Passing attack

Are Alabama fans turning into Auburn fans? Are Alabama fans ready to shuffle quarterbacks faster than Auburn fans shuffle excuses?

Have Alabama fans decided John Parker Wilson should be thrown under the bus? From reading the message boards and talking with friends—the answer is yes or at least maybe.

Beginning in week 1, a vocal element of fans have questioned Alabama’s passing attack. After week 4, there are serious questions with the passing game, and fans are trying to figure out what is wrong.

Suggestions range from poor technique caused by a fear of getting hit to not understanding the offense.

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I would add an additional issue, the offensive play calling during the game isn’t always great. It is better than anything under Shula, but far too often Alabama has abandoned the running game. The outcome against Georgia would have a far different look had Alabama been able to grind out yards. However, offensive wunderkind Major Applewhite seems to default throwing the ball instead of running it.

Of course, you can’t blame that all on play calling, many of these decisions are made when putting the game plan in place. But for whatever reason, much of the first half of the Georgia game saw J.P. Wilson befuddled by Georgia’s zone defense, and not much help from Alabama’s play calling.

The failure to convert on third downs put the thin Alabama defense on the line throughout the first half. Alabama was fortunate to only be down 10; it could have, and should have been much worse. The offense made Alabama fans yearn for the days of Gene Stallings and Mal Moore’s offensive juggernaut.

To be honest, things will get better. Wilson is a better quarterback than we are seeing now. He was able to function under Mike Shula’s offense. If he could thrive under that, he’ll thrive under this new offense too. But in the mean time, Alabama must give him help on the ground. And that means making a real commitment to running the football.