Consistency, Focus for the Tide
The one thing that has been consistent this season for the Alabama football team is their in-consistency. With the Ole Miss Rebels rolling into Tuscaloosa today for their first SEC home opener, the Crimson Tide has one thing in their mind – Consistency. That is the one word that head coach Nick Saban has been talking about for the past two weeks and it has been an emphasis this week in press conferences and practices. Even the players are now speaking the same words in their interviews.
Saban is not only calling out the players in their lack of focus and not playing to their potential but he is also holding the coaches responsible for the inconsistencies that have been seen throughout the last 4 games for the Tide. ”We need to improve the way we prepare, to gain more consistency in performance when we play the game” said Saban, then went on to say, “and that’s a lot to do with coaches we’re responsible for that. Players have to be responsible for that, everybody’s got to be responsible for their part.” Alabama QB AJ McCarron mimicked those words with “Playing on a consistent level is everything to us, and we don’t want to be peaks and valleys, we want to stay on a level plain”.
The Alabama offense was sluggish and didn’t seem to communicate very well in the opener against Virginia Tech with Bama rushing for 96 net yards on 38 carries averaging 2.5 yards a carry. Then in the next game against Texas A&M the offense performed much better with McCarron not even touching the ground, and racking up 49 points on the Aggies with 579 yards of offense. But the defense allowed over 600 yards and 42 points in the game. Albeit it was against the 2012 Heisman trophy winner but that is not a typical Saban defense.
With Colorado State coming to Tuscaloosa last week, the Tide hoped to get back on track but with injuries in key positions it only seemed to perpetuate the inconsistencies. Although it did allow the Alabama coaching staff the ability to evaluate personnel in the Tide secondary. The entire game saw different faces on defense as Saban tested to see who wanted to step up and perform. As the game went on it almost seemed like an A-day type of game in the secondary. The first half saw certain players in certain downs and in the second half there were entirely different personnel on the field.
As #21 Ole Miss brings another “spread-like” offense into town the Crimson Tide defense has another challenge on it’s hands, and they know it. ”We’re certainly going to have to play our best football to have any kind of success against it”. Saban said. The Black Bears (Rebels) come in averaging run/pass yardage of 250/240. That is much more balanced than the Texas A&M averages 211/391. HaHa Clinton-Dix discusses the similarities and differences on what the defense is about to face “they have a very explosive type of offense, they don’t have Johnny Football at quarterback but they do have a dominant quarterback. Wallace is a great quarterback, he can throw, he can run, he’s hard to tackle.
The top ranked Tide will need to find their identity in this game as well as find that consistency that has been lacking all season. Alabama has been
put on upset alert as there are several that are picking the Rebs to spread the Tide thin and come away with the win.
Ole Miss QB Wallace was quoted this week saying there should be no problem scoring on Alabama since the
Ole Miss receivers are much better than Texas A&M’s. And with the Rebels winning their last five in a row dating back to last season, they have the confidence this year with their first 3-0 start since the 1970′s and in the top 25 for the first time since 2009.
Alabama’s consistency on offense and defense will be key to the success for the Tide against Ole Miss. “We have to do a better job of not making mental errors, playing better fundamental technique, and in being able to take that to the game”. Saban said.
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