Showcasing Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses of Alabama Football

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IOctober 3, 2012

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 29:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide waits to lead his team onto the field to face the Mississippi Rebels at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 29, 2012 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

After winning the national championship last season, No. 1 Alabama has rolled to a 5-0 start in 2012, including a 41-14 dismantling of then-No. 8 Michigan in Week 1.

As the Crimson Tide get set to face Missouri on Oct. 13, midseason is about that time to start breaking down the team. 

You certainly can't complain about the offense or the defense at this point in the season, but there are some areas in need of improvement for Alabama nonetheless.

Let's take a look at the Crimson Tide's strengths and weaknesses this season.



Pass Offense

Junior quarterback A.J. McCarron has had a fantastic season so far, completing nearly 66 percent of his passes for 9.0 yards per attempt while tossing 12 touchdowns and zero interceptions. 

The receiving corps has also been explosive, with five different players totaling at least 100 receiving yards so far. Freshman wideout Amari Cooper leads all receivers with 222 receiving yards and three touchdowns.


Rush Offense

Alabama has averaged 4.7 yards per carry this season and reached the end zone 10 times. Junior Eddie Lacy (314 yards, four touchdowns) and freshman T.J. Yeldon (292 yards, two touchdowns) have been the big rushers for the Crimson Tide.


Pass Defense

Not only have opposing quarterbacks completed just 52.7 percent of their passes against Alabama, they've averaged 4.9 yards per attempt while throwing two touchdowns to nine interceptions through five games. Alabama is tied for the lead in interceptions in the SEC.

The Crimson Tide also rank 10th in the nation in sacks, per


Rush Defense

Alabama has allowed just 2.0 yards per carry so far this season, the best in the nation. That includes allowing only three rushing touchdowns.

The Crimson Tide held Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson to 27 yards rushing on 10 carries in Week 1 and ceded just 59 yards on 20 carries to Knile Davis in the 52-0 blowout of Arkansas.


Kickoff Returning

It's bad enough that Alabama's offense has been rolling to the tune of 40.2 points per game. When the Crimson Tide average 31.5 yards per kickoff return (tied for fourth in the nation), that's just not fair.

Sophomore wideout Christion Jones leads the team with 167 yards and a touchdown on five returns. 




Alabama has curiously fumbled the ball 10 times so far this season—tied for 94th in the FBS—but has been able to get away with only three turnovers from those fumbles.

Of course, the Crimson Tide have forced eight fumbles themselves.



If you can somehow pin the Alabama deep into its own territory, then you have a better chance of scoring against the team. 

Junior Cody Mandell is averaging 42.3 yards per punt, which is about middle-of-the-road in the FBS. The ironic thing is this is actually an improvement over last season's numbers for Mandell (38.8 average).

Again, I am nitpicking, but the Crimson Tide aren't an elite team in the punting category.


Punt Returning

The Crimson Tide no longer have receiver Marquis Maze, so it was only expected that they wouldn't be as good in punt returning.

Christion Jones is averaging 10.9 yards per punt return, middle of the pack in the nation, and he has yet to bring one back for a touchdown.

By comparison, Maze averaged 13.2 yards per punt return in 2011.


Kickoff Return/Punt Return Defense

Alabama is ranked 45th in the nation in yards allowed per kickoff return (19.81), per The Crimson Tide are also ranked 60th in yards allowed per punt return (four for 28 yards), via

On the other hand, the Crimson Tide haven't allowed a touchdown in any of these areas so it's not a big issue for the team as of yet.

Follow <span class=


    Former CFB Player Convicted of Rape

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Former CFB Player Convicted of Rape

    Alec Nathan
    via Bleacher Report

    LOOK: Former Alabama QB AJ McCarron tweets his excitement about being in Buffalo

    Alabama Crimson Tide Football logo
    Alabama Crimson Tide Football

    LOOK: Former Alabama QB AJ McCarron tweets his excitement about being in Buffalo

    Saturday Down South
    via Saturday Down South

    Predicting Who Will Win CFB's Biggest QB Battles

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Predicting Who Will Win CFB's Biggest QB Battles

    Brad Shepard
    via Bleacher Report

    Alabama football team to visit White House

    Alabama Crimson Tide Football logo
    Alabama Crimson Tide Football

    Alabama football team to visit White House