Three weeks into the college football season, the University of Alabama football team has displayed their evolution on offense outscoring opponents 128-14.
Although the Tide has taken two of the last three national championships, the perception persisted- Alabama’s offense was nothing more than boring and conservative. Alabama’s offensive unit heard the talk and warned during sessions with the media that the 2012 Crimson Tide team would be “explosive”
From quarterback AJ McCarron to center Barrett Jones the “explosive” theme continued all throughout the fall, however many took the talk with a grain of salt. Alabama would boast the best offensive line in the country, and it just made sense Alabama would utilize a stable of talented running backs to control the game as McCarron threw off the play action pass. The thought that Alabama would continue to run the ball would just make sense.
Then Alabama took the field against the Michigan Wolverines and McCarron threw off play action just as Tide fans had grown accustomed to seeing. But instead of a lob in the flat to a tight end, the pass was a picturesque 52 yard deep ball into the awaiting hands of DeAndrew White. The rest of the country was then put on notice- AJ McCarron was no longer a game manager.
McCarron will never be the quarterback who averages over 300 yards passing a game while he is at Alabama, but he will be one of the most efficient as his quarterback rating hovers just under 200. While he is praised for his efficiency it has almost become mesmerizing how the Crimson Tide can be so aggressive on offense, yet so protective of the football (1 turnover in 2012, by fumble).
However, just because Alabama has put more of an emphasis on passing this season does not mean the commitment to the running game has disappeared. In fact, the running game is staying on par with the passing game (637 yards passing, 602 yards rushing). While this year doesn’t feature a bell cow in the backfield, the Alabama running back corps is one of the deepest in the country.
Alabama has long been a team known for winning games on defense, however, in 2012 the offense may steal the show.