Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Bama week - their OL vs our front seven

Probably goes without saying that this will be the biggest line our front seven has gone up against to date. Alabama's starters average 6-5 and 312 pounds.

Still, they may not be world beaters. Against our one common opponent in ULM, the Crimson Tide offensive line lead the way towards a modest 137 yards rushing on 35 carries. By comparison, we rushed against the Warhawks 38 times for 243 yards.

I would expect our defensive front to really stretch their protection on passing downs by using our speed off the edge, bringing Ganus/Kimbrough inside, and stunting Floyd and Carter up the middle. Guys like Sterling Bailey, John Atkins, and Chris Mayes will be called upon to do what they do best - eat space - so that our linebackers can roam free and make plays.

A lot has been made over the Alabama passing game. (I personally think too much is being made of it, but what business is it of mine if Tide fans want to criticize an offense that's averaging 35 points a game.) And I do think this week we could see Saban exert more control over Kiffin's play calling, or at least his game planning. They'll want to run the ball, play field position, and chew as much clock as the score will allow.

So that is why I found this nugget from the Bama-ULM writeup interesting:
There was an overload formation on Henry's fourth-and-1 touchdown run. They moved right tackle Dominick Jackson to the left side next to left tackle Cam Robinson. Henry ran right behind them for the score.
If you want to neutralize a defense's speed you run right at it with power. Like we said yesterday, this game will be won in the trenches. So look for the coaches on both sides to try and gain an advantage there whenever they can.