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Alabama Football: Home vs. Road games

Alabama football isn’t where it needs to be, despite a 6-1 record. The energy inside Bryant-Denny Stadium excites players for home games, but the Crimson Tide is a completely different team on the road. Obtaining wins in the Southeastern Conference is difficult enough, but dominating opponents on the road is an entirely different monster.

Alabama’s Production—Bryant-Denny Stadium

Alabama is undefeated at home this season. Its offense looks fluent and defense is stifling. Offensively, Alabama is averaging 48.5 points and 610.3 yards of offense.

Senior quarterback Blake Sims spreads the wealth better at Bryant-Denny Stadium. He has completed 71.3 percent of his passes for 1,109 yards (277.3 yards per game) and 11 touchdowns. Sims executes the offense better and displays more poise at home.

Junior receiver Amari Cooper has abused man-to-man coverage schemes all season. He collected 18 receptions for 341 yards and five touchdowns combined against Florida and Texas A&M. Cooper has benefitted from Lane Kiffin’s system, but playing in front of the home crowd has helped a lot more. 39 of Cooper’s 62 receptions have come in Bryant-Denny Stadium. He’s registered 39 catches for 665 yards (166.3 yards per game) and seven touchdowns at home.

Even Alabama’s run game displays a bounce in its step at home. The Crimson Tide’s offensive line has guided its backs to 1,044 rushing yards (261.0 yards per game) and 12 scores.

Defensively, Alabama has been solid at home. Opposing offenses have averaged 195 yards (62.8 rushing yards) and 10.8 points per game.

Alabama’s Production—Road Games

Alabama is 1-1 on the road, but its offensive production has left little to be desired. The Crimson Tide averaged 15.5 points and 311.5 yards of offense combined against Ole Miss and Arkansas. Both teams disrupted Alabama’s timing and pressured Blake Sims.

Sims hasn’t been comfortable on the road. Nerves could be an issue, but Sims must gain confidence away from Bryant-Denny if Alabama wants to win a championship. He tends to lean too much on Amari Cooper on the road. This has caused Sims to telegraph some of his pass attempts. He’s completed 56.9 percent of his passes for 389 yards (194.5 yards per game) and two touchdowns.

The Crimson Tide’s offensive line hasn’t fared well on the road. Alabama’s allowed three sacks and its run game has been dormant. The Crimson Tide’s totaled 260 rushing yards (130.0 yards per game) and a touchdown.

Texas A&M and Florida failed, but Arkansas and Ole Miss succeeded on covering Amari Cooper. Both teams provided safety help and baited Sims to target other receivers. Cooper has 11 catches for 113 yards on the road.

Defense is the lone constant for Alabama in both aspects. The Crimson Tide’s allowed 18 points and 329 yards of offense on the road. Opponents have rushed for 80.5 yards with one score. Alabama’s defense collected six sacks and has forced four turnovers.

Consistency on the Road

It feels good to win at home, but true champions conquer on the road. Alabama returned to the College Football Playoff picture after its win against TAMU, but it has to win consistently on the road in order to land a spot. Team chemistry is great, but the Crimson Tide has yet to put everything together. A trip to Neyland Stadium Saturday will start the process. Baton Rouge will be the last tough road venue for Alabama after its bye week. The Crimson Tide is No.4 nationally. Alabama has its dreams in front of them, but can this team win on the road?

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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