By firstname.lastname@example.org (Matthew Speakman)
Both Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa managed to connect on several deep passes throughout the game. Hurts showed that he can hit receivers in stride and seems to have improved in that area. His decision making was impressive, and he was able to combine his pocket prescience with his ability to run the ball. Tagovailoa showed why he has so much hype surrounding him, as his touch on several fade routes was nearly perfect. He struggled against the first team defense when he replaced Hurts, which is most likely due to inexperience. Mac Jones, the third string signal caller, struggled for most of the day. He was intercepted twice, but like Tagovailoa, it was his first experience against a talented defense. Both Tagovailoa and Jones should be worthy backups to a seemingly improved Hurts.
Alabama’s increased focus on improving the passing game was definitely on display during A-Day. That meant the running game took a back seat throughout the scrimmage. With Damien Harris, Bo Scarbrough and BJ Emmons all out due to injuries, Alabama relied on a combination of Najee Harris, Brian Robinson and Josh Jacobs. Harris was by far the most successful out of the group, rushing for 70 yards on 17 carries. He showed power and speed on many of his carries. Jacobs will once again be a weapon running and catching the ball out of the backfield. Robinson displayed the power that his frame brings, if there’s one position Alabama is elite at, it’s running back.
Wide Receivers: A+
Alabama’s receivers had probably the best day out of any of the position groups. Freshman Jerry Jeudy was dominant, and took home the game’s MVP award after a two-touchdown performance. Jeudy showed why many of his teammates have been calling him a clone of Calvin Ridley, as his speed and ability to make tough catches reminded fans of the junior playmaker. Ridley and Robert Foster were also impressive. Foster, who has been battling injuries for the last year and a half, looked as healthy as ever, hauling in a 65-yard touchdown pass from Hurts in the first quarter. Alabama has a lot of talent at the receiver position, and teams should be worried about having to face Ridley, Foster and Jeudy all in one lineup.
Offensive line: B
Collectively, the Alabama front gave up 12 sacks in this game. The defensive line was able to get to the quarterback most of the game, especially when it was the two first teams going against each other. You have to cut the line some slack, as Alabama’s front seven will probably be the best front that this line will face all year. Regardless, the line did a fairly good job of holding up, and since it returns four starters, there shouldn’t be an question of establishing good protection and dominating the point of attack.
Defensive front: B+
Alabama of Alabama’s first-team pass rushers had an impact on this game. Christian Miller and Rahsaan Evans were very effective coming off of the edge, and Miller especially showed he can impact the game with his rush ability. Alabama’s defensive line held up well against the run as well. There shouldn’t be a lot of worry that Alabama will have one of the best defensive front sevens in the country.
Despite having four interceptions, the secondary was lackluster at best. Robert Foster and Calvin Ridley blew by the first-team cornerbacks multiple times early on. On Foster’s 65-yard touchdown, Foster had no one within five yards of him. Many members of the secondary felt like the secondary was the strength of the defense heading into spring football, but after yesterday, it will need some improvement to live up to that. Former walk-on Levi Wallace had a good day with the second team, and was probably the most consistent player in the secondary yesterday. It could just be chemistry and spring football, but the defensive backs did not have a great showing for Alabama.
Special teams: B
JK Scott had a nice day punting the ball, and also was 2-3 on his field goal attempts. His one miss came from 40 yards out. Scott can still punt the ball as well as anyone in the country. He may be Alabama’s best option at place kicker as well, as Andy Pappanastos missed on both of his attempts from inside 40 yards. Scott may have to go all around for the Crimson Tide.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports