Sunday, November 11, 2007  
Croomed. Again.

Mississippi State 17 Alabama 12

Q: Who was the last Alabama quarterback to throw a touchdown pass against Mississippi State?
A: Spencer Pennington

In 2004, Alabama was up 23-14 when Spencer Pennington hit Le'Ron McClain for a 4 yard touchdown pass with 5:28 left in the game. The final was 30-14.

Since then, it's been hellacious. We've scored on interception returns, on a fumbled kickoff return, and we've hit a shit ton of field goals. But no offensive touchdowns against Sylvester Croom's defense. Talk about just pathetic.

So, today we'll go through the 4 best scoring opportunities of the first half, which is all I could watch on the DVR before vomiting after watching the interception before the half. Watching Chris Capps try to block ANYBODY was probably the most disgusting thing I've ever seen. Thanks to Davis, Caldwell, and now Stabler being out, we had to start THREE second string offensive linemen against Mississippi State, with a quarterback that wilts under any kind of pressure.

12:31 - 1st Quarter 1st-and-10 at Mississippi State 22 yd line

1st-and-10 / We run a play action pass with 2 receivers on the outside, and a slot receiver on the left. JPW watched Matt Caddell on the right side from the time the ball was snapped until the time he threw it. The ball was read perfectly be the defender, and really should have been picked off.

2nd-and-10 / Ran a slant across the middle to Nikita Stover. JPW waited on the throw, and threw it just behind Nikita, making him turn completely and try to catch it with his body, rather than in stride. Yes, it did hit Nikita in the hands, so he should have caught it, but regardless of that, it was still an awful throw.

3rd-and-10 / We have three set receivers (2 on the outside, one in the slot on the right) and a man in motion. Keith Brown is the man in motion. Brown goes in motion towards the left side, stops, and goes in motion back to the left, inside of the slot receiver. Caddell is running a 10 yard in route from the slot position with McCoy and DJ Hall on the outside. Rather than waiting just a second and letting the play develop (Caddell ended up open for the 1st down), Wilson watches Brown from the moment the ball was snapped, waits for him to curl. JPW throws it completely behind him - which was another ridiculously bad pass that should have been intercepted. Even if he had caught the ball, it was only a 5-yard curl route. Are you serious?

10:07 - 1st Quarter 1st-and-10 at Mississippi State 40 yd line

1st-and-10 / This was a handoff to Terry Grant off left tackle, on a play trying to break him to the outside. The linebackers read this one pretty quickly and only allowed a 3 yard gain.

2nd-and-7 / Another handoff to Grant, this time running between the tackles on the right of the center. Chris Capps, playing right tackle, helps double the defensive tackle, but is supposed to get off of that block quick enough to block out the middle linebacker, who is sitting and waiting on Grant. The field is WIDE OPEN for Grant to take this one probably 15 yards for another first down, but Capps was too late and missed his assignment. We got 3 yards on the carry.

3rd-and-4 / JPW lines up with 3 receivers again, and this time with Travis McCall at tight end on the right side. McCall runs a 5-yard out pattern with single coverage from a linebacker. JPW, again, telegraphs his pass, but waits for a split-second too long and throws it behind McCall. Yes, another pass thrown behind a receiver. The ball hits McCall's shoulder pad as he slows down to grab it. He almost makes the catch, but the defender was close enough to knock it free before he could get control of it.

10:29 - 2nd Quarter 1st-and-10 at Mississippi State 15 yd line

1st-and-10 / This was a handoff to Terry Grant between the tackles again. The defense read it perfectly and just made a good play, stopping him for a 1-yard gain.

2nd-and-9 / The team lined up in a shotgun formation with 2 receivers on the outside and Caddell in the slot, like usual. Grant was back next to the quarterback. We ran a misdirection handoff to slow down Mississippi State's over-pursuit when rushing the quarterback. It could have gone for more yardage, but Andre Smith got pulled inside by his defender. Grant ran into his back and had to try and bounce it outside. The play earned 2 yards.

3rd-and-7 / We line up in shotgun formation again with 4 receivers; 2 on each side. At this point, Capps is still playing right tackle. He allows the left defensive end to blow right by him. Capps didn't even slow him down. JP sees this, still manages to find Caddell WIDE OPEN across the middle in the endzone, but throws off his back foot and the ball sails out of the back of the endzone. Not to mention the fact that, in shotgun formation, Wilso is already lined up 5 yards off the line of scrimmage. Once the ball is snapped, for some reason, he drops back another 5 yards, rather than staying in the pocket. If he had stayed in the pocket, the defender would have run by him, giving Capps more of a chance to block...but probably not much.

