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.

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