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Alabama not spectacular, doesn’t need to be

Colorado State v Alabama Getty Images

After a huge win last weekend at Texas A&M, the Crimson Tide were not quite playing at top speed against Colorado State Saturday evening. They didn’t need a championship caliber level performance in their home opener though as the Crimson Tide put away Colorado State 31-6.

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron had a decent day in the box score, completing 20-of-26 for 258 yards and a touchdown. McCarron was replaced in the fourth quarter by Blake Sims, who tossed a touchdown on his only pass attempt of the game. He was also intercepted once. T.J. Yeldon sat out the first quarter to serve a suspension and rushed for 49 yards, which ended up leading the team in rushing.

Colorado State held their own for a while, but found out you just cannot make mistakes against a team like Alabama and expect to get away with it. A Colorado State punt attempt was blocked and returned for a touchdown in the second quarter. Rams quarterback Garrett Grayson had an encouraging outing, passing for 208 yards and avoiding a turnover as well.

Head coach Jim McElwain, a former offensive coordinator for the Tide under Nick Saban, can use this game to show his program what it takes to build a winning program. Colorado State may never be a program that competes for consecutive BCS titles, but if McElwain can take what has learned during his time at Alabama it could be realistic we will be seeing the Rams start to become a factor in the Mountain West Conference soon enough.

Now, can we take anything out of this performance by Alabama? It was probably likely there would be a bit of a letdown after last week’s roller coaster ride in College Station, and Saban was not exactly trying to embarrass one of his former assistants in his return to Alabama. If Alabama wanted to put this game away early on, they probably could have. I’m not convinced we saw the Rams exploiting any holes in the Crimson Tide on this night.

Alabama has a huge SEC West game next weekend in Tuscaloosa when Ole Miss comes to town. The Rebels will be coming off a bye week after defeating Texas last week in Austin. Ole Miss has been flying on offense so Alabama’s defense will be tested. But will Ole Miss be able to move the football all over the field the way Texas A&M did? If they can, Alabama will have to have a more urgent pulse from the start.

We should expect nothing less from a Saban-coached team though.

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20 Responses to “Alabama not spectacular, doesn’t need to be”
  1. speedel says: Sep 21, 2013 10:30 PM

    so sec defenses allow 40+ points to each other but the elite defense of csu holds them to 31….

    if the argument is the sec defenses are so good that low scoring conference games imply a still excellent offense then what does it mean if that still excellent offenses can’t dominate average ooc defenses?

    if it wasn’t for pre-season rankings Georgia would not be top 10. south Carolina would not be top 15.

  2. dcroz says: Sep 21, 2013 10:40 PM


    Did you even watch the game? Alabama was running nothing like the wide-open offense it did last week again Texas A&M. We only ran the ball about 15 times, which is highly unusual for us, and Saban played a ton of young guys. Still, the Tide was clearly hung over from last week, and CSU played its heart out. But as Kevin wrote, ‘Bama doesn’t need the style points. Ohio State, Louisville, and Miami might need to beat FCS or terrible FBS teams by 70+ points as they jockey for position for each other and against Oregon, but as long as the Tide keeps winning, it will be playing in Pasadena no matter what anyone else does.

  3. Deb says: Sep 21, 2013 10:40 PM

    Couldn’t be more proud of Bama and all its accomplishments. A win is a win, and I expected them to let down a bit after last week. We rolled … which is all that matters.

    Congrats to Colorado State on a hard-fought game. Former Steeler Joey Porter has meant a lot to me as a Pittsburgh fan. In his prime, he played the game with an intensity that’s impossible to coach. Now he’s sharing his knowledge and passion with the Colorado State players as a student assistant while he finishes his degree. Great job, Joey. Love you still! And congrats to Coach McElwain!

  4. speedel says: Sep 21, 2013 10:45 PM

    exactly. you will be playing for the nc game if you win out even if there are other undefeated teams. the perceived strength of the sec is that when Alabama, Florida, lsu play out 14 – 10 games the answer is that the defenses are just that good blah blah blah. but when sec teams puts up 35+ on other sec teams it because sec offenses are just that good. you dint get it both ways

  5. normtide says: Sep 21, 2013 11:08 PM

    That is a lot of words just to say you don’t like the SEC.

  6. speedel says: Sep 21, 2013 11:09 PM

    straight to ad hominem arguments…

  7. bamafan36 says: Sep 21, 2013 11:35 PM

    Here’s what I know…..the perception about the “supposed strength” of the SEC, has yet to disproved by any other conference in the Title Game over the last 7 years. If we are weak, let the other teams prove it in the BCS. Bottom line……perception is reality!

    Roll Tide, Roll SEC, and all other conference’s suck!

  8. speedel says: Sep 21, 2013 11:48 PM

    twice it was against another sec team. another couple of times there was another undefeated team that could/ should have been the opponents.

    the problem is the bcs. and how the sec is ranked within it

  9. sanduskyshowerboy says: Sep 21, 2013 11:58 PM

    Alabama is not the number one team in the country

  10. bamafan36 says: Sep 22, 2013 8:11 AM

    @speedel: One time it was two SEC teams in the title game…..and no one with HALF a brain can say that there was another team that could have beaten Bama or LSU two years ago. You may not like the BCS, but, what will be your reaction when the SEC wins the playoffs, and puts two on the CG in most every year? Should we go to an 8 team playoff? Great! Then the SEC will be guaranteed to have the top 3 spots! Let’s go to 16? Awesome! The SEC will field the only teams for the last two games! This playoff system will not help the other conferences… will hinder their chances.

    As for Bama not being the best team in the country…..I agree that they are not playing their best football. But, Alabama is the only team that can beat Alabama! Johnny Moneybags would dominate Oregon. Chester Mettenberger would demolish Ohio State. And, AwBarn would beat FSU. Bama already beat aTm, will beat LSU, and will dominate the Barn, again.

  11. amosalanzostagg says: Sep 22, 2013 10:55 AM


    Ohio State #1? Oregon?

    The closest team that could be #1 is Stanford.

    Way too much football before the next game of the century, Stanford against Oregon. Stanford isn’t

    Until Alabama gets beat, they’re #1 and deserve to be.


  12. 700levelvet says: Sep 22, 2013 12:02 PM

    Is he showing them how to be a complete turd?

  13. tlmoon2112 says: Sep 22, 2013 6:03 PM

    Speeded, please come and join our group.

  14. tide4life says: Sep 22, 2013 7:32 PM

    “Speeded, please come and join our group.

    Roll Turd”
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    And while you’re at it, look for little dweebs who are scared of The Tide

  15. Deb says: Sep 23, 2013 2:12 PM

    @700levelvet …

    Did Colorado State’s defense do something you found objectionable during or after the game?

  16. Deb says: Sep 23, 2013 2:13 PM

    I’m so tired of tlmoon2112 using CFT as a harvesting ground for his own site. Spamming shouldn’t be allowed here.

  17. normtide says: Sep 23, 2013 3:06 PM

    Think about it like thus Deb, the fact that he hates my team more then he loves his team is easily a reflection of his life. Plus, from what I’ve heard, he has a decent reason to hate his life

  18. bamafan36 says: Sep 23, 2013 3:23 PM


    Michigan has better hockey, Indiana has better basketball, Illinois has better baseball, Ohio has better football, Vermont has better cheese, and Minnesota has better fat girl’s! Wisconsin just sucks at everything, y’all

  19. dhardy8207 says: Sep 25, 2013 9:53 AM

    @bamafan36 says;

    “And, AwBarn would beat FSU”…….

    I agree with most of your post except this one little part…Not sure Auburn could pull off FSU. Despite their QB is a true freshman, he’s been very successful and they are playing with high momentum right now…

    Auburn still has some kinks in their system and LSU was able to easily exploit them. Not that FSU has the same fire power, but they are able to move the ball and their QB will only improve as he goes baring any injuries…

  20. 8to80texansblog says: Sep 26, 2013 10:24 AM

    I’ll be very interested to see the Bama v Ole Miss game and the Bama v LSU game.

    Bama has shown a great defensive performance against a so/so offensive team, they’ve shown a great offensive performance against a terrible defensive team. But in both of those games the other side of the ball was very weak.

    Ole Miss should give the Tide a chance to show they can be excellent on both sides of the ball in the same game against a quality opponent (no offense Rams fans). If they aren’t excellent on both sides of the ball… LSU will probably beat them.

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