00:21 - 2nd Quarter 3rd-and-Goal at Mississippi State 2 yd line

3rd-and-Goal / By this point in the game, Saban and the coaching staff have realized that Capps absolutely CANNOT play on the right side of the line. Titus Brown and the other defensive end were killing him on every single play. We don't have anybody else that's efficient enough to keep in the lineup, so rather than trying to pull a freshman off the bench, they instead decide to do whatever they can to beat State off the line of scrimmage. At this point it's 9-3 and we've got a shot to go up 16-3 at the break, which could end up killing any spirit they may have had left. We put Capps over at left tackle, the position he's been backup for all year, and move Andre Smith, our best offensive lineman, over the right side. Andre apparently thought that his assignment was to block down in a double team on the defensive tackle, which leads me to believe that maybe not everybody knew what the play was, even coming out of a timeout. Smith blocking down on the tackle, along with the tight ends all going out for passes on a play action, meant that nobody accounted for Titus Brown.

Let me say that a little more clearly. Nobody accounted for Titus Brown.

Which leads to this question...


He gets pressure. John Parker Wilson makes a God-awful decision to throw the football anyway. He weak arms it. 10-9 Mississippi State, and we lost all momentum.

Now, if we go up 16-3 here, and then come out and move the football on them in the 2nd half, it's the Vandy game all over again. What you do to football teams that have no explosive offense is get a lead, and then keep the ball away from them. That was Saban's gameplan, and it was working to perfection. In 3 years from now, we win this football game 49-6. It's that simple. Recruiting will fix problems, because this team has all the marks of their former head coach: they're weak and make bad decisions.

We'll go into detail tomorrow about just how many games John Parker Wilson has single handedly lost for Alabama in the past two years. In his 23 starts, he is now 12-11. Not very good.

and Moody sucks
# posted by Blogger The nigga : 10:46 AM   Shula-losers ride again. I can hardly wait until the 2010 season!
# posted by Blogger Dave : 11:59 AM   MT, do we not have a 2nd string QB that can play? I'm sure we want to red shirt McElroy and Fanuzzi but we have a crap load of freshman QB's that could have come in an done a better job than JPW. This QB has lost all of his confidence which changes what plays we can run. I don't even think a great recruiting year can help us next year if we have to live with JPW another year. He is a junior with two years of starting under his belt and he makes the worse decissions!
# posted by Blogger cs : 12:20 PM   McElroy has already wasted his redshirt last season, and Fanuzzi has wasted his redshirt this season by playing snaps in the Western Carolina game.

Not sure why they're not being put in, but I think it has something to do with the fact that Saban doesn't like rotating qbs.

There's arguments on both can end up like Florida last season and lead you to a national championship, it can end up like Spurrier and South Carolina and get you beat, or it could end up kinda like Notre Dame. Put in a young kid against SEC defenses and it could kill their confidence for their entire careers. You never know how it could play out.

I think you'll see a healthy dose of McElroy AND Fanuzzi against ULM - that is if we can get a decent lead in the first half. I think Saban understands how important this year's Auburn game really is, and since he's already wasted their eligibility against Western Carolina, you might as well try something.

Regardless, you can't do the same thing that Shula did - take a kid out after he makes a huge mistake and not play him anymore. Tiffin didn't kick at all last season after the Arkansas game. If he had needed him late in the year, we would've been screwed. Of course...I WISH we had benched Capps.

Wow, this got long. Basically, trust the coaching staff and don't second guess them. They know what they're doing. It's up to the players to execute.
# posted by Blogger Memphis Tider : 12:54 PM   Any of this poor coaching from a very young and inexperienced OC or HC?
# posted by Blogger Pelican State Sports : 12:55 PM   Don't necessarily think that it's poor coaching as much as poor execution. When you have shitty players, you replace them as quickly as possible.

Give it time, Pelican. Your days on top of the West are numbered, my friend. :-)
# posted by Blogger Memphis Tider : 12:56 PM   Good analysis, man. At LEAST this coaching staff has enough sense to move Capps to the left side instead of leaving him on the right side of the line. And for the second straight week, John Parker's play has been atrocious. I'm wondering how much time does JPW have before we start seeing McElroy? Same question on the offensive line. I know they're redsirt frosh, but you gotta get your feet in the fire sometime...
# posted by Blogger Tracy : 2:17 PM   Correction:
QB Greg McElroy is a redshirt freshman. He did not play on '06.
# posted by Blogger Tracy : 3:26 PM   Yeah, I know. Too bad for both of us that it will Sly Croom and MSU that assume the throne. :)
# posted by Blogger Pelican State Sports : 3:26 PM   Post a Comment

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