As we all settle into the reality of Alabama ranked #2 in the country, the superstars at
are hosting this week’s Roundtable. On with the questions…
What aspect of the game did Alabama control that shocked you the most? What aspect of the game was Alabama dominated in that shocked you the most?
At this point, it’s hard to say we were truly shocked, but the ease with which Alabama both ran and stopped the run were impressive. We all knew the Tide would attempt to pound the ball down the throats of the Georgia defense, but they did so with a balanced attack and brilliant playcalling by Jim McElwain. John Parker looked at ease and in control, and had time to set up the pass plays that were called. All of this led to Georgia being unable to simply stack the box, and the Tide’s running attack was able to shred them.
It’s hardly a shock to say Alabama needs work on the kicking game, but this is getting embarrassing. True, a holding call would have negated the Georgia return for a touchdown, but waiting on the refs to stop an opponent is not the way to play special teams. Continued emphasis on tackling, not shoulder-blocking, is required.
Name your player of the game on Offense. Also name one on defense.
It it wrong to suggest we just give this award to John Parker Wilson for the season? We’re beginning to wonder if his play stands out this season simply because it’s been so erratic up until now. Wilson has not been Heisman material, statistically, but has led his team by executing the plays that are called, and playing within himself. He hasn’t had to win games with his arm, and has time to make reads. This season, he ain’t nothin’ but a winner.
On defense, we’ll go with Rolando McClain. Not for any statistical reason, but again, for the way he manages his defense. Watching him wave guys into position, calling the plays behind his line, it’s hard to remember this guy is only a sophomore.
The Wildcats are a very quiet 4-0 with lackluster wins over Louisville, Norfolk State, MTSU, and Western Kentucky. Obviously every game in the SEC is going to be a tough one and the Tide could be in danger of a letdown after such a huge win, so are you at all worried about UK? Why or why not?
We’re not as worried about Kentucky as we are about Alabama. We’re so used to the Tide relaxing after a big win, and playing down to their competition, it will be a while before we truly feel Nick Saban has coached this tendency out of his players.
Kentucky should present some tough moments for the Tide, but with the nation now watching this team, they need to finish the teams they are supposed to. Every game from this point out is for the national championship, so they cannot afford to even be perceived as letting off the gas.
John Parker Wilson is a new man this season, looking like the kind of savvy game manager that can make just enough throws to keep defenses guessing we need in this offense. What’s your take on his sudden emergence, and are you comfortable with him under center in clutch situations?
Wilson’s emergence comes down to two factors: coaching, and a great offensive line. Last season, Wilson was trying to win games with his own ability alone, and he’s simply not that good a quarterback. McElwain’s offense give Wilson options other than throwing into the stands or trying to lob one into triple coverage toward your favorite receiver.
In addition, Wilson has more time to make his reads because he has great protection. Wilson isn’t having to run the two-minute offense this year because the ball-control offense Alabama employs eats clock and scores points. He’s simply being asked to do less with more than ever before, and he’s thriving.