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2018 Alabama Football: How about a nice Hawaiian Punch?

Discussion in 'College Sports' started by Brand Name, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. Brand Name

    Brand Name thinks there's no 'i' in denial Staff Member Dope Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    It's another year in T-Town, with a deity's worth of incoming freshman 5-star recruits (Harris, Leatherwood, Moses, Jeudy, Ray, Tua), although with the caveat of losing 10 players to Sundays alone this past draft, most in the Common Draft era for the program, plus three more as UDFAs (Mazza, Kirven, Dieter).

    This will be an interesting year for this program, given its youth, much like the 2012 squad, which thankfully still has some very solid leadership, such as WR Calvin Ridley, SS Minkah Fitzpatrick, X-receiver Cam Sims, and MLB Rashaan Evans. Ultimately, the big question on this deep is if sophomore QB Jalen Hurts can improve on his deep accuracy from a year ago, where he was the first true freshman to start for the Capstone since 1984, despite pleas from some to start incoming long armed southpaw freshman Tua Tagovailoa.

    The lesser story I've heard, but will absolutely matter: Who is the 2nd CB after Averett? Supposedly Diggs, but he has looked very raw in the prior film I've prospected him on. Either he or redshirt freshman Nigel Knott need to step up. My internal kicker also wonders if Bulovas will have proper follow through with his first year in the program, if Scott, the team's supremely underrated punter will take on double duties, or if Pappanastos will win the job despite issues from even midrange by collegiate standards. They also bring in former Patriots TE coach Brian Daboll to be their offensive coordinator. Will be interesting to see if they wind up running a simplified Perkins-Erhardt offense, with overall less defined roles for players.

    So where does this team go? Who steps up? They'll be tested early with the CFA Kickoff, by no means a slam dunk by both opponent and geolocation in Florida State to begin the year on September 2nd. This season can't start soon enough, looking to avenge a heart crushing loss against Clemson in the Natty.
     
  2. Royal Reader

    Royal Reader Member SoSH Member

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    The Cornerbacks have always seemed to be the difference between the title contending and 2-3 loss versions of Bama under Saban. Diggs looks like he's got the inside lane to start on the outside.

    The meat of the schedule seems pretty straighforward compared to some years in the last decade - with Ole Miss imploding, Vandy as the opposite-division rotating opponent and LSU coming to Tuscaloosa. Auburn looks lively. That could be tough on the road.
     
  3. Royal Reader

    Royal Reader Member SoSH Member

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    Unsure if to be worried about the offense after that, or if it's just the case that FSU is as good on D as anyone in the country. SEC play starts with Vandy, so they've got time to work things out, especially if Ole Miss implodes as badly as most people expect they might. Not that I'm complaining - the defense is still ridiculous.
     
  4. Brand Name

    Brand Name thinks there's no 'i' in denial Staff Member Dope Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I felt pretty confident after last night. Seems the folks I was chatting with had similar concerns about the offense, though like you say, can't tell just how much of that was on occasional Jalen ineptitude such as a few too many hard lock-ons, he also made some fantastic improvisations last night or a strong FSU defense. I'm inclined to believe it's more the latter, but certainly a story to watch going forward. Hopefully, the Hawaiian gets an opportunity to show his stuff a bit in garbage time, see how it changes the complexities of the offense. I was personally hoping he'd get the last drive last night.

    Defensive line especially impressed collapsing the interior of the FSU offensive line, with a notable accolade to a much slimmer Joshua Frazier, coupled with the incredible recovery of Shaun Dion Hamilton. Minkah Fitzpatrick remains an absolute gem at STAR. Punt and kick block coverage fantastic all night. Skill displayed there reminded me a touch of 2009 against the Vols. Also want to give a shout out to Damien Harris who looked fantastic whenever he was able to hold the rock.

    On the other side of things, Scott should honestly be the Ray Guy winner this season, but the kicking game has me concerned. And we thought the base had issues with Griffith last year, oh boy. Pappanastos doesn't have the greatest follow through, though it's sufficient. Of the small sample from last night, it doesn't look like he gets enough leg power when he attacks the ball, leading to less control, thus making the ball miss its target on a more frequent basis, and possibly explains the low arch some folks have been discussing at The Capstone. It's something to look more at for the film room, honestly.

    Loving that Bear avi RR, good stuff.
     
  5. Royal Reader

    Royal Reader Member SoSH Member

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    I had a Saban avvie before, but it disappeared when the site software updated or something. Been using the default shades for far too long and a new football season seemed like as good an excuse as any.

    LSU looked pretty tasty yesterday, we could see another of the classic Bama-LSU games of this century (and by classic I mean powerful, intense, close, and so low scoring no neutral would want to watch ;) ).
     
