Alabama Football: Things We Learned and Monday Message Board 11/03

Nic GulasSenior Analyst INovember 3, 2008

Hey Guys,

It was good to see Alabama dominate a game against a lesser opponent for the first time in what seemed like forever. 

Alabama is now 9-0 and has amassed an NCAA record 21st win streak of 10 or more games. 

So, after yet another win, and extending the best start ever for a Nick Saban coached team, the Alabama Crimson Tide found themselves in a spot they haven't been in since Jan. 2nd, 1993 and haven't been in in the regular season since November 1980.   

Alabama is the unanimous No. 1 team in the nation.

After an incredible ending in Lubbock, Texas on Saturday, the Crimson Tide benefited from the loss handed to the Texas Longhorns by Texas Tech to take over the No.1 ranking in every poll out there. 

The Tide sit atop the AP, Coaches, and, most importantly, BCS rankings heading into the final three games of the season. 

O yea, and for the interesting stat of the week, it only took Nick Saban 669 days to get Alabama back to the number one spot in the country. 

Mark Ingram has found his stride once again.

People were starting to worry about Ingram after getting injured against Ole Miss and then having a down day in Knoxville. 

Ingram dismissed all those worries on Saturday against the Red Wolves.

The freshman running back ran the ball 12 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday, achieving his first career 100-yard game at the college level and made me look like a genius for picking him as player of the game on WVUA's Crimson Tide Gameday.

Ingram looked like the guy who ran all over Clemson in Week One and came back just in time for the home stretch when Alabama will need everything at their disposal to finish off this season.

Defense is starting to get stronger.

Sure, this may not be the best time to declare this after a weaker opponent, but the Alabama defense shut out a team who had put 83 points on the board earlier this season. 

Alabama used two things on Saturday which have not always been the strong points of the defense: quarterback pressure and pass defense.

Alabama managed to take down Corey Leonard four times on Saturday, easily the highest number of sacks tallied by the Crimson Tide this season. 

Bobby Greenwood and Brandon Deaderick are both improving as the season goes along and both manage 1.5 sacks on Saturday.

As for the pass defense, the Tide held Arkansas St. to only 67 yards passing, kept Leonard under a 50 percent completion rate, and even returned an interception for a touchdown.

The pick-six by Rashad Johnson was the first score of his career and was the fourth defensive touchdown by Alabama this season. 


So, as I stated above and is rather well known by now, Alabama is the No.1 team in the country this week.

Alabama heads to Baton Rouge for a game that has been circled since Nick Saban took the job at Alabama.

Saban wasted no time this weekend eliminating the distractions from his by releasing or making statements about his role in this week's game and the Tide's new ranking.

So, since we don't talk to Saban or the team, we can speculate all we want about these distractions.

So, the question being asked this week is: Do you think Alabama will be affected by all the distractions this week?

There are plenty distractions to go around besides what has already been mentioned.  Alabama has lost five straight to the Bayou Bengals and hasn't won an SEC game in November since 2005.

So, as always, you can leave your comments below or write an article about how these distractions may or may not affect the Crimson Tide.

And one last thing this week.  I was named a sports blogger for the Crimson White this past week and will be updating that at least once a day, so if you want to take a look at it, here is your link.  Scroll down until you see "In the Nic of Time."

That's all for this week, guys.

Thanks, and Roll Tide,