Replacing Bryce Young might not be the biggest challenge for Alabama Football. Young leaves a huge hole to fill no doubt, and any Crimson Tide fan hoping for Young’s special kind of magic in 2023 will be disappointed.
But with arguably the greatest Crimson Tide quarterback in a generation and maybe ever, Alabama still lost two games. In the 2022 season, Alabama Football had too many flaws for Bryce Young’s magic to overcome.
Success in the 2023 season can come by correcting three major offensive problems from last season. A consistent Crimson Tide fix to those problems should mean the Crimson Tide will not need a QB superstar to win championships.
Alabama Football Offensive Keys
The old ‘run the damn ball’ demand from Alabama fans faded somewhat last season. It did not disappear from the mouths of many fans, but other Alabama fans realized Alabama running the ball in certain situations was not predictably effective.
The Alabama Crimson Tide was No. 123 among FBS teams in one key rushing statistic. On third down plays with 1-3 yards for a first down, the Crimson Tide averaged 1.54 rushing yards. Although the sample of measuring fourth-down rushing plays is small at just nine attempts, the 2022 4th down stat is worse. Alabama was No. 127 nationally and last in the SEC on 4th down rushes, with an average result of minus-1.44 yards.
There is broad optimism Alabama can and will run the football effectively in 2023. One college football expert recently talked about the Tide’s offensive line being something special. The young men carrying the football behind the Tide’s offensive line can be special as well.
Hopefully, the Tide’s new most popular demand will not be ‘catch the damn ball.’ Last season, as calculated by Pro Football Focus and reported by Nick Kelly of the Tuscaloosa News, Crimson Tide receivers dropped 23 catchable passes. That is balls that should have been caught, not incompletions due to a defender. The problem was seen again in the A-Day game and has been a problem in fall camp. It must be corrected.
Another problem from last season was the Tide was No. 39 among FBS teams in turnovers lost. That kind of stat can be overcome by defensive takeaways, but the 2022 Tide offense didn’t get much help in turnover margin. In that key stat, Alabama was No. 80 nationally last season.
All three areas of Alabama football weakness can be shed by the Crimson Tide. Doing so should mean no Bryce Young is needed.