Once again the Tide played an unranked opponent and won the game. And once again, the fans are complaining about how they won. And some of that is understandable. But let’s pretend you only watched the 1st and 3rd quarters of the game – what would be your impression then? Well, probably you’d have a couple of questions: 1) How in the world did Colorado State score 23 points??? and 2) Who dropped dead in order for this to happen??
The first quarter was about as dominant as you’re going to get from a college football team. Bama took the opening kick and drove 75 yards in 6 plays (the last being a 27 yard run up the middle by Jalen). Then after the defense held the Rams to a 3 and out, the Tide took over on their own 5 and proceeded to go 95 yards in 4 plays (the last being a 78-yard TD pass to Calvin Ridley). Then after another 3 and out, they had another 6 play drive that ended in an Andy Pappanastos 46-yard field goal. The quarter ended with the score 17-0 and with the defense having only allowed the Rams 11 yards total offense.
Maybe it was that dominating start that caused everyone to relax in the second quarter – but whatever happened, the guys in green and gold gained 155 yards and scored 10 points so that with 2 minutes left in the first half, the Tide’s lead was only 7. The 2 minute drill resulted in another TD (a beautiful pass and run to Robert Foster for 53 yards) to make the halftime score, 24-10. But, still, not quite dominating.
After the required halftime “ass-chewing” – the Tide came out and again dominated the 3rd quarter so that with 14 minutes left in the game, the score stood at 41-10 and the game was basically over. But then the Rams scored two more TDs in the final 14 minutes to give everybody a reason to be disgruntled.
So, what to make of all this? It seems to us that there some reason for concern and some reasons to be encouraged. It’s hard to draw any sound conclusions from games like this which, though at times were close, they were really never in doubt. Jalen seemed to show some improvement passing the ball. The offensive line was sometimes impressive and then sometimes not. The defense was stifling at times and then at other times seemed to more holes than a sieve (of course losing 5 linebackers can explain a good many of those holes) – but sometimes, the tackling . . . ugh. Good friend Andy P. was 2 for 2 on plus 40 field goals (hooray!) and looked solid. J. K. was J. K (aka “the Most Valuable Player). So, at the end of the evening, there were reasons to feel better and some reasons for worry.
The only major injury was Miller Forristall – and it was a bad one (torn ACL, out for the rest of the season). But the good news is that 3 of the injured linebackers (Rashaan Evans, Anfernee Jennings and Dylan Moses) will return to practice this week and may be ready for the Vandy game.
And speaking of Vandy, they will welcome the Tide with the same record as the Champs. After beating the 12th-ranked Kansas St. team last Saturday, the Commydoors are Un-dee-feated, fired up, and ready to play. This Saturday won’t be nearly as easy as last Saturday. But hey, let’s enjoy what we got so far! We’re 3-0 and now go looking for #4!
3 down, 12 more to go.