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Emergency call-out to Alabama’s struggling offensive line

Photo comes via SEC Media Portal

Talking is cool, but it needs to be over for Alabama football.

Nick Saban will not capture another national championship, and Georgia will three-peat if the Crimson Tide’s offensive line does not start being about action. We heard the talk all summer about physicality, dominance, toughness, and making teams quit, but none of it has been executed through three games. Alabama got handled by Middle Tennessee State at times, Texas exposed the Tide’s offensive line with a three-man pressure, and one player for South Florida (Daquan Evans) had a field day sacking Ty Simpson. Alabama is not living up to the mantra it has discussed throughout the summer, and this needs to stop now.

RELATED: Tyler Booker explains what Alabama’s OL wants to return to this fall

Pete Golding, the Crimson Tide’s former defensive coordinator, has watched films from MTSU, Texas, and South Florida.

He is coming into Bryant-Denny Stadium with something to prove. Golding wants to prove Nick Saban wrong for parting away from him and show everyone he is an elite defensive mind. He is taking this game like it is the Super Bowl, and Alabama’s offensive line needs to take this matchup seriously. The Tide has allowed ten sacks in two weeks, which is unacceptable.

Alabama cannot expect to have offensive balance if the line fails to protect the quarterback and win one-on-one battles to open up its rushing attack. Tide fans could depend on offensive units in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2020 to be balanced because the men up front took ownership and pride in dominating the opponent.  The passion to be feared is not with this group.

RELATED: JC Latham respects Georgia’s standard, but says it is not above Alabama’s

Opposing defensive lines have forced the Tide to play behind the line of scrimmage.

Alabama has had poor snaps, protecting, and blocking in each of the first three games. It may need to go to seven-man protection for the quarterback, but veteran players need to take ownership. JC Latham, Tyler Booker, and Seth McLaughlin have talked about what the unit wants to do, but where is the action behind it? A national championship won’t happen without action.

The Tide has surrendered 12 sacks in three games for an average of four per matchup. Alabama ranks 123rd in the nation for sacks allowed. If it can clean this up, the team can trend forward to protecting Jalen Milroe, establishing offensive balance, and winning a national championship. Coach Saban speaks a lot about pride in performance, but when will it take root with this bunch?

The offensive line kicks off the identity of a football team; however, Alabama has no identity. It was not focused against Texas and looked lifeless versus South Florida, and the line played a significant role in it. Talk needs to end and action needs to stand.

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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 15 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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