Happy Monday, everyone. The past two weeks, after Alabama didn’t play well, the internet was chock full of hot takes. It’s nowhere near as interesting for the pundits when Alabama takes care of business. Still, we’ll bring you what we have.
The Tide moved up in the polls following the victory.
After the Crimson Tide defeated Ole Miss 24-10 on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium, Nick Saban’s team landed in the No. 11 spot in the US LBM coaches poll.
In the AP top 25 poll, Alabama ranks No. 12.
The Crimson Tide (3-1, 1-0 SEC) entered the game against the Rebels (3-1, 0-1) in the No. 12 spot in the coaches poll while Lane Kiffin’s team held the No. 16 spot. In the AP top 25 poll, Alabama had been ranked No. 13 before Saturday, while Ole Miss was No. 15.
Austin Hannon over at SI believes that Alabama may have rediscovered its identity this weekend.
The defense, which gave up 21 fourth-quarter points to the Longhorns in Week 2, was sensational against Kiffin’s “unstoppable” offense. That’s no knock on Kiffin — the Rebels were and probably still are one of the better offensive teams in the SEC and the country.
But in this game, it was about the Crimson Tide defense. For the second week in a row, Alabama’s defensive unit kept the team in the game. And when the Crimson Tide picked it up on offense after halftime, the defense continued.
Let’s hope so. It was a positive game to be sure, but will mean little if they can’t maintain it in Starkville this weekend.
Saban was pleased with the effort. Of course, the game was still far from mistake-free.
“It takes a lot of patience on my part when you score five touchdowns and have it called back,” Saban said with a smile. “That takes patience, too. It takes patience when you’re first-and-1 at the (1-yard line) and you don’t score a touchdown. That takes patience. So I got a lot of things testing my patience.”
Saban was referencing a holding flag on Jermaine Burton that wiped away a 21-yard touchdown run by Jase McClellan. It was the most recent example of a Tide mental mistake costing it points. It happened twice against Texas on Sept. 9 after two offensive linemen fouls. It occurred twice more against South Florida last Saturday, once on a long run and on a 100-yard kickoff return.
Ralph Russo still sees some issues but can see Alabama contending if they can build on this one.
Speaking of ailing dynasties: Alabama still has got problems, but the Crimson Tide muscled up to put Lane Kiffin and Mississippi in their place.
“We dominated the line of scrimmage,” Nick Saban said about a second half that ‘Bama won 18-3.
The Crimson Tide went back to Jalen Milroe at quarterback. The offense still looks limited, but Milroe went 17 for 21 for 225 yards with a pretty, long touchdown pass and a really bad red zone interception.
It might take a return to the murderball days of ferocious defense and power running for Alabama to contend in the Southeastern Conference this season. That might actually be enough to keep the Tide in playoff contention.
Saban decided on the blocked punt for his weekly film breakdown, and the ending had people in stitches.
Last, we may well see Tua Tagovailoa in the Super Bowl this year if the Dolphins can stay reasonably healthy. They scored the most points of any NFL team in 50 years yesterday, smoking Denver 70-20. After being completely mishandled early in his career, Tua is playing with some serious athletic arrogance these days, and it’s great to see.
Mike McDaniel is just cooking up filthy play designs for Tua Tagovailoa.— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 24, 2023
The crowd gasp after the no-look was awesome.pic.twitter.com/esm4cIyGJk
Tua’s 10.1 YPA is a full two yards more than Kirk Cousins, who ranks second. His passer rating is 121.9 which is 9 points higher than next-highest Justin Herbert, and his QBR of 83.2 bests Brock Purdy’s 77.3 for tops in the league.
Of course, you still have idiots saying things like this.
The Tua MVP conversation is going to be complicated. How good do his stats have to be to counterbalance the quality of the scheme and having Tyreek Hill? I mean, Tua's not the one out there averaging 8.0 yards per carry on the ground today...— Aaron Schatz (@ASchatzNFL) September 24, 2023
BREAKING: Great QB needs weapons to put up otherworldly stats.
If he keeps this up, it will be tough not to give him the hardware. That would make up for the Heisman he should have won.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.