Alabama Football: A few thoughts on the victory over Arkansas

TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 20: Treylon Burks #16 of the Arkansas Razorbacks stiff arms Malachi Moore #13 (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 20: Treylon Burks #16 of the Arkansas Razorbacks stiff arms Malachi Moore #13 (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Alabama Football won an important game Saturday for two reasons. First, it guaranteed a berth in the SEC Championship game, without having to win in Voodoo land next Saturday. Also, it was a win over a ranked team, though that may be lost on Tuesday night when the new CFP rankings come out.

My perspective going in was both sides of the ball would have their best games. The offense probably met those expectations and minus a few unforced errors, it clearly would have been the best performance.

On the other hand, the defense played just good enough to win. Even with a couple of missed assignments, the Tide handled the Hogs’ ground game well. The Razorbacks only managed a 2.6 yards-per-rush average. Pass defense is where the Tide broke down, yielding 358 yards. Five QB hurries and three sacks helped but there were too many coverage miscues.

Treylon Burks may well have pushed on Josh Jobe on one touchdown catch, but even with Burks ailing the Tide had problems covering him. Josh Jobe, who was replaced by Kool-Aid McKinstry, appears to still be hampered by turf toe. Jobe should probably rest against Auburn.

Bryce Young’s record-setting performance was sensational. He missed two or three throws and made a mental error with one sack. Beyond those hiccups, his performance was Heisman-worthy. Alabama football fans have been worried about his accuracy on deep balls. He alleviated those concerns with a precision bomb to Jameson Williams. In throwing for 559 yards, he had only nine incompletions and three of those were drops.

Damieon George Jr. struggled a couple of times in pass protection, but the offensive line appears to be best with him at right tackle and Dalcourt at center.

Many (maybe most) Alabama football fans will disagree, but in my view, Bill O’Brien had a good plan and called a good game. Using Kendall Randolph as a blocking tight end helped pass protection. The Tide’s RPO game was effective. Perhaps O’Brien can be faulted for offensive line failures this season. After all, it was O’Brien who brought Doug Marrone to the staff. In fairness to Marrone, some recruiting misses in the previous two classes have hurt. The ’21 class may prove to be an improvement as Latham, Ferguson and the Brockermeyer twins have more time to develop.

What about Alabama Football vs. Georgia

Have much can the Crimson Tide improve in two weeks? A guess is some but not drastically. Georgia, and after pasting Michigan State, maybe Ohio State might be college football’s only elite teams this season. But the Crimson Tide is very good and though with weaknesses, is capable of winning against the Bulldogs and the Buckeyes. The Tide showed against the Hogs, that even with miscues, it can find ways to win.

Next. 25 Greatest Games of the Saban Era. dark

One more thing – despite claims to the contrary, Will Anderson’s play on the onsides kick was textbook football.