Alabama Football Spring Game 2014: Live Game Grades and Analysis

Christopher WalshCollege Football National ColumnistApril 19, 2014

TUSCALOOSA, AL - APRIL 20:  Kenyan Drake #17 of the Crimson team runs for yards during the Alabama A-Day spring game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on April 20, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Crimson Team faced the White Team during the University of Alabama’s annual A-Day game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday. 

The Crimson Team had the first-unit offense and second-unit defense, while the White Team had the first-unit defense and second-team offense.

Check out the analysis and grades of the scoreless first half here:

Alabama's A-Day grades
Positional unitFirst-half gradeFinal grade
Pass offenseC-C+
Run offenseB-B
Pass defenseA-B+
Run defenseA-A-
Special teamsF/ID/I
2014 Alabama A-Day spring game

First-half analysis for the Alabama Crimson Tide


Pass Offense: Senior Blake Sims got off to a rocky start by completing just one of his first five passes, with a couple of drops and nearly one interception. He was just 4-of-12 for 46 yards. Redshirt freshman Cooper Bateman showed why he’s been moving up the depth chart when he led Robert Foster away from cornerback Tony Brown for a 34-yard reception to set up the first scoring opportunity. However, Bateman then took a bad sack.


Run Offense: Kenyan Drake, who was ordered to go to study hall instead of Thursday’s practice, fired up the crowd with a 27-yard carry in the first quarter, and T.J. Yeldon topped it in the second quarter with a 36-yard carry.


Pass Defense: Amari Cooper had just one reception, while sophomore tight end O.J. Howard never had a ball thrown their way. Safety Landon Collins missed an interception. The teams combined for five sacks.


Run Defense: Playing with the Crimson Team (second-unit defense), ends Tim Williams and Jonathan Allen were a handful for the reserve offensive linemen, and Allen also blocked a field goal. Combined, the two teams averaged just 3.1 yards per carry.


Special Teams: With Alabama not having any punters on the roster until the summer, reserve quarterback Alec Morris handled the punting for both teams, and he was also the holder. Adam Griffith missed a 37-yard field goal.


Coaching: The vanilla play-calling didn’t help, but the three biggest concerns in the first half were quarterback, kicker and offensive line. Offensive lineman Grant Hill (knee) and linebacker Reuben Foster (aggravated stinger) both headed to the locker room with injuries. FYI, when the Frisbee dog made a catch in the end zone during halftime, the Bryant-Denny crowd finally had something to celebrate. 

TUSCALOOSA, AL - APRIL 19:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide speaks with offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin during the Alabama A-Day spring game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on April 19, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Gett
Stacy Revere/Getty Images


Final analysis for the Alabama Crimson Tide


Pass Offense: The passing game finally started to look a little better in the fourth quarter, as both primary quarterbacks had touchdown passes, but the overall numbers still weren’t very good. Sims completed only 43.3 percent of his passes, while Bateman’s percentage was 45.8.


Run Offense: Yeldon finished with 95 yards on 11 carries and became the first player in Alabama history to be named the A-Day game MVP for a third time. Drake’s fumble deep in his own territory won’t help him get on the field in the fall.


Pass Defense: Even with both sides giving up a late receiving touchdown, the two sides combined for just six explosive plays. Cooper was limited to just three catches for 45 yards, while neither Jones nor Howard had a reception.


Run Defense: The lone touchdown allowed followed a turnover, while front seven players combined to make 19 tackles for a loss. Reggie Ragland led all players with 10 tackles, while Dillon Lee made nine and Trey DePriest seven.


Special Teams: After starting out 0-for-2, Griffith made a 41-yard field goal that proved to be the difference. Morris ended up with 14 total punts as the offense struggled through most of the game.


Coaching: Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin finally got a little creative with a reverse in the second half, but for the most part the play-calling wasn’t geared to fit Sims or attack the defense. Yeldon estimated that fans saw 10 percent of the offense, but with a steak dinner on the line for both the players and coaches, things got more serious near the end.