It’s time for some ‘Downhill’ Alabama football against FSU

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 24: Quarterback Greg McElroy
TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 24: Quarterback Greg McElroy /

Alabama football fans, Greg McElroy says it is time for some ‘downhill’ football. We review what Greg said and consider the fit for the FSU game plan.

Most of us Alabama football fans consider ourselves armchair coaches. With a remote in one hand and our favorite beverage in the other, we fearlessly embrace calling every play on offense and defense. Some of us are better at it than others. None of us has an accurate memory of how often we are wrong.

From that basis, let’s consider what Alabama football should do offensively against Florida State. Armchair coaches suffer no consequences for being wrong, but knowing our limits it is wise to follow the advice of college football experts.

The experts are multitudinous in number. Choose your favorites wisely. Many discard substance in favor of sizzle. One of our favorites is Greg McElroy who all Alabama football fans know and should love. The young man led the Tide to a national championship.

Plus, he knows football, particularly offensive football. This week he explained to Marty Smith of ESPN that the Tide needs to go ‘downhill’ this season. In the video below, Greg explains why and also how two particular formations work best.

Is Greg correct? If so, is he tipping the Tide’s hand to FSU?

Is Greg correct? Will Brain Daboll dial up the pistol formation and expand the use of Jalen Hurts under center? We hope so but we don’t know. Even better, Jimbo Fisher and his defensive coordinator, Charles Kelly don’t know either.

We suspect Greg’s suggestions are more than entertaining chatter. No doubt he has talked with Alabama football coaches. He must believe the 2017 offense will use more formation variation to enhance the running game.

‘Downhill’ football does not mean smash mouth, grind it out, run-heavy football. Nick Saban always wants to achieve a balanced offense. Pistol formations can trigger passing as well as running. Jalen under center is perfect for a return to play-action deep throws. Brian Daboll is expected to use all available weapons. Tight ends and running backs coming out of the backfield will be part of the passing attack.

Still the arsenal of Alabama football backs, running ‘downhill’ with a five to seven yard, head of steam, is exciting. FSU has a strong, experienced defense. Alabama football has some offensive line questions. But if the Noles cannot stuff an Alabama ‘downhill’ rushing attack, the game will not be close. If they commit too many bodies to stop the run, play-action will find receivers open downfield.

We agree with Greg. Against the Noles, Alabama football needs to go ‘downhill.’

Next: Ten FSU players Tide fans need to know

From the armchair, here is a call for Saturday. When FSU defensive end Brian Burns (6-feet-5, 220 pounds) is in the game, run straight at him – downhill. We don’t even care which back is used. Damien, Bo, Najee, any of them will be fine, just put them in a downhill formation. Our compliments to Greg McElroy.