Alabama Football: Offensive Report Card vs South Florida

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports /

After one of the most abysmal offensive performances of the Nick Saban era, Alabama Football managed to score enough points to win a 17-3 decision. Bama moves to 2-1 heading into SEC play with the win. However, the team may have more questions than answers once again following a second straight puzzling performance.

Alabama Football Quarterbacks: D-

Only the avoidance of turnovers saved the quarterbacks from an “F” in this game. Otherwise, Tyler Buchner and Ty Simpson contributed very little positive play at the position. Buchner started the game as expected, but looked rushed and uncomfortable, never finding a rhythm. He finished the game just 5-14 passing for 34 yards (2.4 YPA).

Ty Simpson eventually replaced Buchner and, when he could get a pass off, proved to be an upgrade. Simpson went 5-9 for 73 yards, including a long strike to tight end CJ Dippre. He got more comfortable as the second half went on, and led two touchdown drives to give the Crimson Tide the victory.

It will be fascinating to see who starts at quarterback next week, as the position still appears to be wide open heading into SEC play. Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson both offer different things at the position, but neither has performed anywhere near a championship level to this point.

Alabama Football Running Backs: B

The Alabama ground game finally got going in the second half of this game behind the power running of senior Roydell Williams. Williams finished with career highs of 17 carries and 129 yards, eclipsing the century mark for just the second time in his career. He scored the first touchdown of the game late in the third quarter and had another called back in the fourth.

Jase McClellan added 74 yards on 13 carries to push Bama over 200 yards rushing for the game. Heading into league play, these two backs need to prove that they can have this type of impact against high-level competition, because they have not done so yet this season.

Also somewhat concerning is the fact that we have hardly even seen sophomore Jam Miller or freshman Justice Haynes, two backs that generated hype all offseason.

Alabama Football Receivers: C

The Alabama receivers didn’t put up a lot of numbers against USF because they never got the chance. Alabama’s quarterback situation rendered the receivers useless for most of this game.

Isaiah Bond led the group with four catches for 42 yards, while tight end CJ Dippre led the team with 45 yards on his one grab.

Hopefully the Bama quarterbacks tighten up soon. This receiving corps is loaded with playmakers, but it was essentially wasted in a game like this.

Alabama Football Offensive Line: D

Much like the quarterbacks, the offensive line narrowly avoided an “F” here. Only its fourth quarter run blocking that allowed the Crimson Tide to salt the game away salvaged their performance from the rest of the afternoon. For much of the game, the line simply couldn’t block the Group of Five South Florida Bulls, who racked up 5.0 sacks and 8.0 tackles for loss.

True freshman left tackle Kadyn Proctor in particular continued to struggle. It is clear that he is still adjusting to the speed of the college game. Seth McLaughlin also had more issues with shotgun snaps. Though the weather (and the rampant QB changes) may have been a factor in this one, this is now three straight games of shaky exchanges.

Guard Tyler Booker sat with an injury and was replaced by Terrence Ferguson II on the left side, but Booker is expected to return next week. Some more shuffling on the offensive line could be inevitable going forward.

Next. Coach Saban has his work cut out for him. dark

Although this game did not feel like a win for Alabama Football fans, it goes in the “W” column just the same. For a team that has a lot of things to work on and plenty of room to grow, that is better than the alternative.