While Auburnâ€™s newfangled spread offense stinks and Floridaâ€™s high octane Tim Tebow sputtered Saturday, the Alabama offense is leading the conference and among the best in the nation.
Yes. Alabama is leading the conference in scoring offense and rushing offense. When was the last time we could say that? The Tide is fourth in total offense and 11th in passing offense. Hereâ€™s the breakdown of how SEC teams compare:
Team Rush Pass Total Scoring Alabama 1 11 4 1 Arkansas 12 2 7 9 Auburn 8 10 10 10 Florida 9 6 5 T2 Georgia 7 1 2 4 Kentucky 5 8 6 5 LSU 2 3 1 T2 Ole Miss 4 5 3 6 Mississippi State 11 7 11 12 South Carolina 10 4 8 8 Tennessee 6 9 9 11 Vanderbilt 3 12 12 7
Team Rush Pass Total Scoring Alabama 1 9 6 5 Arkansas 12 7 11 12 Auburn 6 4 4 2 Florida 5 2 3 3 Georgia 2 11 8 9 Kentucky 4 5 2 1 LSU 3 8 7 6 Ole Miss 9 10 9 11 Mississippi State 11 3 10 10 South Carolina 8 1 1 4 Tennessee 7 6 5 8 Vanderbilt 10 12 12 7
Alabama is rushing for 215.2 yards per game with an average of 5.2 yards per carry. Alabama is scoring 37 points per game ahead of second place Florida and LSU; the Florida and LSU average 35.5 points per game.
The Tideâ€™s passing game hasnâ€™t generated the headlines or heady statistics of the running game; however, the passing game was good enough to earn Alabamaâ€™s John Parker Wilson the honor of being SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Wilsonâ€™s performance against Georgia was impressive. He was 13-16 for 205 yards and a touchdown. He completed his first seven passes and he set the new Alabama career passing yardage record.
Not a bad night against any team.
It is an amazing night when those statistics were notched over the preseason number one team.
So what is the difference between this offense and past yearâ€™s for Wilson and the Alabama offense? The running game.
â€œItâ€™s so much easier. The first two years I was here, we couldnâ€™t run the ball at all,â€ Wilson said. â€œThis year we are establishing the running game and establishing it up front and itâ€™s making everything else easier. Itâ€™s making our whole team better.â€
Alabamaâ€™s all-everything left tackle Andre Smith said Alabama is having such strong success during the first quarter (when it outscores opponents 74-0) due to the off-season program.
â€œI believe itâ€™s from the off-season workout program,â€ Smith said. â€œ(Strength and Conditioning) Coach (Scott) Cochran and his staff really put into us to always start fast and finish strong. Itâ€™s really showing on the football field.â€
For the first time youâ€™ve got everyone in condition and pulling in the same direction. The players believe in what they are doingâ€”including the offensive scheme.
â€œYou see some stuff with people running everything,â€ Wilson said. â€œWe have a solid offense and itâ€™s been solid for however long itâ€™s been run. We feel good about it. We feel good about the plays we have and the guys we have running them. The confidence is the biggest thing.â€
Confidence. The players aren’t the only one with confidence in what Alabama is doing. The fans have it too.
When was the last time fans truly had confidence in the Alabama program?
It feels good. Doesnâ€™t it?