By outreach@cw.ua.edu (Terrin Waack)

Although the Crimson Tide won 35-17 against Wisconsin on Saturday, there were many mistakes made on the field that prevented Alabama from a higher score difference. It racked up 11 penalties for 120 yards, while Wisconsin had less than half that, with four penalties for 50 yards.

There’s a lot the team to be taken away from this first game, defensive back Geno Matias-Smith said.

“As a whole, we had too many penalties, so just clean up those things,” Matias-Smith said. “Defense, just keep getting better because everyone can get better.”

Defensive backs alone had three pass interference penalties.

Depending if a player is in phase or out of phase, penalties may be hard to avoid.

“It’s kind of hard with football now-a-days,” Matias-Smith said. “The best thing to do is turn around and look for the ball because if you don’t look for the ball, more than likely they’re going to call a [pass interference] on you. Just have to get in position.”

New to an Alabama corner position, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Marlon Humphrey each had a pass interference penalty. Matias-Smith said they both had a good camp and are doing a good job, but it was their first game as corners.

It’s key that the player stays in phase, because if he doesn’t, that creates a separation between him and the receiver, Matias-Smith said. If it’s not practiced correctly, he said, it won’t happen in a game.

Offensive lineman Cam Robinson also said Alabama played well, for a first game, but his side of the ball needs bettering as well.

“It’s obvious there are a lot of things we can improve on,” Robinson said. “Obviously, there were a lot of little things we need to tighten up on and just get better at.”

Looking back at the film, Robinson said a lot of the opportunities and successes Wisconsin had were because of Alabama’s mistakes. For the offensive line, it was both a combination of first game jitters and lack of communication.

“A lot of it was due to our behalf,” Robinson said.

Robinson said he is his own worst critic, though, and regardless of his nearly 20-yard drive of a Badgers defender down the field, he doesn’t think the Wisconsin game was one of his best performances.

With the help of the line, though, Derrick Henry had three touchdowns and 147 yards rushing on 13 carries and Kenyan Drake had one touchdown and 77 yards rushing on 10 carries. Having those two running backs behind him, Robinson said, is a luxury.

“We know that all we have to do is give those guys a couple creases and they do some amazing things with the ball,” he said.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports