16 October 2011
It is now officially Tennessee week, which means that it's time for me to remind everyone of just how much I hate orange. I would love to give you an analogy here to help quantify, but I simply can't think of anything that loves anything else, or hates anything else as much as I hate orange. So you'll just have to believe me when I tell you - I hate orange.
The University of Alabama football team practiced on Monday in preparation for the putrid uniform wearing Vols. The practice was held in shells.
Here's what you need to know:
I hate orange.
The Tide's health is pretty good. Both Cade Foster and Anthony Steen were able to practice after leaving the Ole Miss game with concussions. Both were considered to be minor ones, though it would not shock me to see them both held out this weekend.
Eddie Lacy (turf toe) and C.J. Mosley (elbow) were both cleared for contact, but neither guy did much during the media viewing period. I think we'll probably see both guys on Saturday, but very likely in the limited roles we saw them have in Oxford.
With the way that Jalston Fowler and Blake Sims ran in place of Lacy, and the way that Nico Johnson played in place of Mosley, there is simply no reason to rush either guy back for this weekend. With the Tide's bye week coming up after this Saturday, I think we'll see the staff take it a bit easy with the injured guys.
Dee Hart has begun to participate in individual drills. He's still in a black jersey and is very unlikely to play this season, but the fact that he is able to not just run straight ahead, but actually participate (however lightly) is a good indication that he should be cleared for spring practice. For the most part he is still just running sprints, but after two weeks of working on cuts, he's started to take a few handoffs.
With not much else to report, we'll take a look at some pretty amazing things that jumped out at when I took a look at Bama's stats through the first seven games, but two actually made me laugh out loud.
Can you guess where Cody Mandell ranks nationally among punters? How about where Bama's top kickoff return guy ranks nationally?
The answer to the same is both -- they do not have the minimum number required to be included in the NCAA's official statistical leaderboard.
Cody has punted just 25 times - an average of 3.57 punts per game. The NCAA requires a minimum of 3.6 per game to qualify.
Bama's leading kickoff return guy is Marquis Maze, who has just six total attempts. That's .857 per game, less than the 1.2 needed to be included.
The fact that Bama has not punted enough for Cody to be counted, nor has Bama fielded enough kickoffs for anyone to qualify should tell you all that you need to know about Bama's dominance on both sides of the ball.
Bama's defense against the run ranks #1 nationally - 38.14 per game. The Tide has allowed just 267 net yards this season, an average of just 1.46 yards per carry. That 1.46 also ranks first nationally. And just for good measure, the two rushing TDs allowed by Bama are tied for the least with Utah.
Looking more at the numbers, Bama has allowed 90 less yards than the second place team, Stanford. The Cardinal have played one less game than the Tide. In fact, the next four teams on the list have only played six games each.
The Bama defense ranks first in total defense at 184.14 per game. Michigan State comes in second at 186.17. The third plae team (UCF) comes in at 221.33 - a full 37.19 per game more. LSU's stout defense? Fourth at 251.86 - an average of 67.72 more yards allowed per game.
Bama's scoring defense also ranks first at 7 points per game (that's 49 for the season). The second place team, Temple, has allowed 67 points. For the math challenged, that's 18 less points. Again comparing the Tide to LSU... 82 points. That's nearly double what Bama has allowed. And just for the hell of it - Auburn has allowed 181 points. That's getting pretty close to four times as much.
We'll take a look at some individual stats over the course of the next two weeks, including Trent Richardson's incredible march towards Bama history.
The Tide will practice again on Tuesday, this time in full pads. We'll have our normal report.
And in case you forgot... I hate orange.