  6. Royal Reader

    Royal Reader Member SoSH Member

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    1,647
    I know it's Vandy and everything, but there's something beautiful about everything coming together on both sides of the ball for a good old fashioned asswhuppin.
     
  7. Brand Name

    Brand Name thinks there's no 'i' in denial Staff Member Dope Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Finally got a chance to get some R&R this week, but exactly as you said, RR. And they stayed healthy on top of it. 3 first downs allowed the whole game, one of them on a bullpucky call to open the game. Even the reserves looked strong, but I have to hand it to the IOL, and really the OLine on the whole. Great initial rush to create gaps, with a special shoutout to Lester Cotton on some great interior reach moves that distracted his matchup numerous times to set up B gap draws as the play was in progress. Can't credit that enough, much as everyone else looked in pristine, hungry form.

    Ole Miss this week. Always a frightening prospect, given recent history, although thankfully no more Chad Kelly. Still, the high paced, short passes executed by the Rebels frighten me, given you look at the best way to beat a Liz/Rip Cover 3 like Saban runs. Can't believe we're four TD favorites, given the faults of both clubs. Seems like an easy money to expect the Tide not to cover. Will be a tremendous test for the DLine, especially Hand, and the LB crew. Still like the odds, especially if Ole Misdial slows its pace down again, but this game, even more than the Brag Bowl, is the one that keeps me awake at night for irrationality reasons.
     
  8. Royal Reader

    Royal Reader Member SoSH Member

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    Well those Ole Miss fears look about as reasonable as my LSU fears now. Aubie looks like it at least has a pulse.
     
  9. Brand Name

    Brand Name thinks there's no 'i' in denial Staff Member Dope Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Ole Miss fears to Ole Miss dreams. Shame Hand is going to be out for a few weeks, but feel it may be a blessing of sorts to the team, to see who steps up in various rotations of the DL. Between Daboll's outstanding playcalling, Jalen's both arms and legs, mostly intelligent decisions, this team has had two of the more exciting back to back weeks than I can recall being alive for.

    Hate to sound cocky, but the Barn is the only one right now that worries me in the slightest on the schedule. LSU kind of did the same to me, but as you noted, with no disrespect to Troy, Coaches O Canada aren't exactly standing on guard for thee, save for DJ Chark. Paid to beat the Tigeaux on homecoming. Just tremendous.

    College Station next. Genuinely don't scare me, although this really is the team's first road game, given Vandy was massively Bama/crimson-clad, and that 12th Man at Kyle can get crazy. This team's weakness is its offensive line, aside from maybe LG Colton Prater, and its offense only really gets started if Keith Ford can run the ball, both of which I think can play very well into Tide strengths.

    Do like me some junior WR Christian Kirk, but think he can be covered, as one top-flight receiver is not a terribly frightening proposition, personally. The only person that gives me the slightest of pause for planning on their D is Jarrett Johnson. I'd add in CB Donovan Wilson to that, were he not injured; have him as the likely third best non-Alabama CB in the SEC (LSU's Toliver, Auburn's Carlton Davis). With the OL looking like an inpentrable force again, expect a long, clean pocket for Hurts. Maybe an early power-focused game leads some PA in the early 2nd, especially given the nature of S Armani Watts-great instincts at times, but they come at gambles. Honestly thinking the spread is too low right now, all considered.
     
  10. maufman

    maufman Anderson Cooper x Mr. Rogers Staff Member Dope Gold Supporter

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    Aggies have won 4 straight since that epic collapse @UCLA, albeit against underwhelming competition. I’m not expecting an upset, but I think the spread is too heavy.
     
  11. Brand Name

    Brand Name thinks there's no 'i' in denial Staff Member Dope Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Umm, exhale? I think? Jalen Hurts looked beautiful with progressions and reads last night, and unafraid to throw the ball when the opportunity was given. Skinny post to Smith in a TB12-esque game-winning drive was incredible. Incredible game on growth for the offense, especially when you consider the effectiveness late of the Power Strong O, ACE blocked. Cotton and Womack looked great after a tough LSU game where I ripped them a hard one elsewhere.

    But this team really needs help at MIKE. Hootie Jones is almost never fast enough, nor in proper position. Moses often filled the wrong gap. Holcombe couldn't finish his tackles. Granted, the last two weren't expected to have significant snaps, but yeah. This team really misses Hamilton, Miller, Lewis, Wilson. Sigh. At least there are two weeks until the Iron Bowl, to properly prep, and see what we have from some of the reserves against Mercer.

    Last night got me in the biggest pretzel knots since probably this game, fun to relive as well. And yes, I am thirsty.

