Alabama Football: The latest from T-Town on Homecoming eve

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Mac Jones and Tua Tagovailoa are on the minds of Alabama football fans. Check out all the latest news from T-Town as the Homecoming game approaches.

More than a couple of things are going on in Tuscaloosa as Alabama football finishes preparation for its Homecoming game against Arkansas. Most of the attention spins around the capability of Mac Jones as a new quarterback starter and the recovery from injury of the man Mac is replacing, Tua Tagovailoa.

There are more ‘goings-on’ with Alabama football than those two stories. This post will touch on several items of note but first, the latest on Mac and Tua.

Alabama football insiders report that Mac has looked great in practice this week. He has thrown the ball well, generating new confidence from his wide receiving corps. It has been repeated Mac has risen to the challenge of taking charge of the Crimson Tide offense. Some Tide fans believe Steve Sarkisian must tailor a game plan around Mac’s skills. News out of T-Town is that game plan will still encompass almost the entire Tide offensive playbook. Sloppy conditions might affect the play-calling, but otherwise, insiders believe the offensive style will not be much changed.

The latest on Tua is he is off the scooter and in a boot. Saban has said Tua was practicing 12 days after surgery on last season’s ankle repair. Given the latest injury was less serious, Nick expects the same 12-day return by Tua. Alabama football fans will do well to remember that doing drills on the ankle after 12 days does not mean Tua will be nearly fully recovered. Even without re-injury, full recovery might not be achieved for several more weeks.

Our other news comes from Nick Saban’s weekly, Thursday night coaches show.

  • Saban credited Kendall Randolph on his added role as a blocking tight end. Randolph was hurt last week and Chris Owens stepped in but Nick said Randolph had performed well before getting dinged up.
  • The Tide head coach had plenty of praise for Ale Kaho. Saban said Kaho is a very good special teams player and actually used “phenomenal” to describe Kaho.
  • Alex Leatherwood, according to Nick has settled into his left tackle role. The Tide coach was complimentary of the recent performance of the entire offensive line, particularly on direct runs.
  • In no intentional slight to Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant, Nick said he would not do well using a coaching tower. Saban still enjoys being a position coach and not just the CEO of Alabama football.
  • With next week being a bye week, there will be no weekly coaches show. So a week early, Saban was presented with multiple birthday cakes to honor his 68th birthday.

Charlie Potter caught Nick’s sincere and evocative response to the birthday cakes.

"I guess we should be thankful that we continue to have birthdays."

Sound words from a man who recognizes his coaching career is closer to its end than its beginning.

Next. Tua Tagovailoa deserves the Heisman. dark

As he always is towards an upcoming opponent, Saban complimented Arkansas. The other ‘always’ on Saturday is the Crimson Tide will be playing to out-perform itself rather than beat an opponent.