Alabama Football: Offensive Report Card vs Texas

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

In a 34-24 home loss to the Texas Longhorns, Alabama Football sputtered offensively for much of the game. The Crimson Tide could not establish a rhythm offensively, and repeatedly shot itself in the foot with errors that were reminiscent of last season.

This was far from a championship effort offensively, but is the product salvageable?

At the end of the day, Alabama Football has played just two games with a new quarterback and a new offensive coordinator. Perhaps there is room for the unit to grow and blossom as the season progresses, but what it showed against Texas this weekend was not promising.

Alabama Football Quarterbacks: D

Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe did not do the things I thought he needed to do in order to run this offense efficiently. He was unable to stay calm in the pocket and go through his progressions, and he made two major mistakes that contributed to the loss.

For the game, Milroe went 14-27 for 255 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, adding 44 yards on the ground. He didn’t get much help from his offensive line, was antsy as a result, and spent most of the game on the run trying to improvise.

Though Milroe connected on some deep shots, which are critical to keep defenses honest, he became overly reliant on them as the game progressed.

Milroe’s athletic ability makes him a big play threat on every snap, but the boom-or-bust approach that Alabama relied on last night is not a sustainable method to compete for championships.

Alabama Football Running Backs: C

The Alabama running backs were rendered ineffective for most of this contest, as Alabama Football spent a lot of time playing from behind.

Senior Jase McClellan ran hard to start the game, but Bama got away from using him as it fell behind in the second half and became one-dimensional. McClellan led the team with 45 yards on 12 carries and added a 12-yard reception.

Roydell Williams and Jam Miller both played rotational snaps, but were unable to make a difference.

On two different occasions, Bama RBs should have made big plays in the passing game, but the Tide missed both opportunities.

On the final possession of the first half, with the Crimson Tide in the red zone, Roydell Williams came open on a wheel route out of the backfield. The play should’ve resulted in a touchdown, but the ball was slightly underthrown and Williams lost his balance as he made the catch.

Later in the game, Jase McClellan found himself open on a similar play, wheeling out of the backfield and getting a step on a Texas linebacker. This time, the ball was overthrown and incomplete.

Give Texas the credit, but game circumstances and the structure of the Alabama offense mostly took Bama’s backs out of this game.

Alabama Football Receivers: B-

I thought Alabama’s receivers played well and showed big play ability when given the opportunity. Jermaine Burton caught a long touchdown pass for the second straight game, and had two more long scores called back.

Malik Benson and Isaiah Bond both flashed toughness and star power, but neither got enough chances to really impact the game. Kobe Prentice quietly led the Tide with five grabs for 68 yards. Tight end Amari Niblack caught a long touchdown pass from Milroe that allowed him to show his athletic ability.

Ja’Corey Brooks was a non-factor for the second consecutive game. Bama fans could view this through an optimistic lens, as the Bama offense has been operating essentially without one of its best receivers so far in 2023. In such a big game, however, this offense needs Brooks to step up. He disappeared for stretches last season, and it feels like it has become a trend.

Alabama Football Offensive Line: F

The Alabama offensive line generated a lot of hype this offseason, and the argument could be made that they were one of the primary reasons the Tide fell at home this weekend.

For starters, they just didn’t block well, which is the primary job description of an offensive line.

The pass blocking was poor all night, as the Tide gave up five sacks and allowed several more pressures. True freshman left tackle Kadyn Proctor was beaten routinely in his first big game. Proctor clearly has a lot of ability and will be a great player eventually, but the learning curve to this level of football is steep.

On top of the poor blocking, the offensive line had numerous costly miscues. The line committed penalties all night, including two that took touchdowns off the board.

Senior center Seth McLaughlin had repeated issues with shotgun snaps for the second week in a row, and Bama was fortunate to recover all of them. In fact, Jalen Milroe turned a ground ball into a touchdown for the second straight game. If this persists, the Tide will have no choice but to explore other options, because McLaughlin’s errant snaps are a disaster waiting to happen.

Next. Moving forward after early loss. dark

This was one of the worst offensive performances I have seen by a Saban-coached team in a while. While the Texas defense deserves a lot of credit, the quarterbacks and offensive line for Alabama Football need a lot of work before they are ready for SEC play.