Author: Brett Hudson

Tide defense adjusts, beats Eagles

FOOTBALL Back-and-forth battle goes to Bama By Brett Hudson Senior Sports Reporter bbhudson@crimson.ua.edu @Brett_Hudson   TUSCALOOSA| Georgia Southern is likely the only team in the FCS that can play withAlabama, and the Eagles showed just that, coming toTuscaloosaand hanging with the Crimson Tide for a good amount of time, but eventually falling by a final score of 45-21. It was the game that many members of the fanbase expected in the first quarter, withAlabamaopening the game up with a Jeremy Shelley field goal after big plays from wide receiver Brandon Gibson and running back Trent Richardson. The big plays continued for the Tide after Dre Kirkpatrick took a blocked field goal 55 yards to the end zone, which would giveAlabamathe 10-0 lead it took into the second quarter. It was the second quarter where the Eagles finally executed well on the one biggest thing they brought that theAlabamadefense could not handle: the triple option attack. “They do a really good job of running their offense, it’s a tough offense to prepare for,” head coach Nick Saban said. “It’s totally different than what we do on a day-to-day basis and we obviously didn’t execute the way we want to all the time.” Defensive endDamion Squareadded, “It takes your athletes away. Your athletes really don’t matter because you have to play assignment football.” The lack of execution paved the way for...

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Tide offensive line constantly changing

For skilled players coming out of high school, the ability to play more than one position makes you a hot commodity. If you can throw a good 15-yard pass on one play then catch a pass on the next, college head coaches will be busting down your door with scholarship offers and promises of glory. But on the offensive line, that special talent is almost an expectation over a luxury. This trend is becoming so commonplace that many fans don’t even notice or care when their team makes a change in the trenches. To the untrained eye, a revolving door on the offensive line may not seem chaotic, but each position on the line has different responsibilities and requires a different mindset and skillset. The center, often called the quarterback of the offensive line, is responsible for reading the defense and making the necessary adjustments at the line of scrimmage. In the running game, the center has to make a quick read for the defensive alignment, most often either the 4-3 or the 3-4, and set up the blocks accordingly. In the 4-3, the center is often the only offensive lineman without a defender lined up across from him, meaning he is responsible for making the first second-level block on a linebacker or a blitzing safety that can be the difference between a one-yard gain and a touchdown. In...

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The evolution of the pistol offense

By Brett Hudson Some of football’s biggest innovators include Emory Bellard, Red Hickey, Walter Camp and Amos Alonzo Stagg, for inventing the wishbone, shotgun, Power T and I-Form offenses, respectively. The glory may go to these coaches, but most recent of these innovators, Bellard, coached in the 1970s and 1980s, and Camp goes all the way back to the late 1800s. The glory of football’s most recent innovator should belong to Nevada head coach Chris Ault, the inventor of the Pistol formation. Ault invented the offense to combine the big play capabilities and aerial attack options of the shotgun formation with the running abilities of the I-formation of the Ace singleback formation. He did this by having the quarterback line up four yards behind the center and have a running back behind him, about seven yards from the line of scrimmage, thus letting the QB see the defensive alignment from further back — making reads more easily but having the running back run downhill to the ball in a run play. Ault did so very successfully, as you would know if you watched his Wolfpack last season, who dashed Boise State’s BCS dreams in a big upset on the way to a 13-1 record and a 20-13 win over Boston College in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl as the co-Western Athletic Conference champions. This offense was wildly successful on...

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