Alabama Football: Analysis from the First Third of the Season
The University of Alabama football team has finished the first third of their schedule displaying the type of domination you would expect from a reigning national champion, outscoring opponents on average 42-5 per game.
Through four games this year, a lot has been learned about the Crimson Tide while some questions have yet to be answered.
What We Know:
1. This is not your 2010 Alabama team
After the first four games of the season, it is obvious that focus will not be a problem for this year’s team. After struggling to get psyched up for a contest with Western Kentucky University head coach, Nick Saban had a real heart-to-heart conversation with his team through the media. Since then, the Tide have kept their foot on the gas for all four quarters.
2. Players weren’t lying when they said this offense would be explosive
During fall camp, almost every offensive player told the media how “explosive” this year’s team would be. The Tide did more than talk the talk; they have walked the walk. Alabama’s offensive numbers are incredibly balanced, attacking opposing defenses at will, by run or by pass. That’s right; Alabama is not just a running team anymore.
3. Alabama has one heck of a stable of running backs
Eddie Lacy was off to a slow start at the beginning of the year, but after seeing the junior utilize his spin move against Florida Atlantic University on Saturday afternoon, the feeling is he is back to form. While his injury may have been a detriment to start the season, it provided plenty of opportunities for freshman running backs Dee Hart, Kenyan Drake, and TJ Yeldon; all who will have a greater role after the injury of Jalston Fowler.
What We Don’t Know
1. Alabama’s susceptibility to getting beat by the deep ball
The Michigan Wolverines beat Alabama twice on deep passes, but the Tide have not been tested since. Week 3’s matchup with the University of Arkansas was supposed to have been that test, but with the absence of quarterback Tyler Wilson, that was not the case. Expect the secondary to be challenged by the likes of the University of Missouri and University of Tennessee during October.
2. How Alabama responds to adversity
Alabama has never trailed in 2012, and when you start to think about it, all four contests have never even been close. Sooner or later Alabama will find themselves in a closely contested battle (much like LSU was challenged during week 4 against Auburn) and it will be interesting to see how the team responds.
3. Just how good this team is
Sticking on the same lines as the previous point, through four games it is hard to get an idea just how good Alabama is. Michigan no longer looks like the team they were believed to be at the start of the year and Arkansas looks lost this year. While there are still questions surrounding this team, those questions will soon be answered.