The Good The Bad The Ugly from Saturday’s Alabama – Mississippi State Game
By: Larry Burton
A win is a win and for Alabama fans, in a few weeks, the ugliness of this win will be forgotten as it should be. But the question is, why was it so ugly? Those are things we’ll deal with in this article and if you have additions you think should have been put in, by all means, just jump in and post them.
The Good –
1. A win – Or to be more exact, a win on a day that they team was flat. They won, but they didn’t exactly dominate. They won, but it was like a meal you ate that you wouldn’t want to eat again. You were full, it accomplished it’s overall mission, but there was nothing exciting about it.
2. Yeldon – Yes he finished the day with a 6.7 yard per carry rushing average and 160 yards and was the star of the game.
3. Cody Mandell – Early this year I said he’d be the best in the SEC and he is. Mandell was Alabama’s key weapon early on, flipping the field and getting some some incredible punts. He is becoming Mr. Consistent.
4. Cade Foster – Remember when he used to rotate and only do long kicks? No more. He’s great from anywhere inside the stadium. This is a player the fans have taken for granted that has earned this team and this fan base’s admiration and adulation.
5. Kick and Punt Coverage – Though it sucked in the last game the Tide played, they have found a way to fix it, at least for this week.
6. Kevin Norwood – Does this guy ever have a down week? He always comes through in the clutch.
7. Brian Vogler – Vogler was quickly becoming the “other tight end” as OJ Howard was the one getting all the highlight shots lately. But in this game, it was Vogler who caught a ball with a nice catch and then cut and dove his way into the end zone for his first TD of the year.
The Bad –
1. A lack of Kenyan Drake – Almost every week, if not all of them, Drake has more yards per carry than Yeldon, but he gets far fewer carriers. This week he averaged 7.0 to Yeldon’s 6.7. At least this week it was fairly close. The number two isn’t getting the runs that number two has done in past years. This week Drake had just four carries. Yes, he had a fumble, but so did Yeldon.Is Drake in the dog house again? I wish I knew why he got so few carries.
2. The fumbles and interceptions – This was one of the sloppiest games Alabama has played this year and one that had far too many turnover in it. Two fumbles and two interceptions are not typical Alabama football and not mistakes that many teams make and still win a game. Thank heaven for Alabama fans they were playing the Mississippi State Bulldogs who are a bad team themselves even if they only had one turnover.
3. AJ McCarron – This was not a game to make the Heisman voters think of you. Two interceptions and just 18 of 32 for just 5.8 yards a pass and a total passing yardage of 187 yards was not the way you wanted to be seen just as your Heisman talk was beginning to heat up.
4. Third down conversions – Bama didn’t do well this week either. For the day the 4 for 12 is not what you expect from the nation’s number one team. It wasn’t worth of Alabama.
5. The fans – They did little to help the team get inspired. Though there were a lot of them there, you didn’t hear them.
6. Penalties – Alabama had five of them for 41 yards and some of them were just knucklehead mistakes.
The Ugly –
1. Team Attitude – For the second season in a row, Alabama followed up a tough LSU game with a lackluster game. Whether a tough game takes their will from them or relief from a big win against a big foe causes them to take the next game too lightly, Alabama fell into another game of lackluster play. Good teams take every opponent the same, in the game, Alabama clearly played down to the level of their opposition.
2. Missed blocking assignments – He may leave early for the NFL, but Cyrus Kouandijo was beaten a few too many times this past Saturday. Others failed to pick up the correct men in pass rush situations and for the day, AJ went from being untouchable to now having nine sacks for a total of 58 yards.
Larry is an award winning writer whose work has appeared in almost every college football venue. Now he primarily writes for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter