Considering how dominant the Alabama offense looked versus Texas A&M, the ineptness of the Tide offense last night causes concern. It should be noted that starting right guard Anthony Steen, wide receiver Amari Cooper, and wide receiver Kevin Norwood were held out of the game because of minor injuries. Regardless, the offense wasn't able to run the ball with any consistency.
And the defense wasn't all that great. Lack of a strong pass rush and inconsistent cornerback play is plaguing the defense. Deion Belue, Alabama's number one, shut-down cornerback, was also held out the game, so that absence gave Alabama the opportunity to see what newer defensive backs could do. In fact, freshman Eddie Jackson and redshirt sophomore Bradley Sylve started the game at corner, and freshman Maurice Smith got significant playing time along with John Fulton, Cyrus Jones, and Geno Smith.
They need to get the cornerback play straightened out before Ole Miss comes to Tuscaloosa. Next week. In particular, John Fulton's play has been surprising. Last season he covered Texas A&M's Evans really well in that game, and toward the end of the season, it seemed like he was maturing into a really solid corner.
In more positive news, tight ends O. J. Howard and Brian Vogler continue to be a significant part of the offense, running back Kenyan Drake has looked impressive, and highly touted wide receiver Chris Black got his first touchdown in mop-up duty with the second-team late in the fourth quarter.
I don't know what to think about this team. In some respects, they remind me of the 2010 squad that got torched by South Carolina's Stephen Garcia and totally screwed up the Iron Bowl when they should have destroyed Auburn's dreams.
From what I observed last night, LSU is the team to beat in the western division of the SEC.