Monday, August 29, 2016

Offical Alabama football depth chart released

Alabama released its two-deep in advance of Saturday's opener with USC in Arlington, Texas. Commas separate first and second teams. Slashes mean they share the job. Without further delay, here's how it reads:
LT: Cam Robinson, Matt Womack
LG: Lester Cotton, Dallas Warmack, Brandon Kennedy
C: Bradley Bozeman J.C. Hassenauer, Josh Casher
RG: Ross Pierschbacher, Alphonse Taylor, Brandon Kennedy
RT: Jonah Williams, Korren Kirven
WR (X): Robert Foster/Calvin Ridley, Raheem Falkins
WR (H): Calvin Ridley, Gehrig Dieter/Cam Sims, Xavian Marks
WR (Z): ArDarius Stewart, Cam Sims, Derek Kief, T.J. Simmons
TE: O.J. Howard, Miller Forristall/Irv Smith Jr.
TE: Hale Hentges, Brandon Greene
RB: Bo Scarbrough/Damien Harris, B.J. Emmons/Joshua Jacobs
QB: Cooper Bateman OR Blake Barnett OR Jalen Hurts
DE: Jonathan Allen, Da'Shawn Hand
NT: Da'Ron Payne, Joshua Frazier
DE: Dalvin Tomlinson, Dakota Ball
OLB: Tim Williams, Anfernee Jennings/Terrell Hall
OLB: Ryan Anderson, Christian Miller/Jamey Mosley
MLB: Reuben Foster, Rashaan Evans, Mack Wilson
MLB: Shaun Dion Hamilton, Keith Holcombe
Star: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Shyheim Carter
CB: Marlon Humphrey, Anthony Averett
CB: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Shyheim Carter
SS: Eddie Jackson, Hootie Jones
FS: Ronnie Harrison, Deionte Thompson
Special teams
K Adam Griffith, Andy Pappanastos
P JK Scott
Hold: Cooper Bateman, JK Scott
SN: Cole Mazza
PR: Calvin Ridley, Trevon Diggs
KR: ArDarius Stewart/Trevon Diggs, Xavian Marks/Gehrig Dieter

Nick Saban says "we're sort of down to two guys," Cooper Bateman and Blake Barnett. "That's the way it's gonna be right now."

Don't understand this one, but Nick is the man and he knows what he is doing?. Jalen Hurts had America believing he would be in the top two, by simply outplaying the competition. Nick however, did say he would probably play Hurts later in the year.
Maybe its a seniority thing. However, we can not afford to play players based off time served. This is scary, as we might see a lot of unnecessary mistakes against USC that could have been avoided.
Confusing? Yes.

 247sports reports:
TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama head coach Nick Saban revealed which two quarterbacks he plans to send onto the field against USC in the Crimson Tide's season-opening game on Saturday, Sept. 3, in Arlington, Texas.
"We're sort of down to two guys here," Saban said. "Cooper Bateman and Blake Barnett are probably the two guys that we're getting ready to play in this game, and that's the way it's gonna be for right now. We're gonna try to continue to develop all of our guys, and we make this choice with what's gonna give us the best chance to win this game but it's also about future development of our players. And we're gonna play the guy that's the most ready to give us the best chance, but we also want to continue to develop guys that can compete at this position in the future. That's kind of where it is right now. There's really nothing else to talk about."
Bateman will likely make his second career start for Alabama, having started against Ole Miss in the team’s third game of the season a year ago before ultimately losing the quarterback competition to the eventual full-time starter, Jake Coker. The Utah native’s career passing numbers are 37-of-52 passing for 291 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
A former four-star recruit, Bateman was the No. 1 player in the state of Utah, No. 4 pro-style quarterback and No. 80 overall prospect in the 2013 recruiting cycle, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite rankings.
"Cooper has a great knowledge of the offense," Saban said. "Really manages things well when he's out there because of his knowledge and experience. I think he's continued to improve his passing ability and we have a lot of confidence in him. We feel good about the progress he's made.
"I don't think any of us are satisfied with any part of our team right now in terms of trying to continue to improve and develop and certainly quarterback's not any different. And the quarterbacks themselves probably would tell you the same thing."
Barnett has been the forgotten runner in the signal caller race, but Saban reminded everyone the former elite prospect is still on the roster and will likely see the field against his hometown team in USC on Saturday.
A former five-star recruit, Barnett was the No. 2 pro-style quarterback, No. 5 player in California and No. 21 over prospect in the 2015 recruiting cycle, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite rankings.
"I think that in Blake's case, he's been here for a little longer, a year-and-a-half, so he has a little bit of knowledge of the offense," Saban said. "And he's more confident, I think, in what he's doing. He's gotten bigger and stronger and he's throwing the ball effectively. One of the strengths on our team, I feel, is the receivers, and we want to continue to try to have an offense that can create explosive plays through those guys.
"Blake has really been an effective passer for us, so we want to continue to try and develop him and see where his knowledge and experience will take him relative to whether we feel like he can be a winning player at that position or not."
There was a lot of buzz surrounding true freshman Jalen Hurts in the team's practices prior to game week, but the first-year quarterback will have to wait behind the other two, healthy scholarship quarterbacks.
A former four-star recruit, Hurts was the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback, No. 25 player in the state of Texas and No. 177 overall prospect in the 2016 recruiting cycle, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite rankings.
"Jalen's got a tremendous future," Saban said. "I think he's got great ability. But I think that what you have to be really concerned about is, is a guy ready to go out there and not just do things that he can do, but can he run the offensive team?  If the back's lined up on the wrong side, is he going to put him on the right side? Is he going to be to point out the protection right so we pick up the blitz? These things are things that we want to be able to continue to develop in the players so that when they go out on the field, they can have success.
"Jalen Hurts has tremendous ability. We are not giving up on that ability and hopefully we'll be able to develop it that at some point this season he's going to be a productive player for us."