     
  12. Royal Reader

    Royal Reader Member SoSH Member

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    My formative years of college football fandom occurred while Auburn were putting together a run of Iron Bowl victories culminating in Tommy Tuberville's six fingers.

    Auburn fans still have six fingers, but Bama has twice as many natties as Auburn has Iron Bowl wins since then.

    I like this era better.

    #RTR #BeatAuburn
     
  13. Brand Name

    Brand Name thinks there's no 'i' in denial Staff Member Dope Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Always, always screw Auburn. A college that can't decide what it is in name or literally anything else. Tigers? Okay enough, but: WAR EAGLE (a chant by itself, how exactly?)! But Plainsmen! Between Pat Dye, the blatant Newton stuff, in addition to so many countless items, they're just an unlikable program, let alone the distance and history between the Barn and us.

    I'm kind of worried more about the implications of tomorrow rather than the game itself, which feels kind of odd. This really is a holiday to have though, only hopefully extends what has been a tremendous holiday weekend thus far. Much as I dislike AU, they've been a formidable rival, rather than a cupcake over the years. That's the one good thing about them. Would love to see the Gus Bus wheels fall off because of this game, and he winds up in Arky after this season, after such a demoralizing loss.

    Crazy Kristi mojo video for the true colors of Auburn!



    Roll Dem Tide!
     
  14. Royal Reader

    Royal Reader Member SoSH Member

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    Oh yeah, I'd love to see Malzahn high tailing it out of there like a laptop outta Cam Newton's dorm window.

    Roll Damn Tide
     
  15. JMDurron

    JMDurron Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Congrats to our SoSH Bama fans...again.

    I console myself by remembering that this is how other NFL fan bases feel about the Patriots.
     
  16. Royal Reader

    Royal Reader Member SoSH Member

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    Thanks JMD.

    Man, you weren't wrong about Auburn football essentially being an RNG.
     
  17. RedOctober3829

    RedOctober3829 Member SoSH Member

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    Damien Harris is coming back for his senior season. That backfield will continue to be loaded with the Harris boys and possibly Bo Scarborough coming back too.
     
  18. tims4wins

    tims4wins PN23's replacement SoSH Member

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    Ridley declared no surprise

    edit: Scarborough is also not returning
     
  19. Brand Name

    Brand Name thinks there's no 'i' in denial Staff Member Dope Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Thanks! This natty, given the lack of linebackers, even down to the JACK by the end of it, it may not be the best team by a long shot but it's probably the best work by Saban in this run for my money. Nation's tears for college football is always an amazing site to see from some of the troll writers like Kanell. Their tears are always delicious to lick up as a bonus postgame reward.

    This was delicious for anyone who hates Auburn, right? An IB they can't enjoy because DSOR opponent made it, and, of course, we did and won the whole deal, plus already the controversy that uncorked because of the UCF loss. WE FREAKING DID IT AGAIN! The best is always the most recent. Any chance you were genuinely stammering and out of words by mid-4th on Monday too? My keyboard somehow lost control yet my sparkling water somehow remained upright.

    Damien coming back is super unfair plus Najee. Those two with Joshua Jacobs though? This is one hell of a Cerberus. Even Aeneid foretold of as much, given the "large backs" described therewithin with its epic. With fellow true freshman Leatherwood getting some solid looking Natty reps and looking adequate against junior DE Jonathan Ledbetter, who looked like a disruptive force in the first half, the future is bright. That said, despite some concerns about the defense (and punting: JK Scott was a big favorite here, though love me some DeLong) remain, given the future draftees, this team looks amazing long term.

    Given this is Saban though, some 'croots this year have really stuck out to me for the future, like WDE Anoma, who is going to be something special, really think he can contribute immediately. Have to hope at least one of Jobe/Armour-Davis comes through as well. Averett/Wallace are gone, knowing little about Mayden, not trusting Diggs. Da'Ron Payne at the nose feels like when Big Vince left. Incredible impact that many a casual would underlook for importance, but damn, that man is a big cog and plays some gorgeous ball. A lucky team going to get him in the 1st this draft.

    Very curious to see where they go at center, given center given Bozeman is gone, with his backup, Hassenauer, also a senior. Hoping for a Petit-Frere, William Barnes, or Rasheed Walker type brought here, myself. Oh well, much to be determined. This is always fun!

    That said, I don't get why Damien came back, had literally nothing left to prove. Almost assuredly was going to be a first rounder, runs the real risk of injuring himself, as well as lowering himself in a rising young backfield.

