Since the University of Alabama began playing football the Crimson Tide has been known as a running team, however, that may soon change.
The change in philosophy will not be made in an effort to keep up with the Jones’ or due to a change at offensive coordinator. No, the change in offensive philosophy may be taken from the hands of the running game and onto the right shoulder of quarterback AJ McCarron as teams sell out to stop the run.
This fall it was McCarron who cited a conversation with Coach Nick Saban when he said “take what the defense gives you and eventually they’ll give you the game.” Lately defenses have given the Alabama quarterback plenty of chances to throw.
When the Crimson Tide lined up across the Ole Miss Rebels, the Tide were challenged by a team that loaded up the box to take away the running game. With the running game taken away, when Alabama looked to pass, the Rebels didn’t let up, sending multiple players on the blitz time and time again. While McCarron didn’t have a terrible game (22-of-32 passing for 180 yards and 2 TD), he had he least productive performance of the season.
The blueprint had been written.
With 7 games remaining on the schedule, Alabama will likely see defenses dial up the same game plan. It is going to be important for McCarron and his receivers to get on the same page so the Alabama quarterback can get the ball off quicker and not take so many hits.
If McCarron can start to make defenses pay for their aggressiveness, Alabama may be able to return to their roots as a running team.