. He has now accounted for nine of the 38 performances of 300 or more passing yards by a UA quarterback in school history.

3. On DeVonta Smith's record-setting day

 

Alabama has four legitimate 1st round draft picks on their receiving corps this season: Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, DeVonta Smith, and Jaylen Waddle. Each of those receivers can be the difference-maker, each is a home-run hitter, and today it was Smith’s day to shine as Smith hauled in 11 receptions for 274-yards with five touchdowns.

DeVonta Smith sets two Alabama single-game receiving records

“We don’t say Smitty (DeVonta Smith) is going to have 11 catches today for 200 something yards,” said Saban. “We don’t say that Jerry Jeudy is going to catch eight passes today for 80 something yards. You read what the defense does when you have a pass play, and then you decide which guy you are supposed to throw the ball to base on the coverages that they are playing.

* The junior finished the day with 11 receptions for 274 yards and five receiving touchdowns. His five touchdown receptions tie the SEC record for touchdowns in a game (last in 2006 by Sidney Rice, South Carolina) and 274 yards ranks sixth in a game in SEC play. Smith also became the sixth player in the SEC to score at least two touchdowns and go over 200 yards in a game, which he did in a quarter.

CBS Sports ✔ @CBSSports  Fifth (yes fifth) touchdown of the game AND the new Alabama single-game receiving yards record on the same play?

Only DeVonta Smith.

 Embedded video 541 6:00 AM - Sep 29, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy 166 people are talking about this 4. Ole Miss came to play

The Rebels who are now (2-3) on the season and (1-1) in SEC play brought their A-game into Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Rebels racked up 476-yards of offense which is the most yards the Crimson Tide has allowed this season and they also scored 31 points which is the most points allowed by the Crimson Tide in 2019. The Rebels also led the Crimson Tide 10-7 early in the first quarter, which was the Crimson Tide’s first time trailing since the 2018 national championship game.

“Tough loss,” said Ole Miss head football coach Matt Luke following the game. “Got to give credit to Alabama. They’re a good football team – very explosive on offense, as we knew going in. We tried several different things – some zone and playing off of them, and we tried to press them and bring some pressure. Give them credit. They executed. We tried to run the ball early to try to make this a four-quarter game, but the middle of the second quarter got away from us, and we never recovered. Proud of the guys. They kept battling and competing. We’ll move forward and get better.”

Freshmen quarterback John Rhys Plumlee proved to be tough to stop for the Alabama defense as he ran the football 25 times for 115-yards with 1 touchdown and also threw for 141-yards with two scores.

The Ole Miss offense came to play on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, but the defense was torched early and often in Alabama’s record-setting 59-31 victory.

After the game, Ole Miss coach Matt Luke said the goal was to come into Bryant-Denny Stadium and win, but he added that Alabama made that very tough.

00:0501:19

00:24 Here’s what Luke had to say about the Crimson Tide following Saturday’s game (via AL.com):

On Alabama’s execution offensively:

“Tough loss. Got to give credit to Alabama. They’re a good football team – very explosive on offense, as we knew going in. We tried several different things – some zone and playing off of them, and we tried to press them and bring some pressure. Give them credit. They executed.”

On Alabama’s talented group of wide receivers:

“We knew it was going to be a challenge coming in, and all you can do is try to mix up your coverage. You play off to keep them from running by you and they break tackles and they had a long (one) the first drive of the game. And you press them and they throw it over the top of you. So you’ve just got to continue to keep mixing it up and try to stay out of one-on-ones as much as possible. But they have one of the best collections of wide receivers I’ve ever played against, so a lot of credit to them for executing. They’ve got a quarterback that’s very accurate, which helps.”

Alabama has an off week in Week 6, then returns to the field in Week 7 against Texas A&M in College Station.

5. Defensive concerns

Think about this: Alabama has allowed a total of 935-yards of offense and allowed a total of 54 points against their first two SEC opponents. That is an average of 467-yards of offense allowed per game and 27 points per game, that is not good, and Alabama hasn’t even faced the toughest teams in the conference.

(Read the comments on this stat here)

“We have had some adversity to overcome,” said Saban. “Obviously we are playing some young guys on defense. We are not really satisfied with the way we are playing defense right now, especially today. Especially not being able to stop the run effectively, which is something we have always been able to do around here pretty well. I think that’s a team thing. I don’t think it’s about the defensive line or just about the linebackers. It’s how you play on the perimeter, how you tackle on the perimeter, how you contain the ball, how you run to the ball. We need to improve.”

At times, the Crimson Tide plays five freshmen on the defensive side of the football: DJ Dale at defensive tackle, Justin Eboigbe at defensive end, Shane Lee and Christian Harris at the inside linebacker positions, and Jordan Battle at safety. While the freshmen at Alabama are not your ordinary freshmen, Saban said earlier this season that there is no substitute for experience and the lack of experience is certainly showing against average competition. Alabama doesn’t have long to get their defense figured out and with a tough back-end schedule on the horizon things could get very interesting come games against Texas A&M, LSU, Mississippi State, and against Auburn, three out of the four of those games are also on the road.

6. Bright spots on defense: McKinney and Jennings

The bright spots on the defensive side of the ball continue to be Xavier McKinney and Anfernee Jennings. On Saturday, the two upperclassmen combined for a total of 22 tackles, 13 from McKinney and 9 from Jennings. McKinney allowed a touchdown to be caught on him, but throughout the game, he had some big hits and always seems to be at the right place at the right time. Jennings had a tackle for a loss and now has 29 total tackles which is second on the team behind McKinney who has 41.

“We definitely know we have a young defense,” commented Jennings following the game. “A lot of times, everyone tries their best to communicate and do their job, no matter who it is. We just try to make plays and make the right calls.”

7. Special teams, the good, and the bad

The good was a blocked punt by Ale Kaho, which Kaho also recovered in the end-zone for a touchdown. Jaylen Waddle had three punt returns for 52-yards, Trevon Diggs returned a kick 44-yards, Skyler DeLong averaged 37.0-yards per punt which is an improvement for him, and Joseph Bulovas hit a 36-yard field goal.

The bad was a muffed punt by Jaylen Waddle which led to an Ole Miss touchdown and Joseph Boluvas missed a 28-yard field goal. The Crimson Tide has now missed four field goals this season and their season percentage on field goals is just 55%.

8. Offensive number crunch

* Alabama recorded 573 yards of total offense against Ole Miss. The 500-plus yard performance marked the 29th time in the last 64 games, dating to the start of the 2015 season, that the Crimson Tide has eclipsed the 500-yard mark. Last season, UA totaled 500 or more yards in 12 of 15 games to set a single-season school record. The Tide has eclipsed 500 yards of offense in all five games of the 2019 campaign.

9. Fans showed up

It was 95 degrees when Alabama and Ole Miss kicked off at Bryant-Denny Stadium and the stadium was full, the student section was loud, and the cheers and the boos towards Ole Miss created that college football pageantry we’ve all grown to love.