Alabama vs. North Texas: 3 Thoughts the Day After

Damon YoungCorrespondent IISeptember 18, 2011

Trent Richardson gets his groove back.
Trent Richardson gets his groove back.Butch Dill/Getty Images

With just one more game before conference play, North Texas afforded Alabama an opportunity to shore up some loose ends before the Arkansas Razorbacks come calling.

While the Crimson Tide did what they had to do with an impressive looking 41-0 score line, it did seem as if the team had it sights set to the start of SEC play.


It's McCarron or Bust

Alabama came right out of the game and established AJ McCarron with few quick throws that were executed nicely. While he did misfire on an opening-drive pass to Marquis Maze in the end zone, AJ was all around solid. His performance was precise, and whatever lingering doubts anyone had about the starting quarterback should now be properly extinguished.

Phillip Sims looked unsteady in limited action, but to his credit, it's hard to establish a rhythm when you are only allowed eight pass attempts. That stat alone, in a game like this, should answer the starting quarterback question. Alabama's season now appears to rest on the shoulder's of AJ McCarron, but he should have some help in carrying that load.


Feast or Famine on the Ground

Alabama bludgeoned North Texas for 347 yards rushing. 274 of those yards came on five carries for an average of 10.5 yards an attempt. The rest of the time the Crimson Tide averaged a mediocre 2.6 yards per carry for the other 73 yards.

That may cause alarm for some, but Alabama has two explosive running backs and these are precisely the types of runs one expects to see from Eddie Lacy and Trent Richardson.

After three games, the ground attack feels to be gaining traction and it was quite refreshing to see the line opening up wide running lanes, even if the competition was inferior.

The Tide have shown the ability to be workmanlike with their rushing, which was evident in the grind-it-out performance against Penn State, or explosive like last evening in Bryant Denny Stadium.


Steady As She Goes

 It's no mystery that the rock this Alabama team is built on is the defense. The fact that there isn't much to talk about after the North Texas contest is a good thing. The Crimson Tide got the shutout and are a well-oiled machine when it comes to stopping opposing offenses.

As Alabama's own offense continues to improve, this team is only going to get scarier, which is a good thing with Arkansas coming to town.