Alabama Football: Notes, thoughts and going-ons in Tuscaloosa

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

In the still brutal heat of late summer, Alabama football began its preparation for Saturday’s game against Southern Mississippi.

It is Mississippi Southern week in Tuscaloosa. No, that is not a typo. Alabama football fans will either get it – or not. Either way is fine.

Alabama football is favored by a massive five-plus touchdowns. The Golden Eagles are not a bad football team. They were 6-5 in 2018 and are 2-1 so far this season with wins over Alcorn State and Troy. The loss was by 23 points to Mississippi State. They are No. 106 in the FBS in Passing Yards Allowed. They rank better in Total Defense at No. 73. They are tied at No. 53 in Scoring Offense. One college football pundit we don’t know and therefore cannot vouch for ranked them as No. 17 among Group of Five teams.

For perspective, in last week’s win over Troy, the Trojans passed for 504 yards. Troy QB, Kaleb Barker is no Tua Tagovailoa. USM did not bother to run much against Troy but it did pass for 463 yards. Two guys ran up the biggest chunks of passing yards – Quez Watkins (208 yards) and Jaylond Adams (180 yards). Adams is also a dangerous punt and kick return man because he has blazing speed. How blazing? He might be faster than Henry Ruggs III.

News for T-Town (not all this information is official)

  • On Tuesday, LaBryan Ray tweeted surgery went well. There are details on the surgical procedure or how much time he will miss.
  • Antonio Alfano is apparently not officially in the NCAA Transfer Portal. The most persistent rumors are Alfano has not attended classes for at least a couple of weeks and is not expected to return.
  •  Nick Saban gave the players an off day on Monday. Terrell Lewis was not seen in the media viewing period of the Tuesday practice. Insiders say Lewis is fine as the Alabama football staff continues to not overwork him or Anfernee Jennings in practices.
  • There was no indication of offensive line changes on Tuesday. Chris Owens is still working as the first-unit center. If a change is coming at center, it could happen next week with the anticipated return of Deonte Brown at guard. If Brown regains a starting role, one of Owens, Evan Neal or Landon Dickerson must give way. Nick Saban seems to value Dickerson’s physicality.
  • Drill lines on Tuesday showed no changes at the Will linebacker slot. Christian Harris and Ale Kaho are expected to battle for a starting role against USM.

Next. The Changing Tides of CFB. dark

In case it was missed, Nick Saban is now a member of the Louisiana Hall of Fame. Nick commented he made a mistake leaving LSU for an NFL job.