It’s always two sides to every story. The first scrimmage resulted in seeing a drenched Nick Saban at the podium. To the delight of coaches and players, Mother Nature behaved and provided Alabama with pleasant sunshine for its scrimmage.
The change in atmosphere was good, but results from the first match lingered into today’s scrimmage. Coach Saban decided to keep the media guessing for a second time, concerning the quarterbacks’ stats.
Saban said is Blake Sims playing “faster” than Jacob Coker because of his knowledge of the system.
“Both quarterbacks played an equal number of reps with the first team today,” Saban said. “Both did some good things, but still some inconsistency. Sims has more chemistry. Jacob Coker is improving, but still has a few things to work on.”
Saban said a couple of turnovers happened off tipped passes. On naming a starting quarterback, Saban said until someone clearly wins the job, Alabama isn’t making that decision.
It’s expected to get fatigue when a team goes all out in the heat during fall practice. Saban said Alabama looked tired today, but the team has two days to rest up.
“We never really got into a rhythm offensively,” Saban said. “We had some explosive plays, but a lot of shooting ourselves in the foot.”
Kenyan Drake has not only woken up, but he’s starting to hit another gear with his style of play. Saban said Drake has done a good job and Drake proved it on the field. In the first scrimmage, Drake totaled 153 yards and a touchdown. He finished today’s match as the Tide’s leading receiver with three catches for 77 yards and a touchdown.
Amari Cooper collected five receptions for 63 yards and Chris Black found his name in the stats column, recording five catches for 46 yards.
Neither T.J. Yeldon nor Derrick Henry appeared in the stats column, but Tyren Jones and Altee Tenpenny did. Jones led all running backs with 12 carries for 44 yards and a touchdown. Tenpenny tallied 12 yards off 10 carries.
Jonathan Allen anchored Alabama in its first scrimmage. Linebacker Trey DePriest took the reins today. DePriest had seven tackles. Dillon Lee put in six tackles and a sack. Landon Collins had four tackles, two pass breakups and a sack. Allen recorded four tackles and two sacks.
Special teams performed well, despite rain in the first scrimmage. Placekicker Adam Griffith parlayed off that success by making all his field goal attempts.
“Specialist were good today,” Saban said. “I think Adam Griffith finished 4/4 or 5/5 on field on field goals.”
Alabama had no major injuries, but a few players were banged up. Linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton has a sprained ankle. Amari Cooper and Jarran Reed hurt their knees. Geno Smith, Eddie Jackson, Brian Vogler, Leon Brown and Dominick Jackson didn’t scrimmage. Saban said defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson is getting better and will be back in practice on Wednesday.
Overall, the Tide is still working out some kinks before the opener against West Virginia.
“Some players improved, but there were others we would have hoped would make more progress,” Saban said.
Alabama will rest on Sunday and Monday before heading back to work on Tuesday.