Ask Larry at Touchdown Alabama Magazine
By Larry Burton
The Texas A&M game certainly opened up the questions and we’ll jump right into them.
1. Dear Sunshine Pumpers,
Please tell (and convince) me that Texas A&M is the best offense we’ll see until the cow pasture bowl.
Answer: I don’t know how to convince you other than the fact that the Aggies put up more total offense than anyone else on our schedule. They also have a habit of getting strong as the season wears on, something that bodes well for Alabama playing them early.
Also, the Aggies will be playing with a chip on their shoulder the rest of the year to try and make up for this loss.
Now I know in some others articles I’ve argued that winning beats out numbers, but no one else on our schedule (except LSU who still has problems on offense) has these kinds of numbers AND wins.
What you should be worried about is who has a so so offense that could get hot for one game but has a killer defense. So if you like to worry, start worrying about LSU who fits this bill.
2. Are our defensive backs just that bad or was A&M just that good. I’m worried someone like Murray could exploit us badly should we meet up again in the SEC championship.
Answer: Our backs looked bad yesterday no doubt but the answer isn’t black and white. The answer is it’s a combination of both. Clearly Alabama didn’t have a back that could cover the Aggie’s hot receiver Mike Evans. At 6’5” and 231 pounds, Alabama just didn’t have anyone who matched up well with him. It didn’t seem to matter if the throw was pinpoint or bad, Evans seemed to come down with it. He alone accounted for 279 of their 628 yards.
Rarely does a receiver account for nearly half a team’s total yardage.
Manziel’s ability to keep a play alive with his feet mean that our backs coverage simply breaks down as receivers start improvising routes or coming back to the ball. We’ll face few other QB’s who can keep a play alive as long as Manziel.
Also, playing a bad game means you’re going to get the Saban focus on you at practice. In the first game, the offensive line and running backs put up some of the worst numbers of any Bama team in a long time.
With two weeks of focus on them and lots of extra work, they were almost flawless this past weekend. I expect the defensive backs to have both learned a lot from this game they won’t repeat as well learning a lot in upcoming practices.
In the end, I think they’ll fine by the next crunch time when they meet Ole Miss.
3. Does the Ole Miss upset over Texas mean that we should be worried now than we were? Are they that good?
If you follow my posts, you’ll know I picked Ole Miss to “upset” Texas in that game. (as well as picking all the others correctly too) I didn’t feel it was an upset though. It wasn’t a case of Ole Miss being that good, but Texas really being that bad.
The wheels are off at Texas, they just plain suck. They’re in total disarray right now. If there are any funny jokes about the Big 12, the punchline is probably going to end with Texas. If you didn’t see the movie “Green Mile” about a man preparing for his date with the executioner, then just watch Mack Brown take the field next week. That’s what a man who knows he’s walking to his end looks like.
But in saying that, please don’t interpret that to mean I’m disparaging the Ole Miss Rebels. They are an up and coming team and will present problems to Alabama. If you believe Nick Saban, and you should always believe Nick Saban, he said last season that Ole Miss was “toughest” game we played in terms of simply being a good physical team.
And they are a better team this year with all these great young players contributing this year.
So should you worry? Yes. If they bring their total A game and Alabama sputters and has turnovers, this is certainly a game they could lose. But that can also be said about LSU and the opponent in the SEC Championship Game.
But should you worry more just because Ole Miss beat Texas? I have a feeling a lot of teams are going to beat Texas.
Larry is an award winning writer whose work has appeared in almost every college football venue. Now he primarily writes for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. Follow Larry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter