Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cooper and McCarron lead Tide over pesky Rebels

The game started late, and the game wasn’t pretty, but the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the resilient Ole Miss Rebels by the score of 33-14.

With the victory, Alabama improves to 5-0 overall, and 2-0 in the SEC.

While the Crimson Tide looked lackadaisical at times, especially during the third quarter of play, Alabama was able to stifle the Rebels just enough to earn a comfortable triumph on the scoreboard.

The Tide defense used the “bend but don’t break” approach, and it proved successful in the long run. Courtesy of three forced turnovers, in the form of interceptions, the ‘Bama offense was able to take advantage.

Quarterback AJ McCarron had a steady outing for the Crimson Tide, as he completed 22-of-30 passes for 180 yards, including two touchdown strikes to freshman wide receiver Amari Cooper. While Cooper had been essentially “lurking in the shadows” during Alabama’s prior games, Cooper used the contest against Ole Miss as a personal showcase. To go along with the aforementioned touchdown receptions, Cooper caught a total of eight passes for 84 yards.

In respect to the special teams unit, the Tide had a wonderful performance. Jeremy Shelley went four-for-four in the field goal department, and following an Ole Miss second quarter touchdown, in which the Rebels took a 7-6 lead, Christion Jones returned the ensuing kickoff 99-yards for a Crimson Tide touchdown.

Although the contest appeared to be a “labor of mediocrity” at times, the Tide negated the Rebels more often than not, and essentially “drained” the game away.

Alabama will now take advantage of a much needed “open week” before returning to action Oct. 13 for an SEC road contest at Missouri.

>>>Complete stats and scoring summary<<<

McCarron breaks record

Courtesy of yet another “interception free” outing, Tide quarterback AJ McCarron has now thrown 206 consecutive passes without an interception. During the contest with Ole Miss, McCarron broke the school record of 190 passes, which was held by former ‘Bama quarterback Brodie Croyle.

Injury report

While Alabama looked “less that stellar” during various portions of the game against Ole Miss, the biggest issue, for everyone involved with the program, came in the form of injuries.

During Alabama’s initial possession of the game, wide receiver DeAndrew White suffered a right knee injury, and by all visual accounts, it appeared to be quite serious. White was carted to the locker room, and later returned to the sidelines on crutches. Per head coach Nick Saban, White will be reevaluated today.

Defensive back Deion Belue sustained a shoulder injury during the initial half against Ole Miss, and failed to return for the second half of action. Although Nick Saban deemed the injury as minor during his postgame presser, he did suggest that Belue could be out for a week or two.

In respect to the “cringe-worthy” moment of the night, that unfortunate honor went to Tide running back Dee Hart. The talented redshirt freshman, who missed the 2011 season due to a torn ACL in his right knee, appeared to sustain an injury to the same knee during the latter stages of the contest against Ole Miss.

As Hart fielded a punt, his right knee appeared to buckle, and he collapsed to the ground. While initially in obvious pain, Hart was ultimately able to leave the field under his own power, and was subsequently taken to the locker room. Like DeAndrew White, Dee Hart will be reevaluated today, per Nick Saban.

In the final minute of the contest, defensive end Ed Stinson appeared to suffer a leg injury, and was assisted to the locker room. While trainers did attend to Stinson on the field, Nick Saban failed to mention Stinson during his postgame presser.

One can only assume that Stinson was merely “shaken up” and did not sustain a legitimate injury that would create a minor or prolonged issue.

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Derrick Henry gives verbal to Alabama

Yulee High School (Yulee, FL) running back Derrick Henry has given his verbal commitment to the University of Alabama for 2013.

Henry, who stands 6-foot-3 and tops the scale at 243-pounds, selected the Crimson Tide over the likes of Georgia and Tennessee.

The highly-touted running back has been a fixture in major media outlets thus far in 2012, not only for his recruitment, but for his on-field accolades during the month of September.

In his most recent outing, Henry carved his name into the Florida high school record book by breaking two records…in his quest for one. As he led his team to victory, Henry passed the legendary Emmitt Smith to claim second-place on the all-time Florida high school rushing list. In the same contest, Henry set a new Florida high school single-game rushing record with 502 yards. Henry’s performance broke the old record of 501, which had stood since 1985.

Although Henry has been given the “athlete” label by many recruiting outlets due to his size, make no mistake, Henry will play running back for the University of Alabama. In a recruiting world where “experts” look for the so-called “natural fit” over “substantiated” performance, Henry has been molded for the linebacker position by some recruiting outlets, simply based on physical appearance. However, the “common sense meter” declares that one of the most decorated running backs in Florida high school history…will not play defense in college.

Joining an Alabama class that includes exceptional running backs such as Tyren Jones and Altee Tenpenny, Derrick Henry becomes the 20th verbal commitment for the Crimson Tide in respect to the 2013 signing class.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Derrick Henry prepared to select college of choice

In a recruiting world where “verbal commitments” are to be taken with a grain of salt, one of the most highly-touted players in the nation is set to give his verbal…for the second time.

Derrick Henry, the pride of Yulee, Florida, has scheduled a Friday afternoon press conference to announce his college decision for 2013. The “beast” of a running back, who stands 6-foot-3, and tops the scale at 243-pounds, has narrowed his college choices to Alabama and Tennessee.

In his most recent outing, Henry surpassed the legendary Emmitt Smith for second-place on the all-time Florida high school rushing list, and did so in grand fashion. Not only did Henry break Smith’s career rushing record, the Yulee High School sensation also broke the Florida state record for most rushing yards in a single game. Eclipsing a total that had stood since 1985, Henry rushed for a mind-blowing 502 yards, as he led Yulee to victory.

What did Henry do for an encore? He visited the University of Alabama the very next day…

While Henry has been viewed as an “Alabama lean” for many months, his recruiting journey seemingly began with a verbal commitment to the University of Georgia.

Prior to his junior season, Henry gave his verbal to UGA in July of 2011, yet decommitted from the Bulldogs in June of this year, a move which essentially cleared the way for the Crimson Tide. Not long after breaking his verbal with UGA, Henry declared Alabama as his “leader” in respect to potential schools.

Although Henry’s scheduled press conference will feature nothing more than his “new” verbal pledge, the school that emerges victorious after Friday’s festivities will certainly have the ultimate inside track.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Ole Miss/Alabama: High-octane Rebels seek upset

The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide will return to conference action Saturday night, when the Ole Miss Rebels invade Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Led by new head coach Hugh Freeze, the Rebels currently sit at 3-1 on the young season, and enter their SEC opener against Alabama on the heels of a 39-0 victory over Tulane.

While Ole Miss’ lone loss of the season was a 66-31 thumping at the hands of Texas, Hugh Freeze has breathed new life into the OM program and implemented a new offensive system to boot.

The Rebels feature a high-tempo, no-huddle, chaotic spread offense, which Freeze brought to Ole Miss from Arkansas State. Freeze was the head coach at ASU for one-season, and under his frenetic offense, the Red Wolves went 10-2 in 2011, and captured the Sun Belt Conference title.

Hugh Freeze

At his Monday press conference, Alabama head coach Nick Saban complimented Freeze and the Ole Miss program, while comparing the current OM offensive pace to that of Auburn during the Gus Malzahn era.

In respect to the critical cogs of the offense, quarterback Bo Wallace is the operator of the Ole Miss spread, and has completed 55-of-86 passes thus far in 2012, for a total of 717 yards. Wallace has also thrown seven touchdowns and four interceptions.

At the wide receiver position, the Rebels are led by Donte Moncrief and Korvic Neat.

Moncrief has 19 receptions for 343 yards and four touchdowns, while Neat has 14 receptions on the season for 151 yards.

The duo of Moncrief and Neat have combined for 33 of Ole Miss’ 72 receptions in 2012.

Bo Wallace

When it comes to the running back position, the Rebels are very successful, but the core group is one of the most eclectic in the nation.

The top-four leading rushers include running back Jeff Scott, starting quarterback Bo Wallace, former quarterback turned running back Randall Mackey, and current backup quarterback Barry Brunetti.

Ole Miss’ motley crew of ground gainers have combined for 772 total yards, including eight touchdowns.

It is worth noting that running back Randall Mackey, the aforementioned former quarterback, was in fact the starting quarterback for the Rebels in the 2011 contest against the Crimson Tide.

The final verdict

Alabama is currently a 31-point favorite over Ole Miss, and rightfully so. For as much progress as the Rebels have made in the early portion of the season, in comparison to seasons gone by, the Rebs are still no match for the top-ranked Crimson Tide.

The Ole Miss defense has been “satisfactory” against lesser competition, but as mentioned above, the Rebels were "toasted" by Texas and allowed 66 points to the Longhorns. Only a demonstration of good sportsmanship in the waning stages kept the contest from reaching the 70-plus plateau.

While it is doubtful that Alabama will put 66 points on the board against Ole Miss, the Crimson Tide should have no trouble hitting the 40-point mark, and conversely throwing a "monkey wrench" into the Ole Miss offense. “Smoke and mirrors” can only work for so long, until defensive punishment and speed, seize the upper hand.
In actuality, the 8:15 p.m. kickoff, and a possible lack of focus, are essentially the only two factors that can prevent this contest from being yet another “beatdown” in favor of Alabama.

Sweet dreams, Ole Miss…

Alabama 44
Ole Miss 13

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Lacy and McCarron lead ‘Bama over Florida Atlantic

Eddie Lacy rushed for 106 yards and AJ McCarron threw three touchdown passes, as the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide improved to 4-0 on the season courtesy of a 40-7 victory over the Florida Atlantic Owls.

Alabama jumped on FAU early in the contest, and held a 30-0 lead at the half. The Crimson Tide used the second half of play to essentially empty the bench and allow backup players to earn critical playing time.

On the afternoon, ‘Bama garnered 503 yards of total offense and 25 first downs, while holding the Owls to only 110 yards and six first downs.

One of the offensive highlights for the Crimson Tide came on the initial score of the game. AJ McCarron found Kenny Bell on an 85-yard touchdown strike which effectively set the tone for the remainder of the contest. The McCarron/Bell connection tied for the fifth longest touchdown pass in Alabama program history.

Arguably the only “suspense” in the game took place during the latter stages of the contest, as the Tide defense attempted to pitch a shutout for the third consecutive week. Although the Owls were competing against the Alabama defensive reserves, FAU did score a touchdown in the waning minutes to eliminate the possibility of a shutout.

The Crimson Tide will now enter the “SEC gauntlet” which will commence Saturday night with a home contest against the Ole Miss Rebels.

>>>Complete stats and scoring summary<<<

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kiper proclaims that Alabama “is a little overrated”

In the days that followed Alabama’s win over the Michigan Wolverines, Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban “blasted” the media for essentially “crowning” Alabama after winning the first game of the season.

As the Tide currently sit at 3-0, and No. 1 in the nation, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has taken a different approach to the 2012 Alabama team. Not only will he not “crown” the Tide, he effectively called Alabama an overrated team who has yet to play anyone of significance.

In a recent online chat, Kiper proclaimed that ‘Bama faced “depleted” Michigan and Arkansas teams, and exploited that basis as “proof” that Alabama has yet to be tested.

ESPN Chat Question: Is it a foregone conclusion that Alabama wins another National Championship? They seem to be in a class of their own?

Kiper: I disagree. I think there's an overreaction to Alabama right now. They beat a depleted Michigan team and depleted Arkansas team. Alabama has not been tested yet, even though people want to act like these were statement games. At Missouri won't be easy. At LSU. At Tennessee. Those aren't easy games. I think Alabama is a little overrated. I hate to say that, because Nick Saban is one of the best coaches out there.

One can only assume that by “depleted” Kiper is referring to the absence of Michigan running back Fitz Toussaint and Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson. Neither Toussaint nor Wilson played against the Crimson Tide.

Common sense should have told Kiper that based on Alabama’s dominance of both teams, that a single running back and a single quarterback would not have been able to “change the game” given the authority and decisive
“beat-down” that was placed on both Michigan and Arkansas.

Matt Scalici, Sports Producer for

Would Fitz Toussaint have made a huge difference for Michigan in a contest in which they lost 41-14? Common sense would say no.

Would Tyler Wilson have made a huge difference for Arkansas in a contest in which they lost 52-0? Common sense would say no.

A truly “overrated” team beats a “depleted” team by a mere 10 points, not 27 and 52 respectively. As a side note, neither Toussaint nor Wilson play defense, so Kiper’s “argument” simply holds no validity.

One can only assume that, for example, 41-21 and 52-14 victories over Michigan and Arkansas, with Toussaint and Wilson in the line-up, would have sufficed for Kiper, but since the aforementioned players did not play, Alabama is overrated after defeating two “depleted” teams.

Carry on, Mel...carry on…

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Monday, September 17, 2012

FAU/Alabama: Focus and improvement vital for Tide

After thumping conference foe Arkansas in a critical SEC road game, the Alabama Crimson Tide will return home to face the Owls of Florida Atlantic.

The game with FAU will mark the second time this season that Alabama will tangle with a team from the Sun Belt Conference. The Tide defeated Western Kentucky by the score of 35-0 just two weeks ago.

Alabama is a 50-point favorite over FAU, but betting lines aside, the most critical aspect of the contest with the Owls will come in the form of
game-to-game improvement. Alabama will certainly win, but a victory without improvement is like drinking a quality soda at room temperature.

FAU will enter Bryant-Denny Stadium with a record of 1-2 overall, and 0-1 in the Sun Belt. The Owls defeated Wagner in the opening contest of the season, but have since lost games to Middle Tennessee State and the Georgia Bulldogs. UGA, a current top-five team, defeated FAU 56-20.

The final verdict

Alabama’s contest with Florida Atlantic will be the final “creampuff” until Western Carolina on Nov. 17. Between now and then, Alabama will attempt to run the “SEC gauntlet” which will essentially determine the Tide’s fate on a conference and national level.

The “drama” of the Alabama football season will begin soon enough, but for now, in respect to this week, it is better to keep the easy things…easy.

Alabama 41
Florida Atlantic 0

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Alabama annihilates overmatched Razorbacks

The Alabama Crimson Tide improved to 3-0 on the season, and 1-0 in the SEC, thanks to a 52-0 rout of the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Due in large measure to five Arkansas turnovers; Alabama was able to offer a balanced offensive attack which simply overwhelmed the Razorback defense.

Tide quarterback AJ McCarron completed 11-of-16 passes on the afternoon for 189 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Amari Cooper.

In respect to the ‘Bama running game, Eddie Lacy appeared to be healthy, and looked like the player Tide fans fell in love with in 2011. Lacy, who has battled toe and ankle issues, rushed for 55 yards, including three touchdowns.

Highly-touted Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson did not play due to the concussion he sustained against Louisiana-Monroe. In lieu of Wilson, Arkansas used a mixed bag which included pocket-passer Brandon Allen, and former wide receiver Brandon Mitchell. Needless to say, neither man fared well against the stifling Alabama defense.

Allen completed 10-of-18 passes on the afternoon for only 60 yards, and threw two critical interceptions. Vinnie Sunseri was on the receiving end of one Allen interception, while Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix intercepted an Allen pass thanks to a deflection by the intended Arkansas receiver.

The contest in Fayetteville was simply the textbook definition of a rout. In the second half of play, Alabama virtually emptied the bench and allowed anyone who could physically play, to enter the game. Due to the annihilation that was taking place, walk-on running back Ben Howell played respectable minutes and garnered 18 yards on six carries.

While scattered showers left fans with less than ideal viewing conditions, the real "thunderstorm" was Alabama…who simply rained on Arkansas' parade.

The 52-0 loss at the hands of the top-ranked Crimson Tide was Arkansas’ worst defeat in Fayetteville since 1966.

>>>Complete stats and scoring summary<<<

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Friday, September 14, 2012

QB Tyler Wilson listed as “game-time decision”

Even though ESPN wrote a news piece, and Arkansas sportstalk radio host Bo Mattingly tweeted that Tyler Wilson would not play against Alabama, Arkansas head coach John L. Smith has decided to take a different approach to the situation.

Smith, who has been playing matters “close to the vest” all week, simply said (this morning) that Tyler Wilson is a “game-time decision” according to a statement released by the school.

Arkansas sportstalk radio host Bo Mattingly

Associated Press writer Ralph D. Russo

Wilson, who suffered a concussion last week against Louisiana-Monroe, is unfortunately no stranger to head trauma. Wilson fell victim to a concussion last season, but returned to play the following week.

If Wilson is indeed out, Arkansas will either turn to redshirt freshman Brandon Allen, who received significant playing time against
, or junior Brandon Mitchell, who has played both quarterback and wide receiver for the Razorbacks during his career.

Logic would suggest that Allen would be awarded the start, but a package where Mitchell enters the game at quarterback is certainly not out of the question. Given the overall scope of the contest, and what a victory would mean to Arkansas’ season, the Razorbacks would be more than willing to entertain a series of "smoke and mirrors" at the quarterback position.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Betting line increases due to Razorback qualms

Whether the logic is based on Arkansas’ horrendous performance against Louisiana-Monroe, the “questionable” health and playing status of quarterback Tyler Wilson, or a combination of all of the above, the Razorbacks, even though playing at home, are now considered 21-point underdogs against Alabama.

The initial Vegas betting line, which favored the Crimson Tide by two touchdowns, has since ballooned to the aforementioned 21-point plateau within a matter of 72 hours.

For some recent perspective, Alabama closed as a 13-point favorite over the Michigan Wolverines, a game which was held at a neutral site.

In lieu of time, and apologizing in advance for lack of confirmation,
“surface logic” would suggest that Alabama has never been a 21-point favorite over Arkansas in the modern age of betting, regardless of location.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Alabama/Arkansas: Reeling Razorbacks seek upset

When the Alabama Crimson Tide make the trek to Arkansas to tangle with the Razorbacks, the top ranked team in the nation better be prepared for the “kitchen sink” and everything in between.

The contest, which was expected to be a duel between two top 10 teams, took a unique turn just days ago when the Razorbacks were defeated by Louisiana-Monroe in overtime. Courtesy of the stunning upset, Arkansas plummeted out of the AP top 25, and out of the national championship picture. While title odds were slim, Arkansas certainly had very high expectations in regards to the “national picture” and the loss to LA-Monroe essentially erased those aspirations.

If the astonishing upset wasn’t enough, Arkansas starting quarterback Tyler Wilson suffered a concussion during the initial half of play, and is now deemed “questionable” for Saturday’s contest with Alabama. Wilson, who is arguably the most important player on the Arkansas roster, is considered by many experts to be one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC.

From a statistical standpoint, the potential loss of Wilson for the ‘Bama game is quite significant. On the season, Wilson is 30-of-47 for 563 yards, including five touchdowns and one interception. On the flipside, Brandon Allen, Wilson’s backup, is 10-of-27 for 118 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. The bulk of Allen’s production (or lack thereof) came against LA-Monroe where he completed 6-of-20 passes for 85 yards, with the aforementioned lone touchdown and interception.

While the actual quarterback issue at Arkansas is in flux, the Hogs can find comfort in a solid receiving unit. Tight end Chris Gragg and receiver Cobi Hamilton have been the stalwarts for the Razorbacks and will certainly be given the opportunity to shine against the Alabama secondary.

The core four (2012 stats)

Chris Gragg 14 receptions 193 yards 2TD
Cobi Hamilton 8 receptions 112 yards 1TD
Javontee Herndon 4 receptions 96 yards 1TD
Brandon Mitchell 4 receptions 122 yards

If the Arkansas passing game is not up to snuff, for whatever the reason, running backs Knile Davis and Dennis Johnson will be forced to carry the load. Davis, who missed the entire 2011 season due to injury, is considered one of the top running backs in the SEC; however, his statistics against LA-Monroe were very pedestrian. Davis was limited to only 62 yards against the Warhawks, without a rushing touchdown.

The final verdict

The name of the game for Alabama will be focus and fundamentals, something that was lacking more often than not against Western Kentucky. ‘Bama will play in front of a very hostile crowd, which if allowed the opportunity, could adversely impact the game for the Crimson Tide.

Alabama is more talented than Arkansas, but lack of focus, coupled with (or due to) a frantic crowd, has the potential to change the entire complexion of the game.

While so much talk has been centered around the Arkansas offense and the status of Tyler Wilson, it is worth noting that LA-Monroe simply destroyed the Razorback defense. The Hogs allowed 30 first downs to the Warhawks and a grand total of 550 total yards…412 of which came through the air.

When you consider the current state of the Arkansas defense, coupled with the balanced running and passing attack of Alabama, the chances of Arkansas pulling the upset with or without Tyler Wilson, are very minuscule.

While Alabama will certainly miss running back Jalston Fowler, and his absence cannot be understated, Arkansas simply does not have the overall talent to defeat the Crimson Tide.

Once all the talk has subsided, the better team will win, and like so many times before…Alabama is the better team.

Alabama 38
Arkansas 17

Monday, September 10, 2012

Jalston Fowler’s season compromised by knee injury

Alabama head coach Nick Saban addressed the media earlier today and confirmed what was essentially expected in regards to the current health and season status of running back Jalston Fowler.

Fowler, who suffered a knee injury during the latter stages of the contest against Western Kentucky, will undergo surgery, and is likely to miss the remainder of the 2012 season.

While the official news of Fowler’s injury and prognosis is obviously a negative blow to the Alabama offense and to Fowler himself, the Sunday afternoon “rumor mill” potentially left several Alabama fans caught
off-guard by today’s information.

Tony Orlando, the editor of, published a tweet Sunday afternoon that suggested Fowler’s knee injury was not a
season-ender, but rather a possible hyperextension that could be remedied with rehab and therapy. While Orlando was merely passing along an unconfirmed report, which he never claimed to be 100 percent factual, a small group of Alabama fans decided to spin the news as the “gospel truth” and tweeted various versions of the story which essentially suggested that Fowler would return in a few weeks.

Original Fowler tweet

Before Sunday morphed into Monday, the BamaHammer twitter feed reiterated that any “positive news” in respect to Fowler was simply speculation. Eventually the website post, which contained the original optimistic prognosis, was removed. However, that certainly didn’t stop the aforementioned “faction” from spinning a rumor into an undeniable truth.

Updated Fowler tweet

Social media confusion aside, the loss of Jalston Fowler is unfortunate, but not devastating, in regards to the Tide offense. Can Fowler be replaced in the literal sense, probably not, but in respect to solid pass blockers and running backs, Alabama is still very proficient.

The core group of Eddie Lacy, T.J. Yeldon, Dee Hart, and Kenyan Drake will now form the Alabama rushing attack, which even without Fowler, is still one of the best collective units in the SEC.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Balanced Tide too much for Western Kentucky

If a team can look lackadaisical in a rout, Alabama pulled the trick against Western Kentucky. The Crimson Tide improved to 2-0 on the season courtesy of a 35-0 victory over the stubborn and talented Hilltoppers.

While Alabama dominated the scoreboard, the Tide offensive line looked borderline atrocious, and certainly didn’t fit the image of one of the best offensive fronts in college football. The Alabama “trench dwellers” allowed an alarming six sacks on the afternoon.

Another problematic area for the Tide came in pass coverage. The ‘Bama defense, almost routinely, allowed the Hilltoppers a five to seven yard pass buffer which allowed WKU to not only stay in front of the chains, but also garner third down conversions. Tight end Jack Doyle had seven receptions for 45 yards against the Tide.

In respect to the positives, the Alabama defense forced four turnovers, which included three fumbles and an interception by defensive back Deion Belue. Quarterback AJ McCarron threw four touchdown passes on the afternoon, which accounted for 28 of the Tide’s 35 points. Christion Jones (two) and Kevin Norwood (two) were on the receiving end of the Tide’s aerial scores. On the day, McCarron finished 14-of-19 for 219 yards and the aforementioned touchdowns.

On the injury front, defensive back Dee Milliner (hip) and nose guard Jesse Williams (concussion) did not play, but the most damaging blow to the Tide came in the person of Jalston Fowler. The Tide’s burly running back suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury while attempting to pass block in the latter stages of the game. Per Nick Saban, Fowler will have an MRI Sunday morning.

If the Crimson Tide needed to iron out some kinks following the contest against Michigan, Alabama will now be required to open a dry cleaning business.

Nick Saban is a stickler for detail, and even the most football novice can guarantee the preparation for the contest against Arkansas will be an education in fundamental responsibility.

>>>Complete stats and scoring summary<<<

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Saban preaches respect in advance of W. Kentucky

Earlier this week Nick Saban had a meltdown. Not a volcanic eruption, but just a minor meltdown.

Since his arrival in 2007, the media as well as the Alabama fanbase, have come to expect the Tide head coach to be rather irritable during various points of the season. In respect to this week, articles written which relegated Western Kentucky and elevated Alabama…did the trick.

During his Wednesday press conference, Saban “ranted” about the importance of showing respect to the opposition, while also putting Alabama’s victory over Michigan, in the proper perspective.

