Ryan Fowler’s Reaction: “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly” Mississippi State Edition
Every Monday, Nick Saban spends part of the afternoon showing his players the good plays, bad plays, and ugly plays from the previous Saturday.
The good section highlights what the team did well in the game; individual plays, series of plays, moments of the game that went good for the Crimson Tide.
The bad section focuses on plays that were run incorrectly, maybe a play designed to pick up more yardage but failed. It might include simple mistakes, a turnover or just a simple missed block or tackle.
The ugly section could also be called the disaster section, plays that went completely wrong or injuries. Ugly plays are learning moments for the team. Part of discussing the bad and ugly plays includes thinking through what they could have done differently.
Alabama’s defense needed to find some confidence and a game to get back on track, which they did against Mississippi State. Will Rogers came into the game as the SEC leader in several statistical categories, the Crimson Tide held Rogers 100 yards under his average passing yards per game.
The Tide’s secondary play improved, but the best part of the defense for me was the play of Eli Ricks. Some of his play will not show up in the box score, he brought an aggressive approach to Alabama’s secondary. He played so well, you almost have to ask the question why has he not played more in the 1st seven games of the season. Ricks finished the night with 4 pass breakups, evidence of his aggressive play. I give the performance a solid "A" considering the defense was without multiple starters.
The Crimson Tide came into the game as one of the worst penalized teams in CFB and walked away with only 3 penalties for a total of 20 yards. Will Reichard found some confidence early with a 50-yard connection late in the 2nd quarter, he ended the night 3-3 on field goal attempts.
Bryant-Denny Stadium was electric throughout the game, but I thought the highlight came prior to the kickoff. Alabama’s 1992 National Championship team was on the field prior to the game to get recognition for the 30th anniversary.
When the camera focused on Coach Stallings, the crowd erupted paying respect to an individual that meant so much to Crimson Tide fans, you could tell Stallings enjoyed that moment as the crowd cheered for a longer period of time. Stallings showed his appreciation with multiple salutes to the fans.
I thought about several things during that moment, such as, the role that Coach Stallings played in getting Nick Saban to accept the job at Alabama. One day, I would love to know what Coach Stallings told Saban about the job and what he could accomplish in Tuscaloosa, maybe one day in the future we will know more about that important conversation.
Alabama’s offense struggled at times against an unusual defensive front from Mississippi State, they challenged Alabama’s rushing attack. Crimson Tide running backs only gained 70 total yards on 27 attempts. When you can’t run the football with any consistency, teams are able to give more attention to the passing attack.
Bryce Young created something from nothing several times, scrambling and extending plays have been the norm with him at quarterback. Tonight was not his best performance, but not bad for a player who has been limited in practice since the injury happened against Arkansas. Bryce refused to allow that to be an excuse in the post-game press availability, but can you imagine being limited in throwing in practice and staying sharp and in sync with your wide receivers. That is why Bryce Young is the best player in college football and will go down as one of the all-time great players in college football history.
I walked out of Bryant-Denny Stadium after a solid performance, but feeling like I did not get the answers I was looking for in a game to get back on track. Defense was solid, penalties and simple mistakes were cleaned up. I am still not impressed with this offensive line, they just don’t seem to have any push at crucial times. Offense was good, but not great and I left thinking this team is under achieving in several areas. Do they have enough of team to win a championship? We will find out in the next few weeks.
The BYE week could not come at a better time, the extra time needs to be spent on fixing some issues and starts with more consistency on both sides of the ball. Alabama has potential to be the best team in college football, we will see if they reach this ceiling.
Coming up Monday on The Game with Ryan Fowler on Tide 100.9, we will discuss the good, bad, and ugly. You will also have a chance to win prizes from Daniel Moore Art, starting at 2pm on Tide 100.9 and on the free Tide 100.9 app.