The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Tennessee 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 those that involve 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. Tennessee
Alabama’s second half was dominating, I am trying to remember any Alabama game that I have seen in my lifetime that was such a tale of two halves.
The Crimson Tide’s opening drive in the 2nd half was a tone setter and showed the Tide was not going away without a fight. This team did not quit. I would like to hear what Saban told his team at halftime to create such a drastic adjustment. A completely different team ran out of the tunnel after halftime. Credit goes to Alabama’s defense in the first half for keeping the Volunteers within striking distance. I look back at several drives in the first half where the defense made some key stops and kept the game within reach.
If I had a great category, this statistic would be the highlight. The Crimson Tide was only penalized once, for a total of 5 yards. Alabama came into the game ranked 82nd in college football for penalty yards per game. It will be an outlier for this team, but it was good to see the Tide play a clean football game.
Nick Saban’s run to the student section following the game to thank students for their loyal support was another good moment. The atmosphere in Bryant-Denny Stadium was incredible and created problems for Tennessee. Several Tide players commented in the post-game media availability that the crowd even made it hard for them to hear play calls. Saban shared high praise for the fans during the post-game press conference and said he wished he could thank each fan personally.
Another good was watching so many Tennessee fans leave with their cigars still in the wrapper, tucked away for another few years. I witnessed several Tennessee fans talking smack before the game, during the game and at halftime. Those fans quickly disappeared in the fourth quarter.
Alabama continues to give up sacks and pressure eight games into the season - I do not expect this to improve overnight. When you look at statistics, it is hard to find too many that favor Alabama, but at the end of the night the only statistic that matters is the win. This Crimson Tide team is slow to warm up, scoring fewer points in the first quarter than any other quarters throughout the season. The Alabama sideline had more energy to start the game, but that quickly faded in the first half.
I try to give players the benefit of the doubt, but Elijah Herring punching Roydell Williams is a play that should have been caught by the SEC officials. That type of play has no business in the game of football. I wonder if there will be any discipline from either the SEC or Tennessee. I am sure Vol fans will argue that he was trying to punch the ball out, but I am not going to buy that excuse and neither should anybody else.
Coming up Monday on The Game with Ryan Fowler onTide 100.9 |1230 AM WTBC, 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 |1230 AM WTBC and on the free Tide 100.9 app. We will have plenty to discuss on Monday afternoon.
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