>>>Video of Saban's minor meltdown<<<

While Saban’s press conference “passion” did garner national attention, including a spot on SportsCenter, the Tide head coach also used his position to “bop” ‘Bama fans on the nose during his Thursday night radio program.

When notified that over 1,000 tickets still remained for the contest against Western Kentucky, Saban boasted that he would personally buy the tickets and give them away for free. The Tide coach also remarked that every home game should be sold out, given the amount of games Alabama has won during his tenure.

Nick Saban is the ultimate micromanager, and his attention to the slightest detail has played a huge catalyst in Alabama’s success since the 2008 season.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

W. Kentucky/Alabama: Ironing kinks critical for Tide

Saturday afternoon the Alabama Crimson Tide will play host to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Not only will the contest mark the first home game of the 2012 season, but thanks to ideal scheduling, the game will also allow ‘Bama to physically heal and advantageously improve.

While the opening week clash against the Michigan Wolverines proved to be fruitful for the Tide, the lanes for further growth and development are always open.

Western Kentucky, out of the Sun Belt Conference, will enter the game with a record of 1-0 after thumping Austin Peay to the tune of 49-10. While the Hilltoppers are clearly no match for Alabama’s talent, they can play a catalyst in helping the Tide prepare for future opponents.

Western Kentucky QB Kawaun Jakes

Led by quarterback Kawaun Jakes, WKU runs an “air raid” offense, but also features a solid running back in the person of Leon Allen. The WKU offensive style will allow the Alabama defense, most notably the secondary, to prepare for the Arkansas passing and running attack, which the Tide will encounter Sept. 15.

The final verdict

Thanks to the destruction of Michigan, the Alabama Crimson Tide have obtained the No. 1 spot in both the AP Poll, and the USA Today Coaches Poll.

Alabama has now been ranked in the top 25 every week since the start of the 2008 season. In respect to the AP Poll, the Crimson Tide have been ranked No. 1 for the fifth consecutive season. Alabama and Miami
(1986-1992) are the only teams to garner this status in the last 50 years.

So what's the verdict? Alabama is good, the Tide will use this game to improve, and Western Kentucky will receive a nice check for playing the defending national champions.

Alabama 49
Western Kentucky 3

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Crimson Notes 9/2/12

Alabama defensive back Dee Milliner has been named the Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week for his stellar performance against the Michigan Wolverines.

Milliner recorded five tackles, four pass breakups, and garnered a critical interception which led to an Alabama offensive touchdown.

Tide defensive back Dee Milliner

‘Bama injury report

-Safety Robert Lester (Shoulder Stinger)

-Nose Guard Jesse Williams (Mild Concussion)

-Linebacker Trey DePriest (Ankle Sprain)

-Linebacker Reggie Ragland (Ankle Sprain)

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Yeldon shines as ‘Bama crushes Michigan

If true freshman running back TJ Yeldon is an example of rebuilding, then every Alabama fan on the planet should exude a sly giggle.

Thanks to 111 yards rushing from Yeldon, and a sturdy Alabama defense, the defending national champs cruised to a 41-14 victory over the Michigan Wolverines in the 2012 Cowboys Classic.

The Crimson Tide used a balanced attack on both sides of the ball to grind the Wolverines, and quarterback Denard Robinson, into virtual submission.

Robinson, who was the “media centerpiece” prior to the game, was physically punished by the Crimson Tide. While the talented quarterback did make a few plays via the air, the Heisman hopeful also threw two critical interceptions, one of which was a “pick-six” by Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley. On the night, Robinson accumulated 200 yards in the air, including one touchdown. In respect to the ground attack, Robinson garnered a mere 27 yards, on 10 carries.

One of the “questionable spots” on the Alabama football team entering the 2012 season was the secondary. Against the Wolverines, the Tide came prepared for the task.

Cornerback Dee Milliner had several critical pass breakups, including a first quarter interception of Denard Robinson.

While the Tide did allow two long pass plays, one of which resulted in a UM touchdown, the unit was solid the entire night, and certainly didn’t prove to be a liability in terms of the game complexion.

Nick Saban, the constant perfectionist, will dissect the game film and attempt to rectify even the slightest mistakes, but all things considered, Alabama couldn’t have asked for a better performance in the 2012 season opener.

Some of the names may have changed, but as Michigan discovered Saturday night, the Crimson Tide talent is still very much the same.

>>>Complete stats and scoring summary<<<