After a full week of practice, Alabama had its first scrimmage game Saturday inside Bryant-Denny Stadium at 2:30 p.m. Supporting its Crimson Tide, fans poured into Bryant-Denny to get a look at the team. Warm-ups went well, but the conditions were not kind to the Tide. The scrimmage was delayed 40 minutes because of the weather.
When the clouds cleared, a drenched Nick Saban took the podium and addressed his thoughts on the scrimmage. Saban didn’t release any stats on the quarterbacks. He said both guys (Coker and Sims) played well and it would be unfair to evaluate them due to the weather conditions.
“I think it would be unfair to either player to really evaluate any kind of passing statistics based on today,” Saban said. “I think both guys did a lot of good things. I think they both have some things they wish they had back. And I think they both probably made some decisions that we can improve on.”
He’s involved in Saban’s doghouse a lot, but Kenyan Drake entered the scrimmage with something to prove. Drake finished as Alabama’s leading rusher, recording six carries for 88 yards and a touchdown. He displayed soft hands as a receiver and totaled four catches for 65 yards.
Derrick Henry and Tyren Jones each rushed for a score and combined for 53 rushing yards. T.J. Yeldon collected four carries for 35 yards.
Aside from Drake, Robert Foster led the team in receiving yards with 57. Amari Cooper brought in 4 passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. Christion Jones put in two catches for 45 yards and a touchdown. Even freshman receiver, ArDarius Stewart found his name in the stat column. Stewart tallied three receptions for 33 yards.
Defensively, Jonathan Allen led Alabama. He totaled five tackles and two sacks. Freshman Da’Shawn Hand made a huge impact, recording four tackles and a sack. Reuben Foster got in more reps at linebacker after the injury to Trey DePriest (August 2-knee). Foster had three tackles and a sack. Reggie Ragland and Dillon Lee combined for seven tackles.
Despite the rain, Alabama’s special teams provided a pleasant surprise. Before the scrimmage, placekicker Adam Griffith had missed only one field goal in summer camp. He made 4/5 field goals (80 percent) in the scrimmage and is starting to display a lot of confidence. Saban said J.K. Scott was accurate punting the football.
Saban said Alabama has a long way to go defensively, but he likes this team.
“I kind of feel like this team has a lot of togetherness,” Saban said. “I think they like each other off the field.”
In life, we learn to take the good and the bad. Alabama exited the scrimmage with some cuts and bruises. Defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson and tight end Kurt Freitag have toe injuries. Defensive back Geno Smith has a knee injury and offensive lineman Dominick Jackson has a sprained ankle. Cornerback Eddie Jackson (knee) could have scrimmaged today, but the team was cautious with him.
The Crimson Tide heads back to work Monday for its second full week of practice. Alabama hopes to have defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson (knee) and offensive lineman Leon Brown (foot) back for practice.