Alabama Football: This team has found its identity

The Alabama Crimson Tide could be the best team in America. It has the equivalent of an NFL defense. The television crew enjoyed citing ESPN’s Todd McShay’s belief that the Crimson Tide boasts eight of the top 150 pro defensive prospects.

The way the Alabama football team smothered Penn State was a statement—defense is the heart of this Alabama team. The defense is this team’s identity.

It would be tempting to lavish praise and shine the spotlight on Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron. He deserves praise. McCarron was solid in the Alabama win over Penn State.

McCarron finished the day at 19 of 31 for 163 yards and one touchdown. He executed well despite being on the road in a hostile and loud environment. He did not commit a turnover after tossing two interceptions last week against Kent State. The experience will help McCarron and the entire Alabama offense making the road trips in the savage SEC. McCarron was aided by a strong ground game with Trent Richardson gaining 111 yards on 26 carries with two touchdowns. Richardson added four catches for 19 yards.

Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron said he was pleased by taking care of the football this week. “Not just myself, the whole offense did a great job of not allowing turnovers and the defense got us turnovers,” Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron said. “So that’s the way we have to play. If we keep playing like that, it’s going to be a special team.”

McCarron’s play garnered praise from his teammates.

“A.J. (McCarron) is a leader himself,” Alabama wide receiver Marquis Maze said. “He is young but he takes command of the huddle. He does a great job.”

Some of that leadership was learned from watching former Alabama star Greg McElroy.
“I’ve been sitting behind Greg (McElroy) for two years; I learned a lot sitting behind him,” Alabama’s quarterback said. “That’s why I have the players around me though to help me out. As long as they have confidence in me, we’re fine.”

Alabama football coach Nick Saban praised A.J. McCarron, but pointed out there remains competition for the quarterback spot.

“Well we still have competition at the position,” Saban said. “We really feel that we have two very good players. We want both guys to continue to develop, but I thought A.J. (McCarron) did a nice job today.”

Saban made a few additional points about the quarterback.

“AJ’s got a good arm. He’s accurate. When he sets his feet right, he’s really good. Sometimes he gets a little out of sorts, as he did the week before,” Alabama football coach Nick Saban said. “I think he played a lot better today. Probably was a lot more confident. I think he did a good job with the plan on what we needed to do on offense today- try to create some balance and barriers of our own, and able to nickel and dime a little bit to move the sticks, and put some really good drives together. I still think we need to minimize the 3 and outs. We did a good job on 3rd down today. We have to continue to improve in those areas.”

However, this game was all about Alabama’s defense.

The Crimson Tide defense showed more poise this year than it did last year. It is clear there is more maturity on this squad.

“(Last year) we were young. When the game got rowdy, a lot of people’s focus went the other way,” Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick said. “A lot of people started getting down about themselves. But this year when someone makes a bad play it’s just like water under the bridge and go to the next play.”

Saban praised the way his team overcame the first Penn State onslaught.

“They fought early in the game and we had to sort of overcome some adversity early on in the game,” Saban said. “I think it speaks well of the kids and the discipline and certainly the toughness to stay within yourself to do the things you need to do to stay focused and make adjustments and get things right.”

This defense is special. It made a statement Saturday.

22 Comments

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  1. 1
    JoeyG

    The Defense really did look better after the first drive. Its hard to believe we didnt get a large number of penalties playing infront of that crowd. It was good to see AJ check out of a couple of plays. I also noticed we ran the ball more on the edge in the second half. The line played every well in the passsing game. The defense is ready and I think the offense took its first step today in becoming a better unit. RTR!

  2. 2
    Crimsonite

    I think there will be nay sayers who wil try to cite Penn St’s lack of imagination on offense. But that was not the case. Even though St’s O’line held on every play, their QB was under pressure all day. At one point in The 4th quarter we came within a gnats azz of intercepting 4 passes on 4 consecutive plays and a few plays later we got one. They were forced to try to move the ball in a more basic vanilla manner. It was a nice game except for the phantom fackmask call, i think on Dre’ as he took the guy out of bounds. Still think that second in a row interception review on Robert was a good interception. But ABC conveiniently went to commercial during the review. Shoot me if I’m wrong, but isn’t a review part of the game? So why cut to a commercia? Anyway I was pleased to see that Todd Blackledge didn’t let Homerism get in the way of his commentary. Speaking of which – how about the dumbazzed offical at Awbarn that the Miss St coach had to run on the field and nearly slap to get a time out. An Awbie grad?

  3. 3
    finebammer

    yes, the defense is a good one.

    A J looked better.

    but when are we going to get some kickers? we can’t put a kickoff into the endzone. our punting is average at best.

    we had at least two situations i can recall sat. where we had a short punt, gave them good field position then committed a penalty to really set things up for them.

    i watch games from around the country. i see kickoffs routinely put in the endzone. i see kickers precision punting, putting the opposition’s offense in bad field position. they’re out there.

    let’s face facts. paterno still doesn’t have a qb and it hurt them badly.

    we’re eventually going to face an opponent who does and these short field situations due to average or poor kicking is going to bite us in the ass.

  4. 4
    # 1 al. fan

    I don’t know!! I still see a lot of things that needs improvement, namely at the quarterback position. I’m still kinda shaky with either Sims or AJ but I can only hiope they’ll improve before Ark. The defense is getting good, I see a lot of improvement there but I like to see them push the offense back so as to get to the qb. It won’t get much easier after next week so I hope they can get it all together in the time they have left….. RTR

  5. 5
    BamaDon

    The offense played a 100 percent better against
    Penn State than Kent State. Still need to improve
    in running game and better passing game with
    some body needs to step up with Maze and make
    more yardage down the field. TE’S played great
    and Williams made a great catch in the game.
    Defense gave up late touchdown but other than
    that looked great. RTR

  6. 6
    Bobby Justice

    Wasn’t as impressive a victory as I had expected. I mean didn’t PSU get a couple snaps in the red zone? I know, late in the game, playing our second and third stringers and all. But still we could have made a statement by not letting them score. Either way I think we proved that we’re the best team in the country right now. LSU is probably the second best but our defense is good enough to do what Oregons could not. It might be January before our team gets a real challenge .

  7. 7
    CRIMSON HAMMAH

    mce needs to take his trent over center over center and shove it up his anus – not impressed ….finally they have lacy over center and he says screw this and bounces it then trent copies and scores

  8. 8
    Crimsonite

    What the hell you’re talking about Hammah. Lacy came in fresh against a tired and dejected defense. They weren’t up for his speed and spins. Trent’s TD was a straight up the center blast that just broke wide open. I agree on the kicking, although we did out punt Penn St. You’re not gonna finda precision punter like Fitzgerald very often. Foster can put them in the endzone cause he’s done many times. I don’t understand his problem with not doing it regularly. Damn, all of our kickers were ranked #1 or #2 coming out of high school. Shoot me if I’m wrong, but don’t they play on a 100 yard field in high school? Surely a high school football isn’t filled with heilium? I mean man I just got tired of seeing Awbies kicker put every one to the back of the endzone. I will give the kickoff team credit for one thing. The hang time of Foster high short kickoffs combined with our excellent special team coverage did allow them to stop Penn St short of the 20 twice and that is better than a touchback, aids with momentum too.

  9. 9
    Pluto

    Kicking game sucks. O-Line needs to learn how to block and tackle better. It is fortunate that we have one more exhibition – the “Mean Green” – to get all of this right – or else……

  10. 11
    bamatruth77

    If this teams identity is that bullshyt offense then we are in bad filling trouble y’all!!! Defense can not get a sack or force turnovers ints were close but penn st is a shyt heel team at best!!! Bama is far from where a national championship team should be! I mean just look at mcarrons stars! We threw the ball that many times and still only had 160+ yards passing with one td he threw into double coverage which might I add he will get his ass chewed out for! Don’t count the trophies just yet guys! ……..oh btw AWBARN IS THE LUCJIEST FUKKIN FOOTBALL TEAM IN THE NATION!

