Morning Kickoff: Crimson Tide News 10/31


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Happy Halloween! Unfortunately/Fortunately (depending on how you view things), it’s no trick that there is no Alabama Football this weekend. There will be plenty of great games, sure, but what is a fall weekend without a desperate, over the top catch by Amari Cooper? Or a super, magical run by Blake Sims? Sadly, we won’t see that until the Tide faces LSU on 11/8. For now, here’s some news and notes you need to know that will give you your Tide fix:

Sims adds Shake & Blake to No. 6 Alabama’s offense (Washington Times)

"AJ McCarron and Greg McElroy led Alabama (7-1, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) to national titles under Saban with their pocket passing, play-action throws and ability to efficiently manage the offense.Sims is trying to do the same with a little more Shake-and-Blake running thrown in during the senior’s lone season as starter. He has taken zone read plays for touchdowns of 43 yards and 28 yards in the past two games against Texas A&M; and Tennessee, and has rushed for 250 yards and five scores."

Good read from the Washington Times on how Blake is impacting the Alabama offense, one QB keeper at a time.

Derrick Henry leads uncharacteristically thin group of Alabama RBs at bye week practice (

"That’s left Alabama with Derrick Henry and Altee Tenpenny as its only scholarship running backs at its first two practices of the bye week. Fullback Jalston Fowler, who has plenty of running back experience, has increased his snaps at the position after receiving his first two carries of the year against Tennessee. The group is thin enough that freshman walk-on Buddy Pell of Mountain Brook was near the front of the line for drills at Wednesday’s practice."

One of the things that we thought would never happen at Alabama under Nick Saban: the Crimson Tide is suddenly thin and getting thinner at running back. Thankfully, one of the biggest characteristics about Alabama’s team: They were stacked at running back anyway. And Henry and Tenpenny aren’t too bad either.

The Battle Plan: Another Memorable Night At Rocky Top (

"The College Football Playoff Committee released its first rankings and I was impressed with their thinking. There is no reason to get overly excited or overly depressed by anyone in the Top 25 as there is much great football left to play. The top four will likely look a lot different by the end of the season as SEC West teams continue to play each other these next few weeks."

Bill Battle released another edition of his ongoing blog series, The Battle Plan. He talks a little football, but also goes into the graduation rate (Tide Football had a 80% rate) and the announcement that Hoover was going to host most of the home games this year for the baseball team. Speaking of sports other than football…

Coach Grant, Alabama striving for improvement (Yahoo! Sports)

"The Crimson Tide is trying to rebound from Grant’s first losing season as a head coach and replace leading scorer and four-year starting guard Trevor Releford.Alabama does return the other four starters from a team that went 13-19, finished 10th in the SEC and lost all 15 games away from Coleman Coliseum. This could be an important season for Grant’s future at Alabama."

There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that this year is make-or-break for Coach Grant. After suffering a losing season last year, you gotta think they will improve, but by how much? Without Releford, someone will need to step up to make this team as best as it can be game in and game out.