Alabama Football: Surely Aggies not as bad as last Saturday

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Alabama Football: Aggies come to Tuscaloosa looking for healing.

Jimbo Fishers’ football team could get well fast Saturday in Tuscaloosa. A victory over the Alabama football team would set the Aggies back on a path to factor in the SEC West race. Getting well, of course, applies mostly to player and team confidence. The Aggies’ competitive spirit took a gut punch from Vanderbilt in College Station.

The Dores almost provided more than the Aggies could handle. No disrespect to Derek Mason and his Vanderbilt team, but they cannot be so improved over last season, an upset of a No. 10 ranked team was possible.

No, the Aggies had to go a long way toward beating themselves. Their offensive leader, senior quarterback Kellen Mond caused some of the damage, He fumbled three times, losing two of them. The Aggies lost another fumble as well. Jimbo Fisher supported his QB on Monday. Fisher does not have another ready option.

Saturday’s stats give the impression Mond did not connect on enough passes. The numbers are misleading. Quoting Cahil Murchison,

"The main reason for Mond’s numbers is not his doing, but drops by his receivers. Six passes that likely should have been caught hit the ground. If we add back just four of those, Mond is up to 75% (completion rate)"

Fisher’s offense lost a big weapon when last season’s leading wide receiver, Jhamon Ausbon opted-out to concentrate on preparation for the next NFL Draft. On Saturday, scheme may have been a bigger problem than dropped passes or fumbles. Rightly so, Fisher did not want to show Nick Saban and Pete Golding much of his offense. The question now is how much offense does he have to show.

Even without dropped passes, the Aggies winning via Kellen Mond’s arm alone is fanciful. If the Crimson Tide front seven shuts down Jimbo’s rushing attack, the 17-point spread is too low. The bright spot in the Aggies’ offense against the Dores was Isaiah Spiller. Spiller rushed for 117 yards on only eight carries. Ainias Smith ran ten times for 5.1 yards-per-carry. Jimbo might have run more but his offense only kept the football for 55 plays. Between the pass drops and the fumbles, the Aggies never found a rhythm.

No one should expect the Aggies offense to play so poorly two games in a row. Mike Elko’s defense performed well Saturday. Again, no offense intended to Vanderbilt, but how could Elko’s guys not do well against the Dores? Elko relies heavily on his safeties in run support. That could be unwise while trying to cover Jaylen and Smitty.

What happened in College Station was more improbable than Mississippi State taking down LSU. There is just no way the Aggies are that bad. Just ask Nick Saban.

"They’ve got like 16 starters back from last year’s team, seven or eight on each side of the ball. Got a really good running back. Quarterback’s got a lot of experience. Very good player. Offensive line has four out of five starters back. Spiller’s a good running back. They’ve got really good players. They’ve got seven or eight starters back on defense, and their defense was ranked last year."

Nick praising an upcoming opponent is not new. Even if he doesn’t, he must make sure his team believes it. Others apparently agree with Saban. The Aggies only dropped to No. 13 in the polls.

dark. Next. What was learned from the Missouri game.

From The Action Network, the line opened with the Crimson Tide as a 16.5 point favorite. It has not moved much since, with most bettors picking Alabama football to cover.