Alabama Spring Football Game: 5 Things That Matter
What do you need to know about what happened in the Alabama spring football game?
1. That Whole “Jalen Hurts Can’t Throw Deep” Narrative That Kicked In After The CFP …
Yeah, for now, just sort of blow that off.
All of a sudden, Hurts became a gunslinger, cranking out several big plays completing 16-of-25 passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns with a pick. He didn’t run much in the hands-off format, but who cares? His mobility isn’t an issue.
He was poised, accurate, and worked well with his revamped receiving corps, with the highlight a 65-yard play to Robert Foster.
Obviously, everything changes in live action against defenders trying to take his head off, but considering he’ll have to deal with the best secondary in college football – Florida State’s – to kick things off, this was a terrific sign.
2. Welcome, Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll
If you’re hoping for a more dynamic offense out of the new guy, here you go.
With a receiving corps that gets back Calvin Ridley, but loses a few key stars from last year’s SEC Champ, the receivers showed up to make Hurts and the rest of the quarterbacks look great.
Jerry Jeudy took over, catching five passes for 134 yards and two scores, T.J. Simmons caught six passes for 82 yards and a touchdown, and Xavian Marks made three grabs for 52 yards.
And that was on top of Ridley’s four-catch, 102-yard, one score day, and Fosters’s big grab and 115-yard performance on two catches.
And best of all …
3. The Next Man Up Could Be Better, If Needed
Shocker. When you recruit four and five-star talents, they tend to be good at this whole playing football thing.
Enter Tua Tagovailoa, a great quarterback get out of the latest recruiting class, who signed on even though Hurts probably isn’t going anywhere for another three years.
But now, the Crimson Tide has what looks like a capable backup as well as a decent option to keep things going if No. 2 gets hurt.
Tagovailoa didn’t run much, but he completed 17-of-29 passes for 313 yards and three scores with an interception for the White team, but hit just one of three passes for two yards for the Crimson side.
Even as a true freshman having to deal with the Alabama defense, he looked like he belonged.
4. The Alabama Run Defense Was The Alabama Run Defense
Yeah, Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough didn’t play, but the Crimson Tide ground game still has talent in the backfield.
Outside of one big dash from Najee Harris, the running game was stuck in the mud.
That’ll quickly change once it has to, and there’s not going to be any concern whatsoever about the offensive front that couldn’t seem to pass protect or provide a big push for the ground attack. Having to go against the Bama D was a wee bit of a problem, too.
In the spring game format, the defense on both sides combined for 12 sacks and 14 tackles for loss, with inside linebacker Keith Holcombe showing up with a game-high ten tackles with two sacks, and Rashaan Evans cranking up two sacks and six stops.
Big surprise – the Alabama linebackers are going to be great again.
5. The One Under-The-Radar Thing Alabama Fans Will Probably Be Talking About For The Next Four Months
The placekicking was just okay.
It wasn’t a weakness last year, but Adam Griffith missed seven of his 28 field goal attempts. The only ones that sort of mattered were against Ole Miss against LSU – every other game until the national title was a blowout – and now he’s done.
Punter JK Scott got his shot and hit three tries from 20, 30 and 37 yards out, but he missed a 45-yarder. Andy Pappanastos – who hit one try last year and connected on six extra points – missed from 31 and 38 yards.