Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Hangover: Southern Mississippi

If I remember right, the last time Alabama played Southern Miss, Tyrone Prothro made his improbable catch.

That game was back when the Golden Eagles were a consistently good football team. The past few years, they haven't been.

As is typical these days, Southern Miss now runs a typical hunh offense. 

For the most part, Alabama handled them. The Golden Eagles had some decent drives, but the Crimson Tide didn't give up any touchdowns. The first quarter got off to a rocky start with the USM QB connecting on some longer passes that defensive backs were in position but got beat on the play, unfortunately. 

The defensive line played a good game and pressured the quarterback, especially in the middle and later parts of the game. Trey DePriest, Jonathan Allen, Xzavier Dickson, and others had strong performances. 

Blake Sims has started the first three games, and I'm sure he'll start against Florida next week. He commanded the offense effectively, made some plays with his feet, and connected on some solid passes. He went 12 for 17 for 168 yards, had 2 touchdowns passing, and ran a touchdown in. 

Once again, Amari Cooper was his main target as Coop hauled in 135 yards on 8 catches. 

There weren't any 100-yard runners for this game. The Tide gained 333 net yards in the rushing game but spread the yards to five different backs. Tyren Jones, who looks to be fourth on the depth chart, was impressive in mop-up duty with the second-team offensive line. 

Next week begins SEC play for the Crimson Tide as the Florida Gators visit T-Town. Florida narrowly escaped losing to Kentucky last night, so it's difficult to evaluate whether Kentucky is vastly improved and/or the Gators aren't as good as people think they are. 

I know Alabama will face a much stronger defense than they have faced the first three games. I expect them to stack the box to stop the run and challenge Sims to beat them. 

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