Alabama defeated Colorado State 41-23 on Saturday. Some positions were more consistent than others. This is how I see Alabama three weeks into the season.
Jalen Hurts has been on a mission so far this season. Hurts has thrown for 472 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for a team-leading 323 yards and three touchdowns. Against Colorado State Hurts put on a clinic, throwing for 248 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 103 yards and a touchdown. He played only the last series in the fourth quarter against CSU, and played only a couple second-half series against Fresno State.
Running Backs: B+
The dynamic duo of Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris has been tough to stop. Both are extremely physical runners that just wear defenses down. Harris is the second leading rusher behind Hurts with 158 yards, but Scarbrough is right behind him with 144 yards. Harris has three touchdowns, one in every game this season, while Scarbrough has just one that came against CSU. Josh Jacobs, who was a key third running back last year for the Crimson Tide, has been limited with a hamstring injury. He played his first game last week carrying the ball just one time for six yards. True freshman Najee Harris has been able to pick up the slack rushing for 89-yards on 20 attempts.
Wide Receivers: B
So far Calvin Ridley has been the only wide receiver to make a big impact on the offense. Ridley leads the team with 219 receiving yards, while the second receiver, Robert Foster, has only 75 yards. Fifty-two of Foster’s yards came on a 52-yard touchdown reception against CSU Ridley is currently ranked seventh in the SEC in receiving yards. The receivers are starting to pick up as the season goes on. Ridley was the only receiver to catch a pass against Florida State in the first week. He is up to 15 receptions on the year, while Cam Sims is second with four. Receivers are still a B because the potential they have shown as a group, between Foster’s speed, Sims’ size and the depth with three true freshman wide receivers that play a decent amount.
Offensive Line: B-
At times the offensive line has proven dominant, averaging six yards a rush and allowing just three sacks so far this season. However, coach Nick Saban talks a lot about how the line needs to get more consistent.
Defensive front: C
Alabama’s linebacker core has taken a significant hit so far this season with the loss of four players in the first game of the year, two for the year. Rashaan Evans (groin) and Anfernee Jennings (ankle) are working their way back from their individual injuries, leaving Keith Holcombe and Mack Wilson to fill the void. Holcombe has started with Shawn Dion Hamilton every game since. The defensive line has proven to be able to get to the quarterback, sacking opposing quarterbacks five times.
Alabama seems to have solidified its starting secondary after the Florida State game. Levi Wallace has become one of the starting corners to pair with Anthony Averett and Minkah Fitzpatrick. The group already has five interceptions on the year, with two coming agaisnt Colorado Stae. However, “menal lapses,” as Saban calls them, have proven to hurt the Crimson Tide. Opposing quarterbacks have averaged 224.3-yards per game, while four of the five touchdowns Alabama has allowed this year have come through the air.
Special Teams: A
Andy Pappanastos has been pretty consistant through the first three weeks of the season. After a rough start agaisnt Florida State where he missed two field goals, he has come back strong. He is now 7 of 9 with a long of 46 yards. JK Scott continues to be one of the best punter in the country. He has seven punts inside the 20 so far this season, off just 11 punts. He also has 12 touchbacks on 22 kickoffs.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports