College Football News Preview 2020: Alabama Crimson Tide Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Alabama Crimson Tide Offense
Start running the ball again. When you have Tua Tagovailoa throwing to one of the most talented receiving corps in the history of the sport, you throw, and you throw some more.
But Alabama’s formula under Nick Saban tends to work a bit better when the running game is crushing everything in its path.
Again, there’s no dogging the transformation to the high-octane passing game with the pieces that were in place over the last two seasons – the O was No. 1 in the nation in passing efficiency and No. 2 overall in scoring – but the 168 rushing yards per game were the program’s fewest by a mile in well over a decade.
Run the ball, rely on the defense to be the Alabama defense, repeat.
With the deepest and most talented backfield in college football, just keep feeding the backs, take the pressure off of Mac Jones or Bryce Young, and unlike last year, dominate the time of possession battle.
Or, if Jones or Young can be Tua, just wing it around the yard again – just don’t forget about running it with this stable of backs.
And on the flip side …
Biggest Key To The Alabama Crimson Tide Defense
Be Alabama again against the run. It’s not that the run defense was totally miserable – few teams would complain about allowing 137 yards per game and just nine touchdowns – with five of them coming in the losses to LSU and Auburn; the only two multi-rushing touchdown games against this D, by the way.
But this is ALABAMA, and it lost its way a bit against the run over the last two seasons.
It was No. 1 in the nation in run defense in 2017. No. 1 in 2016. No. 1 in 2015.
When it was fourth in the nation against the run in 2014, it allowed just five touchdowns – no one else gave up fewer than nine.
No. 1 in 2012. No. 1 in 2011 …
37th? Oh no, that’s not okay.
Right out of the gate, the bigger problem will be the secondary against a USC passing game that’s trying to be Texas Tech again. But Georgia is coming to town a few weeks later, and the run defense had better kick it in when a huge November rolls around.
Key Alabama Crimson Tide Player To A Successful Season
P Ty Perine, Soph.
Or any one of seemingly 29 different options on the roster for the job.
The key player to the season is probably Josh Jobe, or anyone who can handle the corner gig on the other side of Patrick Surtain, but along with the running game losing its way a bit over the last two seasons, the punting has been a problem, too.
The Tide had a four-year weapon in now-Green Bay Packer, JK Scott, who averaged 45.6 yards per punt and was a master at flipping the field.
Pin teams deep, force offenses to try going on a long drive against the Bama D, and thanks for playing.
The Tide punting was miserable in 2018 – averaging 35.7 yards per kick – and it wasn’t a whole lot better early on last year with three different options giving it a try.
Perine stepped in midway through and averaged almost 45 yards per kick, and it still wasn’t enough – Bama finished 118th in the nation and last in the SEC in net yardage.
Key Game To The Alabama Crimson Tide Season
at LSU, Nov. 7
Georgia is going to be a problem, but that’s in Tuscaloosa – for whatever it’s going to be worth to have a big home game this year. The date with Auburn is at home, too, and so is the showdown against Texas A&M. There can be one miss along the way on the wrong day to either of those three, but that can’t happen if there’s another loss to LSU.
Don’t let all the big personnel losses fool you – this is another amazing Tiger team. It’s not as good as the 2019 version, but it can absolutely get things together by early November and pull it off over the Tide.
The last lose by Bama in Baton Rouge? 2010.
– Alabama Crimson Tide Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 Alabama Fun Stats
– 1st Half Scoring: Alabama 359 – Opponents 136
– Fumbles: Opponents 19 (lost 11) – Alabama 9 (lost 4)
– Field Goals: Opponents 20-of-20 – Alabama 12-of-18