Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the Alabama Crimson Tide season with what you need to know.
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players | Key Players, Games, Stats
– What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
– Recruiting Class Analysis | Schedule Analysis
– Alabama Previews 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015
2018 Record: 14-1 overall, 8-0 in SEC
Head Coach: 13th year, 146-20
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE ALABAMA OFFENSE
– 2019 was the answer to the question, what would Alabama be like if the offense was every bit as amazing as the defense? Of course there was the power outage in the national championship debacle against Clemson, but when the O was humming, it was unlike anything college football had ever seen.
Alabama finished the year with the nation’s most efficient passing game and averaged 522 total yards and 46 points per outing. Of course there are a few key losses, and of course there are ready-made talents to fill the void and keep it all going. However …
– Tua Tagovailoa has to stay healthy. Banged up last season with knee and ankle issues, he was famously knocked out of the SEC Championship against Georgia – paving the way for the epic performance by Jalen Hurts – and was hobbling a bit during the year. It didn’t matter too much during the regular season, but Hurts isn’t around to save the day if something goes wrong.
Sophomore Mac Jones and freshman Taulia Tagovailoa will battle for the No. 2 spot with Jones the safer choice. Either one of them can step in and Bama will likely play for the SEC title, but you don’t just replace a historically great performer. All Tua did was hit 69% of his passes for close to 4,000 yards with 43 touchdowns and six picks, with most of the production coming in just over a half of play.
– If this isn’t the best receiving corps in college football, it’s No. 1A. It was good when all the NFL talents were freshmen, and it’s even better now that everyone is older and more experienced.
Junior Jerry Jeudy is the top of the pro prospect heap – leading the team with 68 catches with a 19-yard-per-grab average and 14 scores – but fellow junior Henry Ruggs isn’t far behind.
Now keep on going – sophomore Jaylen Waddle finished second on the team in yards, 2018 CFP National Championship hero DeVonta Smith is back, and freshman John Metchie will find a role right away.
There isn’t an Irv Smith talent at tight end, but the situation is deep and fine. 6-5, 234-pound junior Miller Forristall is a big receiver, and the rise of former linebacker Cameron Latu added a physical element who can catch and move.
– Only Alabama could lose Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs and potentially have a stronger running game. 6-2, 227-pound Najee Harris has the speed to go along with the size, 6-1, 226-pound Brian Robinson has the speed to go along with the size.
There are plenty more backs with the speed to go along with the size, but the Harris-Robinson combination should be strong enough to combine for 2,000 yards.
– One of the keys to making the machine go last season was the pass protection that led the SEC in fewest sacks allowed. Jonah Williams is gone at tackle along with center Ross Pierschbacher, but the starting five will once again be outstanding. The developed depth will need some work, but as long as there aren’t any major injures, there aren’t any worries.
Junior Alex Leatherwood will move from guard to left tackle, Jedrick Willis will remain at right tackle, and junior Chris Owens will step in at center. The guard spots will still be in play in fall camp, especially when the star recruits – like 6-7, 360-pound Evan Neal – get longer looks.