  11. 12
    LSU

    LSU beats the dog sh@t out of a top five team and you idiots think Alabama is better? Don’t beat your chest too hard all you morons did was beat a mediocre Penn State team with a horrible offense. Auburn beat a better team this weekend then you did and thats saying something. See you in T-town!

  12. 14
    finebammer

    Spot on, as usual Pluto.

    I’ve been working in Arkansas for the past few wks. They’ve got us circled on the calendar.

    About 40 mins. west of Little Rock on I-40 there’s a billboard tribute to Petrino. It’s paid for by alum thanking Petrino for coming to Fayetteville.

    At the bottom is a Petrino quote:

    “Make no mistake, it’s our turn.”

    It’s my sense that Arky’s are getting tired of waiting on their turn. They believe they gave the game away last year.

    They want this one bad. Real bad. And if Petrino has his ear on the tracks, he may have a little added motivation.

  13. 16
    Crimsonite

    Come on you corndog piece of shyt. Bring it! Ya’ll didn’t beat the shyt out of anybody. Check the stats cocksucker. If Oregon hadn’t coughed up the football about 5 times your azzes would have scored about 4 less TD’s. As for Penn St, their D is just as good as yours, Bolton is just as good as “Jarrett Pick Six Lee”, and our D is the best in the nation. By November your Corndog Azzes won’t even be in the top 10. As for ArKansas, how about waiting for them to play somebody besides the local YMCA before you worry about what their dumbazz coach thinks. They haven’t impressed anybody on the ground and still have only a midpack SEC defense. My mouth is watering to see some fool QB like “Pick Six Lee”, or some one dimentional O like ArKansas’ try to exploit our secondary. We could have easily intercepted 10 more passes Saturday. As for sacks, don’t be a dumbazz. Penn St’s QB’s were a split second from sacks on 75% of their passes. They have a veteran O’line and they constantly got away with holding. RTR!

  14. 17
    ITK

    You really think Oregon is a top 5 team? Interesting.

    LSU has no offense. Period. They will not score a touchdown against Alabama in Bryant-Denny. Bank it.

  15. 18
    Justthefacts

    You gave your opinion now here’s some FACTS

    Utah State or Miss St could have beaten Penn St… FACT
    McCarron not as good as Barrett Trotter… FACT
    Chizik again proved he’s the best coach in the SEC…
     FACT
    Bama 34 North Texas 3 FACT
    Auburn 46 Clemson 14 FACT
    Arkansas 35 Bama 14 DOUBLE FACT
    NCAA letter of inquiry coming to UA FACT
    Trent Richardson to be declared ineligible FACT
    Games forfeited including 2009 title FACT
    Kirby Smart to Georgia FACT
    Saban phoning in 2011 season FACT
    Already lining up NFL coaching job… Uh oh … FACT
    Auburn is best team in the state FACT 
    Bama is 3rd best team in the west next to AU & LSU…FACT
    Could be 4th once A&M enters SEC FACT
    Bama only beat Auburn in Jordan-Hare 3 times…FACT
    Only in Tuscaloser once…FACT
    Mark Ingram a bust in the NFL FACT
    Cam Newton record for yards in rookie game FACT

    Always the most accurate and objective FACTS

  16. 20
    Barnie Phucker

    Don’t worry about the Barnturd Phag Boris. Last night he took my cum shot and swallowed thentook it up the azz and squealed like a pig. Now he’s pissed cause his azz is bleeding.

  17. 21
    DES

    Borass- Get the hell out of here! @ Nate- LOL!! # 9 Pluto just did not end his line but I knew what he was trying to say. Pluto you are right also. I have watched clips of J. Williams and Foster in high school and at camps. Very good – I don’t know what happened to them once they got to Tuscaloosa. I also watched some clips of this kid from Georgia that wants to play for ‘Bama. Very good. but will the same thing happen ? RTR!!!

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