I apologize that I haven't been able to blog for a few days. I took my laptop, but obviously the city of Gulf Shores hasn't heard of the new technology called wireless internet yet. I drove around searching for a hotspot to just blog in the car a couple of times, but never found anything. Kinda sad, really. But, alas, that's what vacations are for...to not have to worry about anything. Of course, my vacation was a lot shorter than anticipated, thanks to the evacuations on Sunday morning, and the fact that the entire 2nd half of Saturday was spent getting ready for the football game. Haha.
Regardless, the trip to the beach was a blast, and I plan on doing it again soon...just not during football season.
I do want to go ahead and introduce a new writer to the blog - Pops Tider. Yes, he's my dad, and yes, he follows the Tide just as close, if not closer, than I do. He is just as opinionated as I am, and while we may disagree from time to time, in the end all that matters is we're both HUGE Bama fans. He'll be writing on here from time to time, especially for times when I'll be out of town on tour, and not able to get to a computer.
Anyway, I watched the game replay last night once I got back to Memphis and took a few notes. I also watched the Ole Miss - Memphis game, and the Georgia - Georgia Southern game, along with South Carolina - NC State and some of Floria - Hawaii. Mississippi State - La Tech I watched the first quarter, and then watched the 4th quarter on my DVR this morning, so I think I've got an idea of what the SEC is looking like right now.
Also, this is just something to kinda make you smile. Terry Don Phillips, the Athletic Director for Clemson, was on NCAA Infractions Committee that slammed Alabama in 2002. From what I understand, he scheduled this game thinking that Alabama still wasn't up to full strength, and he thought it would be a good win over a big name opponent to open the season. It appears that didn't work out quite like he was planning. Should Baby Bowden be looking for a new job?
To start out, we'll talk about the Tide and Clemson. These notes are not in any particular order...so just roll with it.
Mark Ingram and Glen Coffee are both hosses. Their motors run nonstop, and it'll take more than just one guy to bring those boys down.
We've seen the whole "multiple tailbacks" thing before at LSU. It keeps the boys fresh, and that's perfect. Can you imagine next year with Richardson, Coffee, and Ingram? Yikes.
I saw more sprint draws and tight end shifts during this game than I think I've seen in about 5 years. It was AWESOME. I think the sprint draws from the shotgun formation give the tailbacks a better vision of the line, and allows them to see exactly where the holes open up.
Clemson players were dropping like flies. There were a ton of guys that had to be carried off the field, and that reminded me of the early 90s. I like it a lot more when our boys just physically whip the other team. Especially a team in orange.
We played a lot of 3 tight end sets, but I never once saw Preston Dial. That kinda surprised me. He may have shown up in the stat sheets, but I never saw him.
There are still problems at right tackle. I don't think Drew Davis is the answer, but he's formidable for right now. You can still tell that's the weakness though.
On Spillers' kickoff return for a TD to open the 2nd half, Eryk Anders left his lane, which allowed the hole to open up. Guaranteed, Coach Saban will use that as an example. It could have been anybody, but it's a lesson to everyone to stay where they're supposed to.
Julio's first collegiate reception was at the 12:23 mark in the 1st quarter for an 8 yard gain. Awwww yeah, son.
Rashad Johnson looked awful the entire game. He missed tackles all over the field, took a bad angle on Ford's reception over the middle (missing another tackle in the process), and dropped two sure interceptions. He better step up his game or somebody's gonna take his spot.
Andre Smith's injury isn't serious at all. I think he could have played the rest of the game, if it were close. Don't expect to see him until the Arkansas game in 3 weeks.
John Parker, while looking like a veteran and managing the game extremely well, also showed why he's not an All-SEC quarterback. He missed three touchdown passes in the ballgame, and maybe more. He missed on a deep pass to Julio on the first drive of the game (overthrown), and then threw high on a slant to McCoy in the endzone on the 2nd drive on 3rd down. In the 3rd quarter, there was a deep route to Marquis Maze, who had beaten his defender, that was overthrown by just a few feet. Those are the passes you have to hit to beat the big boys.
Leigh Tiffin is a beast and will be a fan favorite for many many years if he keeps doing like he did Saturday. He was 4/5 with his only miss being slightly wide right on a 52 yarder that would have been good from 60.
Maze's one handed grab on the first drive on a dead play brought back memories of Prothro. It's nice to have playmakers.
