Its Time to get the season started and our quest for 80% win percentage in the most hated Conference in the USA The SEC
Great game last night with Vandy vs Ole Miss to kick start conference play.
The University of Alabama football team opens the 2013 season on Saturday, August 31, when it takes on Virginia Tech in the Georgia Dome at Atlanta, Ga. The Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic will mark the 13th time the teams have met on the gridiron, with Alabama leading the all-time series, 11-1.
The defending national champs Alabama Crimson Tide return 15 starters from last years NC Team. Bama lost some keys players on both sides of the ball. On offense the Oline lost 2 players that went in the top 15 of the First Round (Chance Warmack + DJ Fluker) also the jack of all trades but master of none Barret Jones. Eddie Lacy also moved on to the NFL.
The Defense lost some of their front seven (Williams + Dial), but key starters return along with a plethora of talent.
Offense- Alabama returns QB AJ McCarron who had a 67% Completion ratio and a 30 td to 3 int ratio. He is one of the most underrated CFB QB’s in the game. McCarron has had some let downs in bigger games (LSU + A+M last yr) but is a solid QB who has great poise and pocket presence. The Back up is Blake Sims who is a mobile QB without a great arm. He can run the Wildcat with perfection
***Some concern is that AJ is in a walking boot when he got to ATL so we will need to keep our ear to the ground on this***
Cole Cubelic ?@colecubelic 14m
Alabama QB AJ McCarron in a walking boot upon arrival in Atlanta to face Virginia Tech. #Bama #VT #SEC pic.twitter.com/BwaLwQkmBH
Running Backs- The Tide Return Freshman TJ Yeldon in the back field along with Dee Hart, Kenyon Drake (who is in the doghouse for apparently being in the car with suspended CB Geno Smith) and 4 new Freshman Backs in Derrick Henry, Altee Tenpenny, Alvin Kamara, and Tyren Jones (who is currently hurt) Derrick Henry is a straight beast. Hes 6’4 235lbs and runs under a 4.4. Will be the next great back
The Return of Jalston Fowler will also be huge for the Bama Running Game. He was lost for the season last yera after an ACL, but we probably wouldnt have seen as much of TJ Yeldon if he didnt get hurt. Folwer is slated to be the FB/HB position and hes is also a beast.
Wide Receivers- This is the most talented group of WR’s in the nation led by Amari Cooper. Bell, Norwood, White, Jones plus Chris Black who was injured all last year and took a RS he is a straight burner add the additions of Freshman Raheem Falkins + Robert Foster who are both 6’4 leaves AJ with an incredible amount of talent to throw too.
This will be an issue for any Defense to prepare for.
TE’s- Volger returns and he is a solid TE, but Bama brought in 5 Star OJ Howard who is 6’6 235 and will be a nightmare in the RZ.
Oline– The oline lost NFL first Round Talent but return Anthony Steen at Guard and another top 10 pick Cyrus Kouandjio. They replace Barret Jones at Center with the guy who taught Barret Jones to play center Ryan Kelly.
The other guard/tackle combo was to be Cyrus’s brother Arie Kouandjio and Austin Sheppard, but that has been moved around and they are pairing up the Brothers to create the “Wall of Kouandijo” on the left side. That seemed to have the most chemistry. This is the one weakness for the Bama offense but will still be one of the best olines in the country.
Alabama hired Mario Cristobal as there Oline coach who is one of the best in the country imo. Cant believe he was fired from FIU
Defense- The front seven will be stacked again and the defense as a whole will be one of the best in Saban’s era. They are loaded all over the field and return CJ Moseley, HaHa Clinton Dix, Sunseri, Stinson, Ivory, and Belue from last years team.
Geno Smith was suspended for this game but John Fulton played in plenty of games last year and knows the system
Most of the new replacements have all been in the system for the last 3yrs. Look out for Reuben Foster, Denzell Devall, Pagan, Fanning, Landon Collins, Dillon Lee, Johnathan Allen, and A’Shawn Robinson
Here is what Saban had to say after Wednesdays practice.
“Our pass rush has gotten a lot better,” he said after Wednesday’s practice. “We’ve got new additions, new guys in in different roles. I feel like we’re going to be able to pass rush a lot more efficiently than we did in the past.”
Among the new additions are redshirt freshman Dalvin Tomlinson and freshmen A’Shawn Robinson and Jonathan Allen. All three were listed on the Crimson Tide’s first official depth chart for 2013.
“The freshmen are just really smart, they’re all really smart,” Pagan said. “They’re fast, big and strong, they’re smart. I have confidence in all of them.”
