Analysts across the college football universe have labeled the University of Alabama football team as one of the most dominant in 2012. However this team is only so dominant because they are so selfless.
On offense Alabama features quarterback AJ McCarron and an offensive line, considered to be the best in the country. There is no go-to receiver on this year’s team, nor is there just one running back who receives the majority of the carries. Instead there is an entire arsenal of wide receivers for McCarron to throw to and a collection of running backs to share the load.
However, that is what has made Alabama so dynamic this season.
Sure the Crimson Tide has no wide receiver that averages more than 40 yards per game, but they do have 15 players that have caught at least one pass this season. With an array of skill sets and different sizes, McCarron doesn’t have to take what the defense gives him anymore; rather opposing defenses are forced to take what McCarron gives them-plenty of headaches and no turnovers.
McCarron would love to throw the ball 50 times a game and put up video game numbers, but he’s a guy that just wants to win; even if that means handing the ball off to one of Alabama’s four featured running backs, none of which have seen more than 15 carries in a game. Eddie Lacy is the leader of the group as a complete back, but the freshman trio of Dee Hart, Kenyan Drake, and TJ Yeldon has proven to be more than capable with each and every touch leaving Tide fans wanting more.
Defensively the theme is much of the same; there are no stars.
The defense instead is filled with a bunch of players who know their role on this year’s team, and play those roles as well as any in the country. CJ Mosley and Nico Johnson often split time at inside linebacker, despite the decoration of preseason honors for each of them. When questioned why they were sharing a spot in the linebacking corps. Mosley quietly responded “because it works.”
It is one thing to say this defense is selfless, and another thing to see it in action. Late in the fourth quarter against Florida Atlantic University the field was filled with backups in the waining moments as Alabama held a forty point lead. There on the sidelines stood the first team cheering and coaching their backups, making sure no matter who was on the field the defensive unit lived up to the Alabama Standard.
Just a few short months after seeing much of the 2011 defense depart for the National Football League Alabama has rebuilt their unit into one of the nation’s best in 2012 as they rank third in the country in total defense.
There is a sign posted in the football locker room that reads: “Out of yourself and into the unity of the team.” In 2012 it would appear Alabama has bought in.