Alabama Football: Meet Doug Nussmeier, Offensive Coordinator of the Crimson Tide
Every Monday, The SEC Blog will feature an assistant coach in the SEC. This week, we take a look at Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.
It's been said that defense wins championships, and Alabama certainly proved that last season.
But the Crimson Tide offense was no slouch either.
It wasn't sexy, but the Crimson Tide's run-first approach—led by offensive coordinator Jim McElwain—finished second in the SEC in total offense in 2011 (429 yards per game) and 31st in the nation.
Where will Alabama finish in the SEC in total offense?
That was then, and this is now.
"Now" includes a new leader calling the shots for the Crimson Tide offense—Doug Nussmeier.
Nussmeier comes to Alabama from the Washington Huskies. Last season behind quarterback Keith Price—who set single-season school records for passing touchdowns (33) and completion percentage (66.9 percent)—the Huskies posted the school's second-best season in terms of passing yards (3,322), total touchdowns (57) and total points (431).
Despite the success, the Huskies still finished with the nation's 38th-ranked offense—seven spots behind Alabama. That follows on the heels of offenses that ranked No. 76 and No. 60 in 2010 and 2009, respectively.
Nussmeier's first stint as an FBS offensive coordinator came in 2008, when his Fresno State offense finished the season averaging 387.2 yards per game—43rd in the nation.
Not exactly setting the world on fire, but certainly enough bright spots for Alabama fans to be hopeful.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
At Alabama, there is an entirely different set of circumstances for Nussmeier to work with—and that's a good thing.
The Crimson Tide will boast the nation's top offensive line in 2012, a stable of running backs that are all capable of doing different things and a quarterback in AJ McCarron that proved late last season that he's capable of taking over in big games.
No matter what Nussmeier has done over the last few years at Washington and Fresno State, his mission at Alabama is simple: Run the ball and play defense.
According to the Mobile (Ala.) Press-Register, he knows it too:
I think when you look at the base premise of playing good offensive football and the way coach (Nick) Saban has done it over time, you look at the ability to run the football and the ability not to turn the football over.
Recognizing that mantra isn't rocket science. It's actually as clear as day. But actually living by it on game day is a little more difficult.
Nussmeier is saying the right things in the offseason. If he does them this fall, Alabama could be looking at another crystal football in its trophy case.
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