Author: Jason Galloway

Alabama football: Scrimmage No. 2 recap

They say competition brings the out the best in someone. That rang true among the Alabama wide receiving corps in Saturday’s scrimmage. With uncertainty about the starting lineup at that position, Marquis Maze, Darius Hanks and DeAndrew White all stepped up with big scrimmage numbers. Hanks led the way with six catches for 131 yards and three touchdowns, White had five catches for 85 yards and a touchdown and Maze had five catches for 73 yards and two touchdowns. “Hanks had a good day today,” head coach Nick Saban said. “A guy that has made some plays in practice and made a significant improvement is DeAndrew White. He’s got a lot of ability. He’s got a lot of speed, and he’s starting to get more comfortable with what he’s supposed to do.” Quarterback A.J. McCarron threw for four touchdowns and no interceptions Saturday, but completed less than 50 percent of his passes (19-of-40). Phillip Sims was 19-of-34 for 232 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick was in a black jersey because of a badly sprained thumb. Other defensive backs, including second-team All-American safety Mark Barron, have been battling injuries this spring. “It’s kind of hard to evaluate sometimes when you have so many guys in the secondary with black shirts on, what the tackling is like on the perimeter,” Saban said. “You just have to...

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Tide blows out No. 9 Michigan State in Capital One Bowl

Saturday was not the ending Crimson Tide fans expected back in August. But it was a win, and a dominant one at that. Alabama’s 49-7 victory over No. 9 Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl was its most impressive of the season and likely the most impressive bowl performance by any team this year. “It was annihilation,” offensive lineman David Ross said. “Pure and utter annihilation.” The 61,519 in attendance at the Citrus Bowl stadium saw Alabama post the largest win margin in Capital One Bowl history (old record was 33) and nearly record the first shutout in the bowl since East Carolina blanked Maine in 1965. “Sometimes there’s an avalanche that comes upon you,” Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio said. “It didn’t go very well for us today.” Alabama controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Offensively, six of the Tide’s seven touchdowns were rushing scores. Running backs Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram combined for three first half scores, and Ingram’s second broke Shaun Alexander’s school record of 41 career rushing touchdowns. Alabama’s last touchdown of the first half came when Julio Jones scored on a 35-yard reverse, a play that was sprung by the downfield blocking of Greg McElroy. Although the quarterback pancaked the final defender between Jones and the end zone, McElroy didn’t give himself any credit. “The one time...

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Tide blows big lead to lose Iron Bowl

Alabama was beating up on Cam Newton and the No. 2 Auburn Tigers like no one had all season. But just like the Crimson Tide has done all year, or has failed to do, it could not sustain its full potential, allowing the same flaws to set in and induce an Auburn comeback. After building a 24-point lead, Alabama watched the Tigers slowly chip away until a 28-27 final score left Auburn with a 12-0 record and magnified national championship hopes. “Around here, we pride ourselves on finishing, and we just didn’t finish tonight,” said junior running back Mark Ingram. “Everybody’s frustrated. We just didn’t execute as much in the second half.” Ingram started the first-half onslaught by capping a 7-play, 71-yard drive with a 9-yard touchdown run. After playing off the crowd to force a three-and-out, Alabama extended its lead to 14-0 on a 68-yard pass from quarterback Greg McElroy to wide receiver Julio Jones. After Marcell Dareus and Courtney Upshaw recorded back-to-back sacks on Newton on Auburn’s next two plays, McElroy threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Darius Hanks to cap a 10-play, 61-yard drive. “That was about as fine of first half of offensive football that we’ve played here in a long time,” said head coach Nick Saban. The Tide’s next three possessions could have sealed the game before halftime. Ingram caught a 41-yard...

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Reliving the tradition with Van Tiffin

GameDay: Talk about how nerve racking that 52-yard field goal to beat Auburn in 1985 was. Van Tiffin: I wouldn’t say it was necessarily nerve racking. The way it all went about kept that from being the case. If it had been a situation where a timeout had been called, the way they ice the kickers today, it would have been extremely nerve racking. But there was so little time and we were so deep in our own territory that I’m thinking we’re not even going to get in field goal range. The first couple plays go nowhere, we’re...

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Tide looks ahead to Iron Bowl

Alabama’s 63-7 victory over Georgia State Thursday night may have been the exception to the Crimson Tide’s 24-hour rule. While most games allow Alabama to enjoy a win or grieve a loss for one day, some of the Tide players may have had their eyes set on the next opponent before the blowout of the Panthers even ended. “Our attention might have been on [Auburn] a little bit already, mischievously so,” said senior quarterback Greg McElroy. “I think we’re ready for them. We’re looking forward to it. It’s going to be a great challenge.” It will likely be the Tide’s biggest challenge of the season. Similar to Alabama last year, Auburn heads into the Iron Bowl on the road with an 11-0 record and the clear favorite for the Heisman Trophy. Although the reversal of roles from last year’s rivalry game is apparent, McElroy insists that the focus heading into next week’s game will not be about ruining the Tigers’ perfect season. “It’s not necessarily about spoiling their season,” McElroy said. “It’s finishing our season on a high note. We’ve had some ups and downs on the road this year, without a doubt, but beating those guys would probably be icing on the cake in terms of how the season finished out.” To finish the regular season with a win, however, the Tide must stop an offense led by...

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