Saturday night, No. 3 Alabama came up short against No. 11 Texas at Bryant-Denny Stadium, losing by a final score of 34-24.
The highly anticipated matchup against the future SEC foe was as advertised. Haymakers were thrown by both teams in this back and forth battle of two of the most prominent programs in college football history.
Texas and head coach Steve Sarkisian made a big statement to not only their future SEC rivals but the entire college football nation Saturday night.
Here are some key takeaways from the game.
It’s clear that if Jalen Milroe remains Alabama’s starting quarterback, the Crimson Tide are in for the highest of highs and the lowest of lows with his gameplay. Milroe is electric with his feet and throws a beautiful deep ball, but the decision making is lacking. Milroe threw for 255 yards with two passing touchdowns, but the two interceptions were terrible. Both of Milroe’s interceptions were thrown directly to Texas defenders because of lack of vision reading the defense. Milroe’s two interceptions led to 10 points for Texas.
One positive for the Crimson Tide was the special teams. Reichard was automatic, hitting all three of his field goal attempts, including a 51 yarder. Punter James Burnip was equally as impressive, averaging 52.6 yards per punt on his five punts with a long of 61. Three of Burnip’s punts pinned Texas inside the 20 yard line.
Throughout the offseason, the Alabama offensive line had talked about bringing back a dominant run game and making the opposing defense quit. Unfortunately, they have not backed up the talking. The run blocking has been decent but definitely not dominant. Alabama’s pass protection Saturday night was horrendous. Talented freshman Kadyn Proctor will eventually be a first round talent, but he got exposed of his lack of experience at the SEC level on Saturday.
Alabama’s defensive line came to play when it came to stopping the run, allowing just 105 yards on the ground on 37 carries. While the defensive line held their ground against the run, the lack of pass rush left a lot to be concerned about. Last week, the Crimson Tide had limited quarterback sacks and pressure due to quick passing. This week was an even worse performance with no excuses. Texas dropped back to pass a total of 38 times, and Alabama was only able to get three quarterback hurries and zero sacks the entire game.
Last season, Alabama was one of the most penalized teams in college football. Throughout the offseason, Alabama put in extra focus into limiting the penalties this year. Last week, it looked like they had things corrected being only called for two penalties. Just like last year’s flag-filled performance against Texas, the penalties were back on full display. Alabama was penalized 10 times for 90 yards on Saturday night. Two of the 10 flags wiped out touchdowns for the Crimson Tide, possibly being a huge difference in the outcome of the game.
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