Our wide receiving corps looks like headhunters. They were going after the Clemson secondary and beating them to a pulp the entire ballgame. That was fun to watch.
Reamer's forced fumble on Clemson's 2nd play, and Hightower's recovery, were both things of beauty. So much for Reamer being "useless" in run defense. He played a damn good ballgame.
Nick Walker looked incredible. He's got great hands. You can expect Chris Underwood to be used a lot like this throughout the year as well, I believe.
Coach McElwain looks like an absolute genious. He is doing with JP what the Bama offense did with Jay Barker in the early 90s - not asking him to win the game, but not putting him in a position to lose it either.
Mark Barron's hit on the 2nd kickoff was awesome. I probably watched it 10 times. We've got guys on this team that REALLY like to hit.
The Legend of Terrence Cody was a huge difference at the line of scrimmage. He's an unmovable force down there. Him and Josh Chapman being as good as they are made moving Lorenzo Washington to end possible, and that move worked out awesome as well.
Just curious...how the hell did they not call holding on Deaderick's sack? Yeah, we would've declined it anyway, but the kid was being held the entire way to the quarterback.
At the end of the day, it's only one ballgame, but damn it was fun.
Ok, so on to the SEC we go.
Georgia didn't look very impressive at all. They were actually beaten off the line of scrimmage several times by Georgia Southern, and, if it were not for several mistakes by GaSouthern's QB, they could have been in for a tight game. When UGA was up 10-0, Georgia Southern drove the football and had it first and goal on the one yard line at the end of the first quarter before throwing a pick in the endzone on third and goal. UGA scored in 4 plays (a 50+ yard touchdown pass to the tight end) to make it 17-0 and effectively end the game.
Arkansas needed a last minute touchdown pass from Casey Dick to come back and beat Western Illinois 28-24. Not a good start for Bobby Petrino's Razorbacks.
Mississippi State crashed back down to earth Saturday night after losing 22-14 to Louisiana Tech in Ruston, LA. So much for the Croom talk about the Bullies being ready to compete for an SEC title and going to a BCS bowl game. Better worry about those WAC teams first, yo.
Ole Miss looked really good...against Memphis. The thing that I'm questioning is why they needed to resort to trickery to score. They had several direct snaps to the running backs, including one where Snead lined up at QB, then shifted to receiver, and the RB threw a pass to Snead. Not sure what the point of all the trickery is...unless they couldn't just whip the Tigers up front, which is scary if true.
LSU handled App State with ease. They deflated the sails early by scoring in 2 plays and whipping the Mountaineers on the line of scrimmage. Not anything too special.
Florida dominated Hawaii in all phases of the game Saturday morning in Gainesville. They returned kicks for TDs, returned interceptions for TDs, threw passes for TDs, and rushed for TDs. Scored 56 points. Yup.
Auburn's new "spread eagle" offense produced a total of 85 passing yards. They had 28 yards through the first 3 quarters. Yikes. They scored on a punt return. They scored on a fumble return. They didn't dominate like they should have. Could be an interesting week against Southern Miss this weekend.
South Carolina looked about as bad as you can look while stomping NC State 34-0. Smelley will be the new starter. Tommy Beecher looked absolutely awful. He is NOT an SEC caliber QB.
Kentucky doesn't look all that great...but they dominated Louisville at Papa John's Stadium yesterday. They're definitely better than they were a few years ago, but I still think they're a lower tier SEC school. Kragthorpe may be looking for a new job after this season, cause it's gonna be miserable for the Cardinals.
Vandy was expected to be awful this year, but they handled a MAC contender, Miami (OH), at their house, 34-13. Looks like they may be better than we thought. They'll contend with Kentucky for the #5 spot in the SEC East.
I've got a feeling that UCLA is gonna show up against Tennessee tonight and have a helluva game. I don't think UT is as good as everybody thinks. :-)
Great to have you back welcome back!!Also welcome Pops Tider looking forward to hear from you. I am still very excited about the victory verus Clemson. We have to stay focus one game at a time. Roll Tide # posted by HuntsvilleTider : 3:19 PM
Roll Tide Roll Tide!! Exactly. Control expectations! Play each game, each opponent before getting ahead of ourselves. I thought JPW deserved a little more love though. He wasn't perfect but played really well. # posted by JC : 9:06 PM
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