Crimson Conclusions: Alabama vs. ULM


Sep 26, 2015; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Jarran Reed (90) knocks down the pass of Louisiana Monroe Warhawks quarterback Garrett Smith (13) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Tide defeated the Warhawks 34-0. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday the twelfth ranked Alabama Crimson Tide shut out the ULM Warhawks 34-0 at home coming off last week’s frustrating loss to Ole Miss. The Tide was led by a suffocating defense and an inconsistent offense throughout the day.
Offense Still Has No Identity
The Alabama offense continues to struggle and simply cannot find it’s identity. The personel would lead one to believe that Alabama should be a smash mouth run oriented offense, but Lane Kiffin continues to try and air the ball out.
The problem there is that Coker is still one of the most inconsistent quarterbacks to ever start at Alabama under Nick Saban. Coker will make a fantastic throw and then a few plays he will stare a receiver down and make a horrible, late throw. He also just flat out can’t complete a deep pass. Four games down and Coker has still not completed a throw more than 20 yards in air, and the majority of the attempts haven’t even been close.
The deep ball is something that can and likely will bite Alabama in the rear down the line as teams will more and more stack the box to stop the run and sit down on short routes. Another problem is that the receivers are just as inconsistent as the quarterbacks at this point. Chris Black, ArDarius Stewart, and Calvin Ridley each dropped passes that would have gone for a first down in the game, and if Coker is ever going to gain the confidence he needs he will need for his receivers to make plays for him. Kiffin never committed to the run in the game and part of that may been the inability for the offensive line to push around the much smaller ULM defensive line. The fact that the Tide o-line continues to struggle is very disturbing and with Georgia, and later LSU, coming up it is a huge problem.
Derrick Henry was sick all week in practice and did not play much in the game but Kenyan Drake actually got a few more touches than usual this week and was excellent averaging nearly seven yards per carry, but he still only had 10 carries and Kiffin never really committed to him either. If there is one positive to come from this game, offensively, is that Saban stuck with Coker throughout the game and it seems like, at least for now, he is Alabama’s guy at quarterback. If he can play without looking over his shoulder going forward it may help his confidence. Probably one of the most frustrating things to happen all day for Alabama fans was the “illegal man” downfield penalty that the referees threw on Alabama. The referees threw a flag on Cameron Robinson despite the fact that he and every other offensive linemen were pretty clearly under three yards past the line of scrimmage. It is pretty ironic considering the Ole Miss Rebels had linemen about seven yards down the field on one of Chad Kelly’s long touchdown passes and no flag was thrown. Not to mention the countless times it happens in Auburn games.
Dominant Defense
ULM just simply could not move the ball in any way, shape, or form against Alabama. They totaled 9 yards rushing and only 83 yards passing with only 92 total yards in the game. In fact they had only two more yards in total offense than in penalty yards in the game. The Tide defense also recorded 6 sacks and 8 deflected passes. The Alabama defense, especially the line, has really become excellent at getting their hands on the ball to break up passes. One of those deflections led to Ronnie Harrison’s first career interception. Jarran Reed, Dalvin Tomlinson, Da’Shawn Hand, Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen, A’Shawn Robinson, Denzel Devall, DJ PEttway, Tim Williams, Rashaan Evans, and Ryan Anderson practically lived in the ULM backfield all day long. The defensive backs played pretty well also, though there was one very controversial pass interference call on Anthony Averett at one point, but they really didn’t have to do a whole lot with front seven dominating as much as they did. Next week will obviously be a much greater test against Georgia’s extremely efficient offense and Heisman candidate Nick Chubb.
Griffth Improving, Scott Regressing
Adam Griffith converted his first field goal of the season last week and he continued that this week as both of his attempts were good, including a 40 yarder. He seems to have gained a bit of confidence back and that could be huge for him for the rest of the season. JK Scott, on other hand, continues to struggle. He shanked another punt and averaged under 40 yards on his punts. Scott doesn’t even look like the same punter this season and it is unbelievable how one of the best punters in the country a year ago could regress so much.
The Tide faces the Georgia Bulldogs on the road next week at 2:30 PM.
Jake Coker: 17-31, 158 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
Cooper Bateman: 1-1, 8 yards
Kenyan Drake: 10 carries, 65 yards
Derrick Henry: 13 carries, 52 yards, 1 TD
Damien Harris: 4 carries, 23 yards
Derrick Gore: 3 carries, 2 yards
Ronnie Clark: 1 carry, 0 yards
Calvin Ridley: 4 catches, 38 yards, 1 TD
ArDarius Stewart: 3 catches, 39 yards, 1 TD
Cam Sims: 3 catches, 21 yards
Chris Black: 2 catches, 23 yards
Richard Mullaney: 2 catches, 10 yards
OJ Howard: 2 catches, 8 yards
Michael Nysewander: 1 catch, 19 yards, 1 TD
Daylon Charlot: 1 catch, 8 yards
Minkah Fitzpatrick: 7 TKL, 1.0 TFL
Reuben Foster: 5 TKL, 1.0 TFL
Dalvin Tomlinson: 5 TKL, 1 PBU
Jarran Reed: 5 TKL, 2.0 TFL, 1 PBU, 1.0 sack, 1 QBH
Da’Shawn Hand: 5 TKL, 1.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 QBH
Reggie Ragland: 4 TKL
Dillon Lee: 4 TKL
Geno Matias-Smith: 3 TKL, 1 INT
Marlon Humphrey: 3 TKL, 2.0 TFL, 1 PBU
Bradley Sylve: 3 TKL
Shaun-Dion Hamilton: 3 TKL
Denzel Devall: 2 TKL, 1.0 TFL, 2 PBU, 1.0 sack, 2 QBH
Keith Holcombe: 2 TKL, 1 PBU
DJ Pettway: 2 TKL, 1.0 TFL, 1.0 sack
Tim Williams: 2 TKL, 1.5 TFL, 0.5 sack, 1 QBH
Ryan Anderson: 2 TKL, 2 QBH
Hootie Jones: 2 TKL
Cyrus Jones: 1 TKL
Rashaan Evans: 1 TKL, 1.0 TFL, 1.0 sack
Ronnie Harrison: 1 TKL, 1 PBU, 1 INT
Eddie Jackson: 1 TKL
Damien Harris: 1 TKL
OJ Howard: 1 TKL
Daron Payne: 1 TKL
Michael Nysewander: 1 TKL
Tony Brown: 1 TKL
OJ Smith: 1 TKL
Darren Lake: 1 TKL
Josh Frazier: 1 TKL
A’Shawn Robinson: 1 PBU, 2 QBH
Jonathan Allen: 1 QBH
JK Scott: 6 punts, 37.8 YPP, long: 52 yards
Adam Griffith: 2/2 FGs, Long: 40 yards, 4/4 XPs
ArDarius Stewart: 1 KOR, 13 yards
Cyrus Jones: 5 PR, 43 yards

More from Bama Hammer