    Ridley will be missed but this team is stacked with such good receivers who were true freshmen that as much as it hurts, it almost doesn't make a blip. That said though, they'll need to take on bigger roles. Ruggs likely gets his role at Z, Devonta Smith at X for the graduating Robert Foster, and then Jeudy at the H replacing Cam Sims. Jeudy is a four-star, other two are fives. Oh yeah, and they're also a further cut above given Tyrell Shavers, a four-star who was redshirted this past season. Even outside of a genuine passer presumably under center next season, the weapons are arguably going to get BETTER. Crazy.

    I'll miss Bo, but ever since he broke his leg against Clemson in the 2016-17 Natty, just hasn't been the same. Genuinely thought he'd be a legit Le'Veon Bell meets prime Marshawn Lynch type, but he was considerably slower this season, not quite with the same cuts nor explosion. Furthermore, he was also hampered by the fact that many of the times his 9 was called, the otherwise shrewd calling Daboll often chose slow developing tosses. Add it all up, and genuine Tide fans everywhere had to have loaded their tissues with crimson, woebegone tears throughout the season.

    As someone pegged as a mid/late first prior to the season, curious to see just how far he falls, though personally believe it's to the point where a bargain a la Eddie Jackson last season could happen given the proper protection, given the broken leg will be further and further in the rear view mirror come this August/September and beyond.
     
  20. RedOctober3829

    RedOctober3829 Member SoSH Member

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  21. Brand Name

    Brand Name thinks there's no 'i' in denial Staff Member Dope Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    So, yeah! Much to update, so little time. I guess the natural question to start this with is: Who do you want as starter come September? I get the feeling both Tua and Jalen get some reps, much like 2016 against USC, depending on the personnel and packages, but it absolutely be Tua if you ask me. Jalen consistently had his receivers going across their bodies on relatively easy catches, missed easy guys. Furthermore, the fact Hurts' second read was often rushing to his right, which just dared teams to load the box. They had no answer, Auburn was smart to pick up on that. They won against Clemson because of the D, in spite of Hurts. I think Mac Jones is a legit better second string, as Saban was caught saying during the A-Game this year.

    Anyway, that's off my chest. This feels like a really atypical Alabama team, much as I expect another natty this year, realistically. I do like them to face Clemson, which is becoming a matchup starting to have more sequels than Rocky, but I'm pretty big on their DL and troo frosh QB Trevor Lawrence. As for the Crimson Tide? A loaded O, with genuine questions on the CBs, much more Diggs than Saivion Smith, with respect to starters. The awesome Mack Wilson at MIKE needs to lead the unit this year, to a lesser extent Buggs, Williams, and Thompson. Made a point to film room some of Bama's D packages during the offseason, so if you hear me talk about those in-depth (funnel v rat, for instance), that's why. From the OL to the H (both WR and TE), Z, and X, I can't find a week spot on the offense. Given the schedule, I think they'll be able to name their score on any given Saturday, even with all the coaching reloading. Not to say Locksley won't do a good job as OC, but I really thought Daboll would have worked out really well for this program, short and long term. Probably would've too if he had his way with Tua getting starts earlier.

    Recruiting has looked very, very solid and shows Saban thought last year's class wasn't up to its usual standards. Which, given the relative talent in pipelines like MS, LA, AL itself, etc. would be true to form. Even before the signature BamaBump(TM), they've got a bevy of four stars, like Taulia, Tua's younger brother, the Bear's grandson, and an ungodly amount of OT talent, like Tussville's own 5 star Pierce Quick and the 6'6.5" Amari Kight, out of Alabaster, AL. Would love to see them have IMG's Trey Sanders, RB, back in the fold.

    247 with Bama Online asked the fun question about which 5-star croot you'd most want to see in Crimson: ILB Nakobe Dean. S Dax Hill, OT Darnell Wright, OC Clay Webb (think he comes here, given Pierce and OL coach Brent Key), Sanders (given the amount of backs this program sends to the NFL, I think it happens), Ishmael Sopsher. Hudson Henry, Henry's little brother would be cool too to pair with Billingsley, but have to think he's a Pig lock. As for me though, I'd take Dean of those. #1 ILB, Mack Wilson is all but gone after this year. Fdesperatelyrately growing need, would get snaps. Why not us? Do your thing Lupoi and Kull!

    ESPN2 and the Rat Poisons have finally found a way to grab my attention beyond live game broadcasts, with Rolling with the Tide. Seems like an awesome premise, E1 aired last night. I have it open in another tab (available on demand for anyone with cable/satellite/ESPN Watch), going to be viewed after I post this, but man, I love seeing deeper inside the heads of top coaches. Really helps me shape and how to organize my life, how best to be prepared. There's always some life lessons in there, a'right?

    It's been way too long since I've seen my beloved Tide play. Just maybe a trip to the City Cafe and BDS is coming this year here, maybe? In any case, ROLL TIDE!
     

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