I predicted in this blog last week that Alabama would beat Penn State 27-13, which was only two Penn State points off of the actual final score of 27-11.
The game went pretty much exactly the way it did in 2010, and that was exactly what I expected. The Penn State offense wasn't able to ever consistently drive down the field against the Tide defense, which only has LSU as competition for the top spot in the country. I love defensive football at Alabama, so I'm a happy camper with the way our roster is set up right now.
I was also VERY pleased and proud of what I saw from AJ McCarron in his second game ever, and his first start on the road in a hostile environment against a legitimate opponent. Coach Saban said that AJ did the best job of all our players of improving from week one to week two, and I agree. AJ was poised, unshaken, never got rattled by anything that went on, didn't throw an interception or take a sack. A couple of his throws were absolutely beautiful, starting with his touchdown pass to Michael Williams, which was the first score of the game. When he first threw that pass, it scared me, because Williams was blanketed by three PSU defenders. And while you could contend that it was a dangerous pass to attempt, it was perfectly threaded into a window of only a few inches. It was awesome.
Now I know that down the road, opponents such as LSU, with great DB's, would have a better chance of picking off a pass like that, but hopefully, by the time we play LSU, I think AJ will have proven himself able to handle it.
I continue to be impressed as hell by Eddie Lacy. He is the BACKUP to Trent Richardson, but whenever he is in the game he is making the absolute most of his opportunities. Many Tide fans are even jumping on his bus and saying he could be better than Trent. I'm not gonna go there, because I love Trent Richardson. Trent is my favorite player on the team. Every time Trent is in the game, the defense has loaded the box and swarmed to him, leaving him little room. If you will notice, when Eddie is in the game, the D is more likely to defend the pass, because many times Eddie is in there to pass block for a passing play and they have to respect that. What will open things up for Trent is when AJ proves that he can dominate in the passing game, which I believe will happen, and then teams will have to try to defend both, instead of just loading up the box against Trent. Also, whenever Trent is in the game, and the box is loaded, we seem to be extremely stubborn in trying to just pound him up the middle where there is no room. Hey Coach McElwain: Did you see that play that LSU kept running last night? It's called a toss sweep. Look into it please
Either way, it was just another step along the way and I expect many more victories to go the same way. A big play here or there on offense, but mostly conservative. Dominant defense, leading to what many will see as boring games with the Tide methodically pulling away. But that's just fine with me. 2 down, 12 to go
- Eric Blackerby
- My name is Eric. My love of and loyalty to the University of Alabama football team is unparalleled and completely inappropriate. I hate all other teams, and wish them peril. Also, you can hear my music at www.reverbnation.com/EricBlackerby or www.youtube.com/EricBlackerbyMusic