Alabama Football Spring Game 2013: Sloppy Offense a Reason for Concern?
Well it wasn't exactly the offensive explosion that many of us expected now, was it?
In Saturday's annual spring game that matched the "Crimson" Tide against the "White" Tide, the White came out on top by a 17-14 count. While the score sounds fairly reasonable, the way that score came to be was quite unpredictable.
The Alabama offense sputtered throughout the day and put up just two of the four touchdowns. The other two came on an interception return by safety Vinnie Sunseri and a fumble return by cornerback HaHa Clinton-Dix.
In the entire 2012 season, Alabama turned the ball over a mere 12 times. In the 2013 spring game, running clock and all, the Tide handed it over nine times.
Yes, the White outscored the Crimson 17-14, but the offense barely outscored the defense by the same score.
AJ McCarron struggled at times and was picked off twice, one for the score by Sunseri on the last play of the first half. The backup quarterbacks were less than impressive as well, combining for five more picks.
Receiver Amari Cooper was good but didn't really bring it like he did in the previous Tide scrimmage either.
The ground attack was decent but only scored once and was unable to carry either of the two squads.
So is there a reason to be concerned about the 'Bama offense?
For one thing, we all need to take this game for what it was. This was nothing more than a televised scrimmage.
Head coach Nick Saban did not have anything close to the kind of game plan he will be using when the Tide returns to action against Virginia Tech in late August. He played everyone on the team, many of them in multiple roles and in groups that had not often worked together in practice.
This dress rehearsal featured many players who will only see the field this fall in special teams roles, if at all.
The Alabama offense is going to be just fine this fall if for nothing more than the talent it will place on the field.
McCarron will be in his third year as the Tide starter. His first two seasons resulted in the kind of jewelry that most programs can only dream of.
At his disposal, McCarron will have an army of qualified receivers to throw to. Kenny Bell looked great today as did DeAndrew White and Chris Black. Cooper, Christion Jones, and Kevin Norwood will be right there with them making it tough for opposing defenses to double team any Tide receiver consistently.
At running back, T.J. Yeldon will be fine. He played quite well today both running and catching the ball. He will be spelled by Kenyan Drake and hopefully a healthy Derrick Henry who missed the game today after breaking his leg last week.
The offensive line will be deep, if not loaded. Center Ryan Kelly did a fine job today and he along with Cyrus Kouandjio and Anthony Steen will anchor the line.
It appears that the combination of Jones, Black, and Dee Hart will handle the kick and punt returns.
Yes, the Alabama offense is going to be just fine.
Did the offensive struggles today leave you with concerns for next season?
The struggles today were definitely concerning and frustrating to watch, but again, it was a scrimmage.
More than anything, the ineptness showed today will be something the coaching staff can and will refer to every time ego's need to be checked.
The same Alabama offense that has scored over 30 points per game each of the last five seasons will be back this fall, only this time with more overall talent than ever before.
Instead of focusing on the troublesome day the offense had, as real as those struggles were, maybe we should be applauding the fantastic effort put forth by the Alabama defense. And maybe that was the problem in the A-Day game.
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