01 September 2008
The Starters:Terrence Cody - This guy is the reason this isn't a "freshman report". The junior college transfer anchored the middle ably. His four tackles (one for a loss) don't begin to tell the whole story. In our 3-4 defense, the tackle is designed to occupy blockers, eat space, and let our linebackers make plays. Check, check and check. Cody looked great in his initial effort. Dont'a Hightower - One tackle and one fumble recovery. Nothing huge on the stat sheet, and he looked a bit lost at times. When he was allowed to pin back his ears and go, he looked good; a run blitz that resulted in him getting deep in the backfield, but not recording the tackle. Julio Jones - The numbers here are fairly good - four catches for 28 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown was a nice catch and a good route. Jones had a chance for a big play down the sideline early in the second half - the ball was underthrown, and he nearly made the play anyway. It would have been a great catch. Generally, he seemed to run routes well, blocked, and looked all around good. He added one kickoff return for 21 yards.
The Active Backups:Mark Ingram - Julio may have had the press and the hype, but Mark Ingram came to play. He toted the ball 17 times for 96 yards. He looked great running the ball, and his 28 yard run late was the Tide's longest all night. Ingram never seemed to go down on first contact. He blocked well and caught 2 passes for five yards. Ingram was easily the night's most impressive rookie. Mark Barron - He lit up C.J. Spiller on a kickoff return early on, and recorded three total tackles. However, Barron had a shot at Spiller to start on the kick return to start the second half and overran the play - a classic freshman mistake. Barron recorded the final tackle of the game - seeing his only action on defense late.
The Quiet Ones:B.J. Scott - One catch - a screen pass for no gain. Scott didn't contribute a great deal on Saturday night, but the passing game clearly wasn't an emphasis. Unless your name was Nick Walker. Marcel Dareus saw late action and was credited with a QB pressure. Jerrell Harris, Chris Jackson, and Chris Jordan all played but failed to stat, if you will. Jordan and Jackson played a good deal on special teams. Some thought Harris was close to blocking a punt in the second quarter, but it was actually Roy Upchurch. Dareus and Harris also saw time late.
Those Not Present:Notably, some folks we might have expected didn't play. Especially considering Andre Smith's knee issue, it was a mild surprise we didn't see any of the new offensive linemen - Barrett Jones, Tyler Love and John Michael Boswell all stayed redshirt eligible. Robby Green played, but he's not listed on the official participation summary. But, Colin Peek is listed and we know he didn't play, so it's not exactly infallible.
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