Tide O-line No Longer Focus of Worry After Texas A&M Game
A bit overshadowed in the whole ‘What happened to the defense?’ uproar that surfaced following Alabama’s 49-42 win over Texas A&M was the answer to the question that surfaced following Alabama’s first win of the season.
That question was ‘What happened to the Alabama offensive line?’
Well, against Texas A&M, that offensive line, which is breaking in three new starters this season after that 2012 unit earned praise as one of the Tide’s best ever, performed a lot different than it had in game one. It was much improved.
Against Virginia Tech on Aug. 31, Alabama managed just 96 yards rushing and quarterback AJ McCarron was sacked four times. Against Texas A&M on Sept. 14, Alabama rolled up 234 yards on the ground and protected McCarron much better — as in zero sacks.
Amazing what two more weeks of practice, an open date and some hard-and-heavy criticism can do.
“I thought they did a fabulous job,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said this week of the offensive line’s performance against Texas A&M last Saturday. “They controlled the line of scrimmage. We were able to run the ball and have balance. We didn’t get a lot of pressure in the pocket so the quarterback could operate. We made some explosive plays running and throwing.
“(The offensive line) really controlled the tempo of the game pretty well. So I was really pleased. It all starts up front. I think those guys did a really good job. I still think there’s things we need to improve on, and I hope everybody’s focused on making those improvement.”
Now that the worry spotlight has shifted to the Alabama defense, one has to wonder if the defense might follow the offensive line’s lead and respond in similar fashion — quite well – this Saturday. Everyone will soon find out.
The top-ranked Tide will host Colorado State in its season-opener this Saturday with kickoff set for 6 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
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