The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Mississippi State Edition
Every Monday, Nick Saban spends part of the afternoon showing his players the good plays, bad plays and ugly plays from the previous Saturday.
The good section highlights what the team did well in the game; individual plays, series of plays, moments of the game that went well for the Crimson Tide.
The bad section focuses on plays that were run incorrectly, maybe a play designed to pick up more yardage but failed. It might include simple mistakes, a turnover or just a simple missed block or tackle.
The ugly section could also be called the disaster section, plays that went completely wrong or injuries. Ugly plays are learning moments for the team. Part of discussing the bad and ugly plays includes thinking through what they could have done differently.
Alabama’s offensive line had their best performance five games into the season, which was enough to help the Crimson Tide to a road victory over the Bulldogs. I like the physical brand of football the Crimson Tide showed in this game.
Milroe has improved his intermediate throws in the last two games, teams are not allowing the wide receivers to get behind the secondary for those longer throws. Milroe did a solid job of taking what the defense gave him at times, but you feel like he is going to have to improve in several areas if Alabama is going to win any type of championship this year.
Crimson Tide’s defense was solid when you consider one of the Tide’s top defensive player, Deontae Lawson, was not able to play. Trezmen Marshall gained praise from Nick Saban in the post-game press conference on how the veteran linebacker was able to step and make the defensive calls that kept the Dogs with only 17 points and 261 total yards.
Caleb Downs ended the night with 13 total tackles including one tackle that kept the Bulldogs from reaching the endzone, he not only saved a touchdown on a solo tackle but ended the night with 13 total tackles. Downs also had one of the Tide’s three interceptions which added to his nice stat line. Jihaad Campbell had a nice productive night and lead all defenders with 14 total tackles.
It is difficult to find fault with a 23-point win on the road in the Southeastern Conference. However, after five games, it seems that Alabama's offense is consistently performing at this level of “good enough.” While they do enough to secure the win, I can't help but wonder if it will be enough to defeat top-quality teams as the season progresses.
I believe Alabama has the potential to do even better on the offensive side of the ball, but I haven't seen much creativity from them in that area that will highlight other talented players.
How long will the Crimson Tide defense be able to carry this team? It certainly helps that there does not seem to be a dominant team in the SEC and after one month of games, Alabama is in the driver's seat in the SEC Western division.
After the first month of the season, I feel like the Tide’s best offensive play comes after a play breaks down and Milroe is forced to show off his speed and elusiveness to pick up positive yards. I am still not able to determine what is Alabama’s offensive identity and who they want to be on that side of the ball. I am not sure how much of this is on a quarterback who is still learning or a young offensive coordinator who is also still learning what his players do best. Regardless, Alabama is going to need more than quarterback and receivers if they are going to be serious contenders for some hardware at the end of the season.
I understand that TV pays the bills, but I think if the executives in Bristol, Connecticut told the SEC to play at 5 a.m., 7:30 a.m., or start at a game at midnight I believe the SEC would schedule a game the next week in that time spot. When I look up in the stadium and see a bunch of empty seats before halftime, I do not think this is a good thing for college football. Fans play a bigger role now than they ever played in college football, see NIL collectives if you need a deeper explanation.
I believe it's important for administrators to show fans that they are valued, instead of just offering empty words from the league office. Throughout my career in radio, I've always placed great importance on the listeners of my daily show. I understand that without them, I'm just a person in a room with some advanced sound equipment. I wish that college football would adopt a similar approach. Games that start at 8 p.m. remind fans where they stand in the pecking order of importance.
Coming up Monday on The Game with Ryan Fowler on Tide 100.9, we will discuss the good, bad and ugly. You will also have a chance to win prizes from Daniel Moore Art, starting at 2 p.m. on Tide 100.9 and on the free Tide 100.9 app. We will have plenty to discuss on Monday afternoon.
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