Alabama thriving with a “balanced” approach
Alabama’s senior left guard Chance Warmack loves when the Tide executes short drives. It’s not something he’s grown accustomed to, as the Tide has generally been known as a more methodical team, but it’s definitely something he welcomes.
The Crimson Tide used a number of quick scoring plays to beat down the Florida Atlantic Owls on Saturday afternoon, 40-7. Wide receiver Kenny Bell scored less than two minutes into the game from 85-yards out to set the tone for an Alabama offense that made a habit of getting off the field quickly without punting.
“It was a blessing. Plays like that just happen,” Warmack said. “As far as the plays go, I take it as an honor to have an offense that is balanced in the pass and the run. To see a receiver go down the field and make a play like that, it really pays off.”
That balanced attack allowed the Crimson Tide to rush for 256 yards and pass for 247 yards. Two Alabama players rushed for more than 50 yards, and three more either reached or surpassed 20 yards on the ground.
The balanced offense is not a new development for an Alabama program that has preached a balanced mantra since Nick Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa. However, its ability to execute the balance this season has been something that seems far superior to the execution of the past few seasons.
“What I like about our offense is that they’re going to keep running it. They’re going to be conservative with the ball, but they’re still going to make plays and score touchdowns,” linebacker C.J. Mosley said. “Once we get off the field on three and out, if we have a long drive, and they’re still holding the ball for five or six minutes, that just gives us more time to communicate on the sideline.”
The offensive line, widely lauded as one of the nation’s best, has played a significant role in Alabama’s ability to be balanced through the air and on the ground.
“You’ve got to give it to the coaches on that. They script it really well for us to make big plays in the air and on the field,” said Warmack. “It’s a tremendous thing to be balanced like that. We take pride in it, and we hope to stay like that for the remainder of the season.”
That primary coach, Nick Saban, is the one who preaches a balanced approach every day. Saban has made a balanced approach a staple of his teams throughout his coaching career. Now, with an offense under the direction of new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, that approach remains the same.
“We probably have a team that doesn’t have as many defined stars as what we have had in the past,” Saban said of the Tide’s balance individually. “I think we have a lot of guys that have had a lot of opportunity to play, which is a good thing and some of those guys have contributed and because of their contributions, I think that they have had an opportunity to improve, and hopefully we will continue to have a lot of guys that can make contributions on both sides of the ball. I think that is probably a good thing.”
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