The Alabama Crimson Tide's performance on Saturday was surprising in some ways, and disappointing in others.
Personally, I enjoy having the problems we do have rather than having no problems at all. This being that every mishap the Crimson Tide had is very coachable.
If you look at the score, it does not do the Tide Defense any justice. If you ask me, 150 yards allowed is not too shabby. And I'm sure Bama fans are not complaining about putting up nearly 500 yards on a very strong Virginia Tech Defense.
I am going to list some Tide players and go in depth to explain what I see now, and believe I will see later in the season.
Julio Jones- He did not surprise anyone in the season opener, and did have his dropped passes. He still had his four catches for 46 yards. Virginia Tech had a double team on him nearly the entire night. This led to Maze and Hanks being wide open for many huge connections. I believe that as the season progresses, teams will realize that there are more weapons as receivers other than Jones. Teams will not survive double-teaming him, and once they stop doing so, He will live above the hype he has and be an even more dominant receiver.
Hanks/Maze- These two "dark horses" are loving the Jones double coverage. This leaves the two wide open, and they proved Saturday night that they can make over the shoulder catches. Look for them to explode and to provide for a threatening Alabama offense.
Greg McElroy- He surely did not surprise anyone in the first half. He quickly gathered himself and came out and had a great second half. While he is not a Tim Tebow, he fits into the Alabama offense well. In his first start at Alabama, he was 15-30 with 230 yards, I was not disappointed. Not to mention he had 28 yards rushing, and is not scared to take a hit. Look for him to get better over the season as he gains experience.
Mark Ingram- A bowling ball. Had a wonderful game, wheeling off 150 yards and a touchdown. He is a proven leader, and is the base of the Alabama offense. Very disciplined, and will remain consistent over the season as he did last year.
Roy Upchurch-While he averaged 12.9 yards a carry, he also had a few mental mistakes which is once again coachable. But you have to love the way this kid plays. He possesses a killer mentality. I can recall him running down the field and from what I saw, it looked like he could have outran a guy, but instead, he cuts right in to him, causing the Virginia Tech player to have to go to the sideline. And when he scored his touchdown, he nearly took a players helmet off as he fell into the endzone. He is an explosive back, and Iron out the kinks and we will have two guys fighting for a position.
Trent Richardson- I cannot recall ever seeing a true freshman running back attack the hole and by himself, power through five Virginia Tech defensive players to ground out a six yard carry. This guy will get more carries as the season progresses, and I look for him to live up to his hype and be a factor into this offense
The defense as a whole- Put pressure on Tyrod Taylor all night. Had a great performance, and showed why they could be the best defense in the nation.
That pretty much sums up what I see, and I would like to make a dedication to the Virginia Tech Hokies.
You guys had a good game, and lived up to the hype. I wish the best for your season, and hope you all bounce back. Good luck this season, and make the best of it.