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STEPHEN’S REPORT: Focusing on the Performance of the Players

Receivers—Overall [A]

Amari Cooper [A] – Lane Kiffin’s offense is predicated on getting the ball into the hands of play makers. It was executed well in Saturday’s matchup against Florida Atlantic as Cooper had a huge game. Cooper picked up where he left off against West Virginia and embarrassed the Owls secondary. He totaled 13 receptions for 189 yards and a touchdown. Cooper’s 13 receptions tied Alabama’s single-game record.

Chris Black [A] – Black recorded one catch against West Virginia, but came to play against Florida Atlantic. He was in sync with Blake Sims and grabbed three passes for 45 yards. Black supplied a block for Kenyan Drake on his 39-yard touchdown reception.

Christion Jones [A] – Jones took part in Alabama’s aerial assault before bruising his leg in the second half. He had two receptions for 52 yards. Jones had the key block to spring Cooper free for Alabama’s second touchdown of the contest.

ArDarius Stewart [A] – The Crimson Tide has three freshmen receivers, but it was Stewart who snagged the headlines on the field. He caught three passes for 63 yards.

Summary: Cooper’s stats were great, but the wealth was shared with everyone against Florida Atlantic. Alabama’s receivers gained a lot of yards off screens and short passes.

Quarterbacks—Overall [A-]

Blake Sims [A] – Sims was confident against West Virginia and returned with even more confidence against Florida Atlantic. He was poised in the pocket and operated the offense smoothly. Sims scanned the field well and used his feet to make plays. Most of Sims’s passes were short, but he got rid of the ball quickly and allowed receivers to make plays in space. Overall, Sims completed 84.6 percent of his passes (11-13) for 214 yards and three total touchdowns.

Jake Coker [B] – Crimson Tide fans waited for this moment all offseason and they got it Saturday against Florida Atlantic. Coker was nervous at first, but got into a rhythm as the game went on. He displayed a good mixture of short passes and deep balls. Like Sims, Coker showed mobility in the pocket and gained yards with his legs. Overall, Coker completed 62.5 percent of his passes (15-24) for 202 yards and a touchdown.

Summary: Lane Kiffin was trying to get both quarterbacks prepared for Florida. He did just that by exercising Alabama’s passing attack. Sims and Coker combined for 464 passing yards. It’s always room for improvement, but both quarterbacks excelled against Florida Atlantic.

Defensive Play—Overall [B]

Reggie Ragland [A] – Ragland led the team with five tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery. He followed his assignments and made tackles in space. Ragland was one of three players who got a sack on Florida Atlantic’s quarterback, Greg Hankerson.

Eddie Jackson [A] – Jackson is the comeback story in Alabama football. He made his presence felt in his sophomore debut. Jackson recorded four tackles and a forced fumble. He was physical with receivers and delivered some punishing blows.

A’Shawn Robinson [A] – He didn’t record a sack, but Robinson led all defensive linemen with four tackles. He was able to create leverage, fill in gaps and make tackles.

Trey DePriest [B] – It will be another week before DePriest is in full game mode, but it was great to see him on the field. He finished with four tackles and looked engaged while he was in the game.

Summary: Florida Atlantic was Alabama’s opponent, but it’s still good to see the Tide’s first-team defense pitch a shutout. Alabama needs to improve on tackling, but its pass rush is getting better. The Tide’s 2014 recruiting class saw the field in the second half. Tony Brown and Da’Shawn Hand each had a tackle, but Rashaan Evans stole the show with two tackles and a sack. Evans, Ragland and Ryan Anderson each recorded a sack. Florida Atlantic totaled 145 yards of offense.

Offensive Line—Overall [A]

Summary: It allowed one sack, but Alabama’s offensive line played well against Florida Atlantic. It imposed its will and helped the team gain 620 yards of offense. The Tide’s offense line open holes in the run game and Alabama’s back recorded 204 yards rushing.

Special Teams—Overall [A]

Adam Griffith [A] – Griffith connected on both of his field goal attempts (22, 28 yards). He totaled eight kicks for 516 yards with two touchbacks. Griffith averaged 64.5 yards per kick.

Cyrus Jones [A] – Jones is a defensive back, but he channeled his inner Christion Jones Saturday on special teams. Jones took Dalton Schomp’s 60-yard punt and turned it into a 70-yard return. He was knocked out-of-bounds on Florida Atlantic’s 10-yard line.

Summary: Alabama fans didn’t see JK Scott’s big time leg, but Adam Griffith put in a solid performance. Cyrus Jones made a play in the return game and the Tide’s kick coverage improved this week.

Running Backs—Overall [B]

Summary: Alabama was all about quarterbacks and receivers against the Owls, but the running backs did well as a unit. Alabama’s backs totaled 204 yards rushing, one touchdown and averaged 6.2 yards per carry. Kenyan Drake led all backs with 45 yards and two total touchdowns. T.J. Yeldon collected 43 yards and Derrick Henry had 23 yards rushing. Tyren Jones ripped off some nice runs. He had 33 yards rushing and averaged 8.2 yards per carry. Amari Cooper had a 20 yard gain on the ground. Blake Sims and Jake Coker combined for 44 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Weather is a confusing thing. Severe conditions caused the game to be called with 7:53 remaining in the contest. The main thing is winning and Alabama got it done this week. The Tide defeated Florida Atlantic 41-0.

Alabama’s offense consistently moved the ball against Florida Atlantic. Nick Saban and company will continue to fine tune the Tide’s offense and defense as Southern Miss is next on the schedule.

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