Enemy Report: USC (a Situation report of the Tides match-up)

Target Players
(These are the guys the Tide will need to shutdown to disable their offensives)

-Ju Ju Smith-Schuster WR #9
Schuster was one of the top receivers in the country last year with 89 receiving yards 10 touchdowns averaging 16.3 yards per catch.

- Justin Davis RB #22 and Ronald Jones RB #25
Both Davis and Jones nearly cracked the 1000 rushing yard mark last year. Davis rushing for 902 yards and Jones rushing for 987yards. Look for this one-two punch to come out swinging hard.

Tide’s Counteroffensives

Minkah Fitzpatrick and Marlon Humphrey
These where two of the best defensive players in the SEC last year as freshman. We expect them play even better this year because of their added maturity.
Tide’s Defensive Line
Ends Jonathan Allen, Da'Shawn Hand and tackles Da'Ron Payne and Dalvin Tomlinson will be damn near impossible to run against because they are all fast and agile, so expect USC’s running game to be nullified brutally.

USC Offense
USC’s offense was very good last year behind a quarterback with a very good arm and a high football IQ, Cody Kessler, Cody put up some impressive stats last year, Nearly 67% completions, 29 touchdowns, over 3,500 passing yards, and just 7 interceptions, but he is gone and they will replace him with Max Browne, who gets the start against our Crimson Tide this Saturday. Browne only had 12 pass attempts last year, his offensive line has yet to live up to their 4-5 star potential, allowing 38 sacks last year. Their bright spots lie in their All-American WR Ju-Ju Schuster. Schuster can take the top off a defense and score fast, but need a competent passer to get him the ball. They also, have two excellent running backs in Davis and Jones.

TIDE Defense
 Alabama returns most of its defensive front that turned in 52 Sacks last season, Max Browne should serve as a good entre’ for Williams , Allen and the rest of the pack. They led the nation in rushing yards allowed last year, meaning its going to be a long day for USC’s star running backs. Led by All-America safety Eddie Jackson and the corners, Marlon Humphrey and Minkah Fitzpatrick, the secondary is the scariest of any during the Nick Saban era. Expect them to suffocate Ju-Ju and make life miserable for the poor inexperienced QB  Browne.

USC Defense
USC will have a very inexperienced front seven defensive line this year as, they have loss 6 players from last year, meaning young players like Gustin, Masina, Jefferson, and Green, all returning freshman, will have to fill in for them. At linebacker, they have one Significant play maker in Cameron Smith, however, he missed several games last year with an injury. The secondary of USC is solid because they return many veteran players. USC gave up 7.7 yards per attempt (t-93rd) last year, but did manage 14 interceptions from that stout secondary, but they also, surrendered 25 touchdowns through the air in addition to over 3,500 yards.
TIDE Offense
Alabama returns one the best Offensive lineman in the country, in Cam Robinson along with some good experienced hogs up front. We will have a new QB, but it want matter, Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris should find plenty of daylight in that young innocent defensive front of USC. Calvin Ridley and Ardarrius Stewart blazed defenses last year, so they will bail out our young quarterbacks from trouble, if nerves get the best of them.

Notable USC Statistics
Starters Returning: 10/11
Key Losses: QB Cody Kessler, RB Tre Madden, FB Jahleel Pinner, FB Soma Vainuku, TE Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, C Max Tuerk
Key Returnees: RB Justin Davis, RB Ronald Jones, WR Ju Ju Smith-Schuster, WR Darreus Rogers, WR Steven Mitchell, TE Taylor McNamara, TE Tyler Petite, LT Chad Wheeler, LG Damien Mama, C Khaliel Rogers, RG Toa Lobendahn, RG Via Talamaivao, RT Zach Banner
FEI Offense Rank: 14
S&P Offense Rank: 15
S&P Rushing Rank: 34
S&P Passing Rank: 38
PPG: 33.9
Turnovers: 12 (7 INT)

Starters Returning: 5/12
Key Losses: DE Scott Felix, DE Greg Townsend, NT Antwuan Woods, DT Delvon Simmons, DT Claude Pelon, LB Su'a Cravens, LB Anthony Sarao, LB Lamar Dawson, CB Kevon Seymour
Key Returnees: DE Porter Gustin, DE Uchenna Nwosu, DE Osa Masina, NT Noah Jefferson, LB Cameron Smith, LB Olajuwon Tucker, CB Adoree Jackson, CB Iman Marshall, S Chris Hawkins, S John Plattenberg
FEI Defense Rank: 30
S&P Defense Rank: 42
S&P Rush Rank: 35
S&P Pass Rank: 41
PPG: 25.7
Turnovers Forced: 23 (14 INT)


2015 Record: 8-6
F/+ Rank: 17
S&P Rank: 17
FEI Rank: 17
Wins: Arkansas State, Idaho, Arizona State, No. 17 Utah, California, Arizona, Colorado, UCLA
Losses: No. 3 Stanford (x2), Washington, No. 11 Notre Dame, No. 19 Oregon, No. 21 Wisconsin

Final Analysis

The USC Trojans are clearly over-matched in this showdown. Alabama is just way too talented across the board and will probably have to implement the mercy rule during Saturdays match-up. They are a double digit favorite to run away with the victory.