Love him or hate him, Lane Kiffin is making a positive contribution to the Alabama Crimson Tide offense.
No. 3 Alabama rolled up 645 yards of total offense during its 42-21 victory over the Florida Gators.
While Alabama has been known as a run-first, methodical offense during head coach Nick Saban‘s tenure, the team’s new offensive coordinator has his unit rolling during Alabama’s 4-0.
In 56 games as a college head coach, Lane Kiffin’s team had 600+ yards of offense five times. It’s happened twice this year at Alabama.
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) September 20, 2014
The performance was impressive on many levels.
First, Kiffin added tempo which created explosive plays for the Crimson Tide. Alabama had two touchdown passes of 79 yards or longer in the first quarter.
Second, the offensive coordinator is doing exactly what a good coach does. He’s putting his quarterback in a position to succeed. The tempo and overall play calling helped first-year starter Blake Sims post a career day with 445 passing yards and four touchdowns.
Third, Kiffin is getting the ball to his play-makers. Amari Cooper is arguably the best wide receiver in college football. The junior wide receiver was targeted numerous times and finished the game with 10 receptions for 201 yards, which was third-best effort in Alabama history. Cooper would have broken Julio Jones‘ single-game receiving record if he didn’t have two big plays called back due to penalties.
The wide receiver shouldn’t expect his load to decrease as the season continues, though:
Under Lane Kiffin, Robert Woods posted an 111-catch season, and Marqise Lee had a 118-catch season. Amari Cooper already has 43 for 2014.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) September 20, 2014
Amari Cooper is on pace for 129 catches, 1,965 yards and 15 TDs in the regular season.
— Jon Solomon (@JonSolomonCBS) September 20, 2014
Finally, Alabama is still a balanced attack. Members of the Crimson Tide ran the ball 52 times. And Kiffin found a way to distribute the ball between multiple talented running backs. Derrick Henry led the team with 20 carries for 111 yards. T.J. Yeldon also had 18 carries.
All of this was accomplished against a very talented Gators defense. Excellent play calling simply exploited Florida’s weaknesses. After this drubbing at the hands of Alabama, the temperature of Florida head coach Will Muschamp‘s hot seat continues to rise.
Kiffin, meanwhile, makes Alabama’s offense as dangerous as it has ever been under Saban.