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

Defensive Play–Overall [B]

Reggie Ragland [A]- Ragland stepped up this week and took pressure off Landon Collins. He followed gap assignments and made secure tackles. Ragland was Alabama’s leading tackler against Florida. He recorded eight tackles and a fumble recovery.

Trey DePriest [A]- He looked okay against Southern Mississippi, but DePriest was ready for Florida. He tackled well in space and made sure that everyone was set on defense. DePriest finished with seven tackles.

Jarran Reed [A]- A new face led Alabama’s defensive line this week. Jarran Reed did a great job of stopping the run and generating pressure on Jeff Driskel. Reed recorded five tackles and a pass breakup.

Landon Collins [A]- Collins led the team in tackles after its first three games. He went back to his natural state against Florida and played the ball well. Collins led Alabama’s secondary with five tackles, one interception and two pass breakups.

Summary: Alabama’s offense put its defense in tough situations. Florida scored 21 points off four Crimson Tide turnovers. Alabama’s defense played well, despite the issue. Trey DePriest and Reggie Ragland manned up and combined for 15 tackles. Florida was held to 200 yards of offense. Jeff Driskel recorded 93 passing yards and was intercepted twice. The Gators were 15.4 percent (2 of 13) on third down. Alabama shutout Florida in the second and fourth quarter.

Special Teams–Overall [C]

Adam Griffith [C]- Griffith suffered his first missed field goal of the season against Florida. It was a 45-yard attempt in the first quarter that curved to the left. Griffith was perfect on extra-points and averaged 62.9 yards per kick, but one of kicks landed out of bounds. The miscue was one of Alabama’s 11 penalties.

JK Scott [C]- Scott had one great punt and one terrible punt against Florida. His first kick was a shank. It traveled 30 yards and went out of bounds, giving Florida in good field position. Scott’s second punt traveled 57 yards, but resulted in a touchback. He’s a freshman, but Scott has to develop consistency on pinning opponents inside the 20-yard line.

Coverage [B]- Alabama did a good job at keeping Florida’s return men at bay. The Gators didn’t have a lot of explosive plays on special teams. The Tide’s punt coverage needs to improve on downing the ball inside the 20-yard line.

Summary: Adam Griffith and JK Scott will get the hang of Southeastern Conference competition as they keep playing. Florida was their first test. Kickoff/punt coverage did well. The players need to continue making secure tackles in the open field.

Running Backs–Overall [B]

Derrick Henry [A]- T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry equaled in carries, but Henry produced more yards. Alabama fed the beast in the second half and Henry thanked them for it. He kept his legs moving and held onto the ball. Henry displayed vision and cutback ability. He collected 20 carries for 111 yards and a touchdown. Henry averaged 5.6 yards per carry.

Summary: Derrick Henry gashed Florida’s defense, but the backs rushed for 196 yards as a group.

Receivers–Overall [A]

Amari Cooper [A]- Vernon Hargreaves III will have nightmares about Amari Cooper. Cooper schooled him in Saturday’s matchup. His route running was solid and Cooper’s leaping ability was great. He led all receivers with 10 catches for 201 yards and three touchdowns.

DeAndrew White [B]- He was absent for two weeks (shoulder), but it was good to see DeAndrew White on the field against the Gators. He posted six receptions for 48 yards, but White has to take better care of football. His fumble in the first quarter was recovered by Keanu Neal and returned for a 49-yard touchdown.

Kenyan Drake [A]- Kenyan Drake’s love affair with the endzone continues. This week marks the third game in which Drake has scored a touchdown. His 87-yard touchdown reception from Blake Sims was Alabama’s first score of the contest.

Summary: Amari Cooper continues to show why he’s the best receiver in college football. His three touchdown receptions put him at 20 (most in Crimson Tide history) for his career. DeAndrew White made his presence felt. Kenyan Drake and Jalston Fowler have two touchdown receptions this season. OJ Howard finally made into the stats column with two receptions for 22 yards.

Offensive Line–Overall [B]

Summary: Alabama’s offensive has to limit its penalties. Of the team’s 11 fouls, half were against the offensive line. The Tide needs to be alert up front and dominate the line of scrimmage. Aside from mental errors, Alabama’s offensive line guided the team to 645 yards of offense. The line allowed one sack, but helped Blake Sims have a career-game passing. The Tide’s offensive has to improve its run blocking. Alabama rushed for 196 yards, but it could have been more.

Quarterback Play–Overall [B+]

Blake Sims [B+]- Blake Sims doesn’t have a deep ball? Yeah, right. Sims was 1-6 on deep passes before this week, but he lit Florida’s secondary up. Two of his four touchdown passes came via the long ball. Sims’s touchdown pass to Kenyan Drake was 87 yards. His hookup with Amari Cooper went for a 79-yard score. Sims pushed the ball down field effectively and completed 69.7 percent (23/33) of his passes. He tossed for 445 yards and four touchdowns with one interception. The fumble Sims had came from a lack of communication with Drake. Part of being a quarterback is making sure the offensive knows the play call. Sims must improve on thoroughly communicating calls to the offense.

Summary: Blake Sims torched Florida’s secondary. His confidence continues to grow. He bruised his shoulder in the second half, but Jake Coker entered and tossed his second touchdown pass as an Alabama quarterback. Sims’s fourth touchdown pass came after he returned on the field.

It wasn’t pretty at times, but Alabama got the win. The Tide’s defense made plays and Blake Sims is second in school history for passing yards (Scott Hunter-1969, 448 yards against Auburn) in a single-game.

Amari Cooper will be in the Heisman conversation next week. He’s been a leader and a sure-handed receiver for Sims and Coker.

The Crimson Tide defeated Florida 42-21 and is 1-0 to start the SEC. Alabama will have next week off, but afterwards the team will return to work preparing for Ole Miss.

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