The Alabama Crimson Tide had an easy time on Saturday as they thumped Georgia State 45-3 in Tuscaloosa.
Many times, teams don’t get a lot out of a game like this. Sure, it’s an easy victory in what can be a grueling 12-game schedule, and that is always valuable. But if a team can actually work on something and/or learn in the game, that makes the exercise much more valuable.
In Saturday’s win, Alabama did get something of value. Or, at least something of potential value. Due to the large margin (Alabama led 21-0 after the first quarter and 38-0 at the half), head coach Nick Saban was able to rest his starting quarterback, A.J. McCarron. While McCarron was in the game, he was outstanding, completing 15-of-16 passes for 166 yards and four touchdowns. He completed his first 12 passes in the game.
But the real value came after McCarron left the game and Blake Sims came in at quarterback. Sims has not been in the game much this season, usually seeing only mop-up duty. However, on this day, Sims got to be the man at — least for a half. While he wasn’t asked to do a lot, Sims did play well, connecting on 14-of-18 through the air for 130 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed twice for 10 yards.
This could be valuable down the line for the Tide, especially if McCarron were to be injured. At least Sims will have some game experience to rely on if he is called upon to fill in for McCarron in a crucial spot. And if Alabama is going to win another national championship, it’s good to have an insurance policy like Sims available if needed.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.