Alabama football answered many questions as it left Starkville, Miss.
Some questioned whether the Crimson Tide could play a complete game.
Alabama responded with dominance at Davis Wade Stadium versus Mississippi State. Nick Saban’s team got off the ground and earned a 49-9 victory. The Tide generated explosive plays on offense, while its defense kept the Bulldogs out of the end zone for a second straight year. Alabama took heed to Will Anderson’s words, and football looked like the most important thing against Mike Leach’s offense. Coach Saban’s group had seven sacks, nine tackles for loss, three interceptions (one for a score), held Mississippi State under 300 yards, and excelled on third down. The Bulldogs settled for three field goals in the red zone.
Offensively, there are areas to improve.
Bryce Young was sacked twice, and Bill O’Brien’s play-calling is predictable. Despite this, Alabama created big plays. Young had four touchdowns, Brian Robinson and Roydell Williams held the rushing attack in place, John Metchie produce a bounce-back game, Jameson Williams had a 75-yard touchdown reception, and sophomore Traeshon Holden is emerging as a receiver.
Alabama was also excellent on third downs, converting 12 of 16 attempts.
If O’Brien can mix creativity with balance, Alabama’s offense will be dangerous.
The team needs to evaluate its right tackle position on the offensive line. Chris Owens has a lot of game experience, but it’s time to look at Kendall Randolph or JC Latham long-term for the role.
Owens, a sixth-year senior, is not quick enough to handle the elite edge rushers of college football.
Has Alabama found its identity to compete for another national championship?
It has found a spark in that direction. We have been waiting for this team to have a complete game. Alabama produced it against Mississippi State; nevertheless, there were moments where it looked out of sync. The Tide will host Tennessee next, and if it builds off this recent outing, we can discuss championship identity.
Last week was a good start, but Alabama needs more consistency.
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