Alabama Week 1 Thoughts
by Justin Davis
Now let’s just be honest. The Alabama scout team would not have even broken a sweat against the San Jose State Trojans. So let’s keep the performance of the Crimson Tide in perspective. Of course they were going to look impressive.
The stories that dominated the headlines leading up to the game was Mark Ingram’s knee and Marcel Dareus’s suspension. Apparently last Monday, Ingram injured his knee in practice and received a probe. He is listed as day to day. The media ate up what this means for Ingram’s Heisman Trophy hopes or the hopes for the Tide repeating as National Champions. Ingram is more worried about his team winning football games instead of a Heisman Trophy for himself.
Marcel Dareus found himself in the cross hairs of the NCAA “AgentGate” investigation that involved UNC DT Marvin Austin, USC TE Malcolm Sheppard and others around the SEC and ACC. Alabama learned the fate of Dareus early last week. The fate was a two game suspension and repayment of alleged received benefits. Dareus in the view of many draft experts, is a very high first round draft pick in April’s draft.
Saturday’s showdown was set with San Jose State. Who would replace Ingram and Dareus? Trent Richardson had a good day, but he was overshadowed by Eddie Lacy. Lacy spent last year running on the scout team and had alot of hype coming into the game. Lacy delivered 111 yards on 13 carries and two TD’s including a 39 yard scamper. The one mistake he made was a fumble on the goal line. Sometime with the coaches should correct this for the future.
Three candidates are vying for the spot vacated by Dareus and Darrington Sentimore, Damion Square and Undra Billingsley all played well. Damion Square may have seperated himslef from the pack early on, but Billingsley helped himself with a couple of speedy heads up plays. If Dareus does wind up leaving early for the draft the DE position is not going to be a concern.
There were two other things that were attention grabbers. Julio Jones is back to regular form. Yes as mentioned earlier it was only San Jose State, but last year Jones still struggled against lesser coverage. He finished with 6 catches for 93 yards and an amazing one handed TD grab that will probably be played on highlight reels for years to come! The second attention grabber was the play of true freshman CJ Mosely. It was widely thought that he would collect a redshirt and learn from the upper classmen on the scout team. He impressed coaches in camp and earned some playing time and was phenomenal. He led the team with 7 tackles and three pass break ups. If Mosely didn’t have “hot” hands those PBU’s might have been easy Pick 6’s.
The Tide’s trouncing also landed a commitment from the top JUCO DT in the nation. Native Australian Jesse Williams stands 6’3 and weighs in at 330 pounds. He benches 500 pounds (a dream for Cochran I’m sure) and has quick athletic feet. Williams had over 25 offers nationwide, but was very impressed with the Tide. The Tide now have 18 verbal commitments.
This team is in for a fight when Penn State rolls into T-town this weekend.