Back in Bryant-Denny Stadium for the first time in 2015, the Alabama football team ran over Middle Tennessee 37-10.
It wasn’t close to a perfect game though. There were errors. There were things that Alabama needs to clean up for future game.
“These teams that you play are all good enough to expose you if you don’t have the right focus and intensity on what you need to do to go out there and do a good job of finishing,” coach Nick Saban said. “We obviously didn’t do a good job getting that point across, because I don’t think we finished like we needed to. We didn’t finish the game like we wanted to.”
Going into the game, there were areas that the team wanted to improve on from last week’s game against Wisconsin. Saban said he’s not sure if it did just that in all areas – some, yes, but others, not so much.
Saban said the defense did a great job getting turnovers with four total and the defense played better as time went on.
“[MTSU] did a lot of things that we weren’t very well-prepared for, and we had to make a lot of adjustments during the game,” he said. “But I thought the players did a really good job of that.
Offense, on the other hand, needs to find its identity still.
Alabama had 39 carries for 220 yards and completed 26 out of 43 passes for 312 yard. It moved the ball, but it was inconsistent. Especially in the passing game, Saban said.
The offense wasn’t in sync.
“We just weren’t doing the little things right,” tight end O.J. Howard said. “It starts with paying attention to detail. Everything we did wrong was our fault – sometimes we may not have finished the block – but it’s thing we can fix and that’s the most important thing.”
Howard had four receptions for 68 yards, a career-high reception total. From last year, as a receiver, Howard said he thinks he does better on routes now.
It’s the rushing game Howard said needs to improve. Alabama needs to establish its rushing game.
“Once you can establish the running game – the line of scrimmage – it opens up the passing game for us,” Howard said. “Being able to run the ball very effectively will be helpful for us on offense.”
Jake Coker started at quarterback for Alabama, but after halftime, Cooper Bateman took the reins. Coker completed 15 out of 26 passes for 214 yards. Bateman had 11 out of 17 completions for 98 yards. Both had one touchdown and one interception.
Howard said it doesn’t matter who plays at quarterback but it all comes back to the offense’s identity. A play is a play, regardless of who is throwing the ball.
Alabama expects to find its offensive identity soon.
“Family,” wide receiver Robert Foster said. “We’re all family. We work together.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports