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Alabama’s Nick Saban wants ‘things cleaned up’ in the run game for S. Carolina

Alabama RB Najee Harris (No. 22) carrying the ball versus New Mexico State: Photo via Cedric Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

Not only does he know the hostile environment Alabama football will enter this weekend, but Nick Saban is also aware of the leadership that South Carolina carries on defense. 

Aside from a couple of explosive runs, the Crimson Tide has not been able to generate dominance in its rushing attack thus far. Duke and New Mexico State, two of the lesser quality opponents Alabama will face all year, threw out different looks from its defensive front and the Tide’s offensive line could not create ways for its back to spit out positive yards per attempt. 

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Despite fans showing much concern for the front line, Saban addressed the local media in Wednesday’s game week presser on the situation being a shared responsibility between the five players up front and the runners.

Alabama has totaled 463 yards rushing with six touchdowns on 74 carries through two games; however, if one removes four marquee touchdown runs – the program sits at 252 yards on 70 carries with two scores on an average of 3.6 yards per rush. 

“I think we need to make improvements in the running game and that’s everyone,” Saban said. 

“The backs need to do a better job of running the tracks we run. When the runner is running a track, he makes the defense react a certain way when he is on that track. So, you actually get the defenders to come to the blocks… And the offensive linemen are taking angles to block people, assuming that’s going to happen. We haven’t been consistent in that to this point and at times, it has affected our running game. We will need to get all of that cleaned up.” 

Whether it is the line not blocking properly or the backs lacking vision in the holes, the Gamecocks will challenge Alabama up front.

Will Muschamp has a few players that will hear their names called in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Tide has to find a way obtain balance on offense. 

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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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