Alabama Spring Game 2013: Recap, Highlights and Analysis

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIApril 20, 2013

It was just a spring practice, but the Crimson and White were sloppy on Saturday. The two offenses waited until the last two minutes of the fourth quarter to show some life.

A.J. McCarron's White team ultimately prevailed 17-14, per Alabama's official Twitter account.

McCarron drove his side for a score in less than a minute after Ha Ha Clinton-Dix scooped up a forced fumble and rumbled 55 yards for the score to put the Crimson team ahead.

With a chance to win it late, Alec Morris drove his Crimson team inside the White's 15-yard line. But overtime was off the table in a spring game, so they had to go for the touchdown and failed to convert.

Aside from the frantic finish, this was largely a game dominated by the defenses.

This is Alabama, so seeing a defensive struggle shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.

I'm not sure how much can be made of this exhibition, but beyond the fact that the defenses were predictably good, the offenses struggled mightily for most of the game.

There were a total of nine turnovers in the game.

The intensity was obviously absent, so 'Bama can only hope that playing real games will tighten things up a bit.

Players and Units That Shined

Sophomore: WR Amari Cooper

I know USC wideout Marqise Lee is the most ballyhooed receiver in the nation, but Cooper is the truth. His big-play ability was apparent late in the season and in the national championship game. 

This spring, he hasn't lost a step.

For an offense genuinely predicated on the running game, Cooper could be the team's most dynamic player this season.

Punter: Cody Mandell

Along with booming 50-plus yard punts on the fly, Mandell also showed the directional punting and accuracy to place punts inside the 20-yard line.

The senior will be a valuable setup man for the already nasty 'Bama defense.

Running Back: T.J. Yeldon

Eddie Lacy is gone, but Yeldon is ready to carry the load. He was solid on Saturday with 69 yards rushing and a touchdown

The Secondary

The quarterback play wasn't stellar, but the secondary forced most of the mistakes. They came up with countless big plays.

If this unit was a concern heading into the 2013 season, this performance should ease concerns to a degree.

Players and Units That Struggled

The Quarterbacks

None of the signal-callers looked especially great—especially in the first half. A grand total of 10 points were scored by the offenses, and all the interceptions were troubling.

Poor reads and bad decisions marred the play of the younger quarterbacks primarily. Blake Sims looked especially bad.

McCarron looked comfortable, and he's proven throughout his career that no one should worry about him after a spring practice. As long as he's healthy, Alabama will be fine.


McCarron wasn't a world-beater on Saturday, but he did hook up with Kenny Bell on this touchdown pass.

Landon Collins picked off freshman quarterback Alec Morris on this play. It was a nice play on the ball and return, but at the end of the play, Collins wiped out a clock operator named Doyle Shaw on the sidelines, per Alex Scarborough of ESPN.

He was taken off the field on a stretcher for precautions.

McCarron was spared the consequences of a poor decision here. The pick-six was called back because of a flag, but it still wasn't a smart throw.

He wasn't so fortunate on this one. Vinnie Sunseri took the deflection to the house at the end of the first half to put the Crimson side on the board.


This team has had so much success over the last two seasons. Many of the players on this team were a part of one or both of the last two national championships.

It seems it was a bit difficult to get up for this scrimmage—until the end.

The young quarterbacks proved there is a major drop-off after McCarron, but the defense will still be very good.

They may be able to count on the secondary for more big plays. By the time the season ends, 'Bama will be in the hunt for a third straight national championship.

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