The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Ole Miss 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 good 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 vs. Ole Miss
Alabama’s defense dominated an offense that came into Bryant-Denny Stadium as the 4th best scoring offense in college football, averaging 52.7 points per game. The Crimson Tide had five sacks and was able to put plenty of pressure on Jaxson Dart which made him uncomfortable for most of the afternoon. I thought the secondary was another highlight of the day, only giving up a total of 245 yards passing to an offense that was ranked 9th in college football for passing yards per game. The Crimson Tide is a much better tackling team than some recent Alabama teams, especially in the 2nd half. This defensive unit played up to the Bama standard we have come to expect under most Nick Saban coached teams.
Alabama’s offense improved compared to last week’s survival in Tampa. Offense production in the 1st half could have been the ugly in this game, but the 2nd half performance provided some confidence for a unit that is still searching for their identity. Milroe made some precise throws that kept drives moving on several key 3rd downs. Deep ball continues to be Milroe’s best throw. Teams are going to have to start respecting it more as the season progresses which should help in the future. Jase McCellan had a nice afternoon with 17 carries for 105 total rushing yards. Jalen Hale had a nice touchdown reception that will bring big confidence. Alabama is still looking for more production from the wide receiver room.
James Burnip continues his great season and has been key when the offense stalls out, he can flip the field which is a luxury for this team. Burnip averaged 48.3 yards per game. Will Reichard also continues his reliable career after connecting on three field goals from 48, 40, and 23 respectively. Reichard will leave Tuscaloosa as the best place kicker in the Nick Saban era and might have a chance at being one of the best kickers in Crimson Tide history.
We still need more production from this offensive line. Alabama only averaged 2.9 yards per rushing attempt. Jase McCellan skewed the average, with 6.2 yards per attempt. Pass protection continues to be a weakness for this team. I would like to see this unit start taking some steps in the right direction. The Crimson Tide tried several combinations on the offensive line throughout the afternoon, I just don’t know why this unit is not a strength for this team.
Penalties continue to be a problem for this team. Alabama came into this game ranked 58th in CFB, averaging 48 penalty yards per game. The Tide was penalized six times for 60 yards, this is a team that needs to continue improving in this department. They have improved when you compare to the last two seasons but there remains quite a bit of work ahead.
A win is a win against a top 20 opponent, but the Crimson Tide needs to work on the red zone offense. Alabama scored on five trips inside the red zone but only had one touchdown in those five trips. Several miscues including an interception, bad snap, and penalties kept the Tide from having more production inside the red zone.
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 2pm on Tide 100.9 and on the free Tide 100.9 app. We will have plenty to discuss on Monday afternoon.