Alabama Football: Offensive report card vs LSU

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Alabama football fell out of the College Football Playoff hunt with a 32-31 overtime loss at LSU. The Alabama offense stumbled out of the starting gates, not scoring until late in the second quarter and not reaching the end zone until the fourth.

The unit looked sloppy, uncertain, and out of sync for the second straight game. This marked the fourth time in seven games against Power Five opponents that the offense has looked mediocre at best.

Alabama Football Quarterbacks: C

Bryce Young struggled throughout this game, completing less than 50 percent of his passes. Young had over 50 pass attempts for just the second time this season, with both games ending in losses for Alabama football.

Bryce Young threw for 328 yards and a touchdown in the game. As usual, he was constantly trying to single handedly create offense. In spite of his efforts, Young was frequently not on the same page with his receivers. He threw some uncharacteristically bad balls, at times missing open receivers. He also turned the ball over on Alabama’s first possession, throwing an interception in the end zone. This early missed opportunity for points turned out to be costly.

Young has not looked like himself for stretches of this season, including the past two games. Back-to-back subpar performances from the usually electric quarterback have led some fans to presume that his right shoulder is still injured to some unknown extent. Regardless, the Alabama signal-caller has some discernible and undeniable flaws in his game.

Alabama Football Running Backs: B

The versatile Alabama running back room was finally used in a more multi-dimensional way against LSU. Jahmyr Gibbs had a high usage rate as expected, and was impactful as both a ball carrier and a pass catcher. He tallied 163 yards on 23 touches for the game.

Jase McClellan provided some value in spelling Gibbs. His day was highlighted by a 65-yard catch and run, and he finished the game with 91 yards on just six touches. Roydell Williams was the designated short yardage back, and he capitalized on most of his opportunities. Williams ran for just 11 yards in the game, but scored two touchdowns and converted a pair of fourth downs.

The argument could be made that McClellan and Williams could’ve been used even more, but it was refreshing to see Alabama utilize its entire running back rotation.

Alabama Football Receivers: D

With one exception, the Alabama receiving corps was a non-factor in this game. On one hand, the Crimson Tide may have finally identified a WR1. Sophomore Ja’Corey Brooks emphatically answered that season-long question as he caught seven balls for 97 yards and a touchdown.

Brooks has been increasingly consistent as the Tide’s best receiver, leading Alabama wide receivers in yards for the fourth time in the last six games. He has also scored four touchdowns over that stretch.

What is concerning is that Ja’Corey Brooks is not yet near the caliber of WR1 Alabama has had in recent years. To further compound the matter, he gets no consistent help.

The Alabama running backs and tight ends regularly contribute to the passing game, but the other wideouts tend to disappear. Jermaine Burton, Jojo Earle, and Kobe Prentice combined to make four catches for 38 yards. Though it has talent, this is just not a championship level group of receivers.

Alabama Football Offensive Line: B-

For the most part, the Alabama offensive line did its job but was far from spectacular. While the Crimson Tide wasn’t dominant on the ground, it was able to run the ball at a 4.6 YPC clip. Just as importantly, it was able to convert short-yardage situations, which have not always been a given this season.

The line surrendered a lot of pressure on Bryce Young at times, particularly throughout the first half. It also had some early struggles with the crowd noise and committed several penalties. Left tackle Tyler Steen left the game with an injury and was replaced by veteran Kendall Randolph.

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Perhaps this second loss will cause Coach Nick Saban to finally re-evaluate this offense and make the necessary changes that will benefit this team for the remainder of the season and into 2023.