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6 First Impressions of the Crimson Tide's Blowout of the Wolverines

Ernest ShepardAnalyst IIIAugust 8, 2016

6 First Impressions of the Crimson Tide's Blowout of the Wolverines

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    There were many impressions made while watching the Alabama Crimson Tide slam the Michigan Wolverines 41-14.

    At the least, there should be one big question made after the win.

    The Crimson Tide, do they deserve to be the No. 1 ranked team in the nation after defeating a highly ranked opponent? That was one of the questions answered.

    In a game that was only close in the first 10 minutes of the first half, the Crimson Tide showed why they are always in the BCS National Championship picture.

    Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban had his team focused and ready to defend their title as the best team in college football.

    That is the first of many impressions that I got while watching the Crimson Tide defeat the Wolverines.

Nick Saban Is a Master of Preparations

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    Nick Saban is one of the most prepared coaches in college football history.

    Many of us remember when Saban left the sideline of the Miami Dolphins immediately after their season-ending loss to the Indianapolis Colts to meet with the Crimson Tide brass. The meeting resulted with the eventual hiring of Saban and the rest is history.

    Though widely criticized for his departure, Saban made the correct decision. He is a college football coach at heart. Saban, after winning two national champions with the Crimson Tide, is arguably one of the all-time greatest college football coaches.

    Saban keeps his teams ready for the gridiron every Saturday.

    Against the Wolverines, Saban had his Crimson Tide focused after the opening kickoff. They never appeared distracted by the moment, not with the Cowboys Stadium crowd of 90,413 on hand. That is something their counterparts seemed to struggle with, the grand stage.

The Wolverines Appeared Distracted

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    The Wolverines will bounce back and be prominent again at season’s end, but they were not ready for the grand stage.

    Wolverine players were a nervous group. Some will blame the large crowd, while others will blame the pressure that comes with playing the defending national champions. They left so many plays out on the field at Cowboys Stadium.

    Receivers were short-arming catches, rushers were not hitting the correct holes and the pass protection was abysmal at times.

    On the defensive side of the ball, the Wolverine secondary was second-guessing on several passing plays. In the process, they were making Crimson Tide QB AJ McCarron look like the best quarterback on the field.

Denard Robinson Should Be More of a Passing Quarterback

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    Denard Robinson had an uneven, yet gutsy performance against the Crimson Tide.

    From a talent standpoint, Robinson is superior to McCarron because he is regarded as a dual-threat. The question on Robinson is simple, is he a runner parading as a quarterback?

    Robinson ran too much.

    He had nearly as many rushing attempts (10 attempts for 27 yards) as he did pass completions (11 for 26 with 200 yards). Robinson may be an excellent runner, but he should be a passing quarterback first. Early on, Robinson tried to make plays with his feet, but it proved to be a bad move. The Crimson Tide features some of the fastest defenders in college football.

    On one fourth quarter play, he scrambled and appeared to have hurt his elbow. Robinson showed guts in returning, but that play could have had a lasting result.

    His receivers did him no favors in the loss to the Crimson Tide. When there were coverage breakdowns by the Crimson Tide defense, the Wolverine receivers did not capitalize as much as they should have.

    Exploiting Vinnie Sunseri, the Crimson Tide’s sophomore DB, in the second half should have been part of the adjustments made by Wolverine coach Brady Hoke. Watching Sunseri get beat on a few plays should have been a sign that the Wolverines had an advantage.

    Instead, the Wolverines never adjusted. Had they made adjustments, they would have forced the Crimson Tide to dial back the pressure applied by their defensive front line.

Who Should Be No. 1, Alabama or USC?

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    The Crimson Tide deserves to leapfrog the USC Trojans for No. 1 in the polls.

    The Trojans have a great team but they defeated an over-matched Hawaii Warriors team, 49-10 that came into the game unranked.

    The Crimson Tide’s win over the Wolverines was more impressive. One, because the Wolverines were ranked eighth, they were the better opponent. Secondly, the Wolverines were a team with a chance at contending for the national championship. Quality of the win should prevail in this case.

    While it is difficult to penalize a team for winning, few can argue the differences in defeating the Wolverines and the Warriors. The two teams are night and day.

    The win against the Wolverines must begin a great debate about which team should be No. 1, the Trojans or the Crimson Tide.

    If left up to me, I give the advantage to the Crimson Tide.

T.J. Yeldon Has the Tools to Be the Next Great 'Bama RB

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    T.J. Yeldon is a stud.

    The freshman running back proved he was worth the hype with his 111 yards, one touchdown performance.

    Yeldon only had 11 rushing attempts but the effectiveness in which he ran was shades of Mark Ingram at his best. Ingram, currently with the New Orleans Saints, was a punishing back who mixed power and speed to perfection.

    Yeldon also snagged a 26 yard catch proving that he will be a threat not only as a runner, but as a receiver as well. He is a total package.

    He flashed his speed and elusiveness while evading the would-be Wolverine tacklers. He broke tackles, showing raw power and strength. Yeldon also seemed unfazed by the expectations of many Crimson Tide fans. The pressure of becoming the next great running back was far from Yeldon’s mind.

    We will be looking forward to seeing more of Yeldon in the future. He will give the SEC some trouble in the years to come.

Alabama Football Fans Are as Passionate as Any Other Fan

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    From a personal standpoint, I watched the Crimson Tide-Wolverines game in Chicago with a die-hard Crimson Tide fan. As he shouted, “roll Tide,” some cringed, I embraced it.

    How we choose to root for our teams should be at our discretion. It does make some people uncomfortable but at the same time, it shows our passion for our team. We are ecstatic when they win and we are down in the dumps when they lose. It is the love and spirit of the game that drives us.

    In my many years as a sports fan, I have seen a strong love for a team several times. The lasting impression that I received was fans of the Crimson Tide are just as passionate as Chicago Bears fans, New York Yankees fans and Manchester United fans.

    They live and die with their favorite teams. As some us refuse to understand this, I can respect it. It is, after all, the reason why I express my opinions to this day.

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