Alabama played terribly especially on offense all night against a severely out manned Chattanooga Mocs team. Clearly they just didn’t want to be there. These games happen from time to time and there are some reasons. The lower tier Mocs squad is a very good football team, they are just smaller. Their strategy was not necessarily to win like a SEC teams would have been, their strategy was just to look as good as possible. So their pass patterns were all designed to hit quickly though for only a few yards. The results are that Alabama’s pass rushers never had time to get near the quarterback. They also got a few first downs here and there but if they had been serious about winning they would have taken some shots down the field. They only tried that once and consequently it didn’t work because the QB had to throw the ball because he was about to get hit. Defensively their smaller quick defensive line gave Alabama fits all night in pass protection. Again however why do not all teams use those kinds of players to counter our size? Because if they did and we were serious about beating them we would line up and squash them like a bug. The 2012 Championship game against Notre Dame is an example of what we would have done to the Mocs if were just interested in beating them. The strategy made the Mocs coach look like a genius but they may be changing their minds later on as three of their key players left the game with injury. They have their own playoffs to consider and there was no way they were going to actually win the game.
As it stands because the line brought their “D” game Hurts mainly got practice running for his life. The injuries to Alabama’s #1 and #2 left tackles should not have happened because they shouldn’t have been in there. Hopefully neither injury are serious. So far that is the indication.
The question now is this, Since Alabama won the SEC West a week ago has Alabama lost it’s edge? The answer to that question will define their season. Alabama must rediscover the fire within and bring it against an Auburn team that will stop at nothing and try anything to soil Alabama’s unblemished record. In reality Alabama could lose the iron bowl and if they win in Atlanta they will be in the playoffs. There are no unblemished top teams and aside from Alabama and the selection committee unlike the poll system does not punish a team for losing recently.
It was released this week that after the Alabama game they had no healthy QB’s left. Both backups were injured which is what prompted the parade of former quarterbacks coming in for the scout team. How scary would it have been to know going into the LSU game that we had no backup quarterback?
Which brings me to Tua Tagovailoa a five star QB prospect who had been verbally committed to the Tide. Many assumed Tua would go elsewhere when Hurts won the starting job. This week Tagovailoa announced he was not taking any more trips and was going to sign with Alabama this January to go through spring training. If he follows through this could be significant as like last Hurts last season Tua could be that scout team QB to prepare Alabama for the playoff games should they get there. It’s also significant in that Alabama needs a quality backup quarterback. No doubt if all goes well they will attempt to red shirt Tagovailoa in order to put two years between himself and Hurts but his skill set resembles Hurts so if Hurts were to get injured they would not have to redesign the offense so much for him to come in. Further more I am not convinced that Hurts is the real deal at Quarterback. His leadership and run game are outstanding but to date his passing game has been weak. We will find out much more in the next two weeks as Hurts faces two of the best defenses in the country, Auburn and Florida.