Special Teams- Cade Foster and Cody Mandell both return as SR’s so those positions are solid.
VIRGINIA TECH:TheHokies are coming off a 7-6 2012 season and a Russell Athletic Bowl victory inovertime against Rutgers. Under 27th-year head coach Frank Beamer, VirginiaTech is 216-104-2, with four BCS bowl appearances in the last six seasons. TheHokies have the sixth most wins in the country since 2001. Virginia Tech entersthe 2013 season returning 15 starters and 50 letterwinnners.
What else can we say other than the Hokies are a mess. Players quitting, injuries, etc.
I respect the Hokies front seven, but they lost Marshall and Van Dyke 2 of there Key Starters coming back along with Exum the Stud CB. They will now be playing True Freshman against Cooper, White, or Bell.
The Hokies lost 3 running backs and are down to a RS Freshman who is a power back. The Oline Starts a True Freshman at LT in McLaughlin and the rest have 36 career starts combined and that is mostly from their Center, Wong.
New Offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler and line coach Jeff Grimes were in those positions at Auburn last season. As you may remember, the hapless Tigers produced a meager 163 yards against the Tide in the Iron Bowl. It will be interesting to see how Loeffler fares against Alabama with a much more dangerous quarterback. Thomas has 20 career rushing touchdowns and needs just 922 yards to pass Tyrod Taylor as the Hokies’ leading passer.
I expect a similar outcome like the Michigan game last year. Alabama will use the run game to set up big passing plays. If VaTech stacks the box which it seems they will it will be a long night. Notre Dame and Michigan learned the hard away about stacking the box.
Alabama’s offense this year will be explosive and the defense ferocious. They will be attacking the newbies on the Oline for VaTech and confusiong them all night. I watched VaTechs spring game and Logan Thomas still isnt up to par and the oline looked terrible
Expect to see Brandon Greene for Alabama line up at TE he is an OL by nature at 6’6 330lbs but has been playing TE.
Im taking both the 1st half and the game
Take Alabama -11.5 First Half 1100 to win 1000
Take Alabama -19 Full Game 1100 to win 1000
Best of Luck!!!!!
Stats for those who care:
DOME SWEET DOME: Alabama is 14-5-1 (.725) in domed stadiums, including a 5-0 mark since 2009, and 6-2 in Coach Saban’s tenure.
OPENING DAY SUCCESS UNDER SABAN: Alabama has been dominant in season openers under head coach Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide is a perfect 6-0 under Saban and has won in impressive fashion. Alabama has outscored its opponents, 257- 64, in those games and outgained the opposition, 2996-1124. The Tide has averaged 42.8 points per opening game under Saban and given up just 10.6 points per contest. Alabama has amassed 499.3 total yards per opener and surrendered just 187.3 yards per clip. They are 20-0 in non-conference play over that span, including 6-0 both SU and ATS against BCS-conference opponents (winning by an average of 24.5 points per game).
Quotes to Note:
@HokiesJournal: Sounds like #Hokies won’t shadow Amari Cooper. Bud Foster said Fuller and Facyson, both freshmen, don’t have “deer in the headlights” look.
@HokiesJournal: #Hokies DC Bud Foster noted today that in Bama’s non conf wins over Mich, Notre Dame last yr, Tide went run heavy. Wants to stop ground game
-Sounds like they are going to go with an 8-man front to start things off. I could be wrong but if they do go with that strategy it will more than likely back fire on them.
@HokiesJournal: By my calculations, if you remove the sacks from today’s scrimmage, #Hokies rushed for 25 yards on 23 carries.
Starting O-line looks tiny: @HokiesJournal: Gibson (RT), Miller (RG), Wang (C), Farris (LG), McLaughlin (LT). MT @coachgrimey: Me & 2013 Hokies starting O-Line! LINK
– Beamer said he thinks 10 true freshmen, 17 redshirt freshmen will be on Virginia Tech’s travel squad for the Alabama game. 27 freshmen in all.
– Stats from today’s scrimmage are out and they are not good. Minus 16 yards rushing and 191 yards passing. A total of just 175 yards of offense.
– Hokies Fr. CB Kendall Fuller says he’s “not gonna shy down from” Bama WR Amari Cooper. “We feel comfortable where anyone can stick him.”
****Vandal Bonus LSU -4. LSU will Roll Pachall and the Horny Toads. Plus ULM +23.5 over Oklahoma. 17 Starters Back for ULM including the entire secondary and Oline plus the QB. OU has a look ahead to WVU the next week*****