Crimson Tide Extra by Marq_Burnett
A source for full coverage of Alabama athletics.
Aug 05, 2013 | 84000 views |  0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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Saban takes strong look at defensive areas that Texas A&M exposed
by Marq_Burnett
Sep 17, 2013 | 1121 views |  0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
TUSCALOOSA -- Twenty four hours have passed, but Alabama hasn't been able to move on from Saturday’s game. 

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban and players talked about improving as a unit during Monday's news conference.

In particular, Saban harped on defensive miscues in the Tide's 49-42 victory over Texas A&M in College Station. The Aggies exposed a lot of hole in the Tide's defense.

Read the full story here to see what Saban and players had to say about the win. 

Alabama WR Kevin Norwood, CB Deion Belue sit out of practice
by Marq_Burnett
Sep 16, 2013 | 848 views |  0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
TUSCALOOSA -- It's definitely not as hot back in Alabama as it was in College Station, Texas. The Crimson Tide returned to practice following a tough win against Texas A&M. 

Here are some takeaways: 

-- Wide receiver Kevin Norwood didn't participate in practice. He wore a black, non-contact jersey and worked out with elastic bands away from the wide receiver group. Tide coach Nick Saban said Norwood is "questionable" to play against Colorado State. 

--Cornerback Deion Belue wore a black, non-contact jersey and rode the stationary bike. Saban said Belue had turf toe after Saturday's game and that he's "questionable" against Colorado State. 

--Right guard Anthony Steen wasn't with the offensive line group during the media's viewing period. A UA spokesperson said Steen was at practice in pads, but wasn't sure where he was during the media's viewing period. Saban said Steen is "probable" against Colorado State. 

Up next: Alabama will practice Tuesday afternoon and select players will address reporters following practice. 

Alabama coach Nick Saban wants a change to targeting rule
by Marq_Burnett
Sep 16, 2013 | 665 views |  0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama coach Nick Saban voiced his concerns with the new targeting rules this offseason. Saban wanted a detailed explanation of the rule and thought it would leave too much up for interpretation.

In the Crimson Tide’s 49-42 victory over Texas A&M on Saturday, the rule almost cost the Tide one of its best defensive players when safety HaHa Clinton-Dix was flagged for targeting Aggie wide receiver Derel Walker and ejected early in the second quarter.

Upon further review, officials overturned the ejection, but by rule, the penalty flag can not be reviewed and the 15-yard personal foul penalty stood. During his Monday news conference, Saban implied he wanted that part of the rule changed.

“Personally, on the rule itself, if you can review a play to say a guy should be ejected or not be ejected, to me, you should be able to review if it was a penalty or not a penalty,” he said. “That's not what the rule is. You asked me my opinion. I’m giving you my opinion.”

Despite Clinton-Dix near ejection, Tide safety Vinnie Sunseri said it won’t make him play tentatively.

“No sir. I go 110 miles per hour every single play,” Sunseri said. “Whenever the ball’s in the air I just try to go attack it. If I hit somebody I'm going to try and make sure it’s within the rules. That’s what we're trying to do.”

Alabama CB Deion Belue, WR Kevin Norwood 'questionable' for Colorado State; RG Anthony Steen 'probable'
by Marq_Burnett
Sep 16, 2013 | 671 views |  0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama coach Nick Saban provided a very brief update on some of the Crimson Tide's injured stars during his Monday news conference. Wide receiver Kevin Norwood, right tackle Anthony Steen and cornerback Deion Belue all went down during the Tide's 49-42 victory over Texas A&M on Saturday.

"Deion's going to be day-to-day and probably questionable," Saban said. "Kevin Norwood is day to day and probably questionable. Steen is day-to-day but very probable that he'll be back in a day or whatever."

Norwood left the game in third quarter and did not return. He was injured while run blocking for Kenyan Drake. 

Steen went down in the fourth quarter. Fifth-year Kellen Williams replaced him on the Tide's last touchdown drive.

Belue was hurt in the second quarter. Saban said Belue hurt his toes and probably has turf toe following the game. 

Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon releases statement
by Marq_Burnett
Sep 16, 2013 | 1060 views |  0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon was flagged for a touchdown celebration in the Crimson Tide's 49-42 victory over Texas A&M.

Yeldon released the following statement on Monday:

“I want to apologize to everyone for my selfish actions on Saturday," Yeldon said. "That is not the way I want to represent myself, my family and our team. That is not the way we do things at Alabama. This is something that I will learn from, and I will use better judgment in the future.” 

McCarron, Mosley leads group of eight Alabama players of the week
by Marq_Burnett
Sep 16, 2013 | 602 views |  0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
TUSCALOOSA -- Eight Alabama football players were recognized by the coaching staff following Saturday’s win over No. 6 Texas A&M. AJ McCarron, Cyrus Kouandjio and Brian Vogler were named players of the week on offense. C.J. Mosley and Jeoffrey Pagan represented the defense while Cade Foster, Christion Jones and Cody Mandell were on the special teams list.

McCarron completed 20-of-29 passes for a career-high 334 yards with four touchdown passes, which tied a career-best. The senior from Mobile, who was also the SEC Offensive Player of the Week, is now second in the Alabama record books with 6,400 career passing yards. McCarron is now 27-2 as a starter, including a 15-0 mark away from Tuscaloosa.

Kouandjio received the top grade on the line and did not allow a sack or a pressure, or have any missed assignments. Vogler had three receptions for 24 yards.

Mosley led the team with 12 total tackles and had the highest total in terms of production points on defense. He was also credited with a QB hurry and one big hit. Pagan was second in production points and finished with four tackles and a quarterback hurry.

Foster was perfect on all seven of his extra point attempts and two of his eight kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. Jones returned one punt for five yards and four kickoffs for 83 yards. He also had three tackles on kickoff coverage. Mandell continued his strong season with an average of 53 yards on just three punts.

Final Four: Don't get down on Alabama's defense, offensive line answers questions, AJ McCarron, and Kenyan Drake
by Marq_Burnett
Sep 16, 2013 | 806 views |  0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
TUSCALOOSA -- While it is officially Colorado State week, there are still a few thoughts to get out about No. 1 Alabama's 49-42 victory over Texas A&M.

1. Fans shouldn't get too down on the defense. 

Yes, Alabama allowed a school record 628 yards of total offense and gave up 42 points. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel finished with a school-record 464 passing yards and five touchdowns. Add in his 98 rushing yards and Manziel finished with 562 yards of total offense, which is the second-most in school and SEC history behind the 576 yards he put up against Louisiana Tech last season. The only way to truly stop Johnny Manziel is to hope he goes to the NFL early.

But this game is the exception, not the rule. The Tide's defense won't see an offense like the Aggies unless it plays Oregon in the national championship game. Also, the defense forced two critical turnovers and turned one into a touchdown. Defensive backs Cyrus Jones and Vinnie Sunseri made plays to take away scoring opportunities from A&M's offense. Tide coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart have enough film from this game to improve the unit. Alabama also showed a lot of depth on the defensive side which is always good because injuries happen.

2. AJ McCarron showed why he should be considered one of the best quarterbacks in college football. 

The hype surrounding this game was more about Nick Saban versus Johnny Manziel. But Alabama's offense, in particular quarterback AJ McCarron, may have stolen the show.

If it wasn't already, the game-manager talk surrounding McCarron should be dead. The fifth-year senior had a career day with 334 yards and four touchdowns, completing 20 of 29 throws. His back shoulder throw to Kevin Norwood for a touchdown was simply a thing of beauty.

McCarron calmly led the Tide's offense and appeared to communicate well with his teammates even when things went wrong. His leadership seemed to help calm the offensive line and he was able to guide the team to a victory.

McCarron did a great job of spreading the wealth, hitting his tight ends over the middle for key first downs and finding his receivers for explosive plays and touchdowns.

He also called the play on Alabama's final scoring drive. Saban said McCarron "wanted the ball in his hands" and that it was a "well executed play action fake."

McCarron found a wide open Jalston Fowler for the decisive touchdown. He already has two national championship rings and is working his way toward a third in three years as a starter.

3. The offensive line answered a lot of questions.

Alabama's offensive line heard all of the negative talk following the Tide's season opener. McCarron said they would play with a chip on their shoulder and he was right. The Tide's offensive line manhandled Texas A&M for much of the game.

The unit paved the way for 234 rush yards and two touchdowns. They also kept McCarron upright and gave him time to throw for 334 and four touchdowns.

They were aggressive from the start and outplayed the Aggies' front seven. There are still a few things to fix, like the unnecessary penalties, but for the most part, the line seems poised for a big season.

4. Kenyan Drake isn't going to give up his spot to a freshman. 

For a reason still unknown, Kenyan Drake didn't have a role in Alabama's season opener. Despite being the team's third-leading rusher last season, Drake worked with the scout team in preparation for Virginia Tech.

Now, the sophomore is out of the doghouse and showed flashes of greatness. Drake rushed for 50 yards and a touchdown on seven carries and averaged 7.1 yards per carry. Drake's game has matured. He was patient enough to follow his blockers and exploded through the holes when they opened up. He also showed some toughness by lowering his shoulder on the touchdown run.

T.J. Yeldon is the clear No. 1 running back, but after that it is up in the air. Jalston Fowler splits time at H-back. With Drake emerging, Dee Hart and freshman Derrick Henry didn't see the field much. Drake may be ready to take the reigns at the No. 2 running back spot.

Alabama opens as 38-point favorite over Colorado State
by Marq_Burnett
Sep 16, 2013 | 601 views |  0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
TUSCALOOSA -- No. 1 Alabama opened as a 38-point favorite in its home opener against Colorado State, according to

The Crimson Tide (2-0) is coming off a 49-42 victory over No. 6 Texas A&M in College Station on Saturday.

Colorado State (1-2) won its first game off the season on Saturday with a 34-17 win over Cal Poly. The Rams lost its season opener to Colorado (41-27). The Rams also lost on the road at Tulsa (30-27.)

Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. from Bryant-Denny Stadium. ESPN2 will televise the game.


First half notes from Alabama-Texas A&M
by Marq_Burnett
Sep 14, 2013 | 1041 views |  0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- After a slow start, No. 1 Alabama took a 28-14 lead into halftime over No. 6 Texas A&M.

Here are some takeaways:

-- Alabama's offense is doing its defense a huge favor by sustaining long drives and finishing them off with touchdowns. On its last drive of the half, the Tide went 93 yards on 11 plays and held the ball for 6:23.

-- The Crimson Tide's offensive line came to play. Quarterback AJ McCarron has all day to throw. He's 13-of-18 for 250 yards and three touchdowns.

-- T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake have been a nice one-two punch in Alabama's run game. They've combined for 72 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.

-- Other than those first two drives, Alabama's defense has looked good against the Aggies' offense.

-- Johnny Manziel is still putting up big numbers. Manziel is 17-of-22 with 254 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also has 61 rush yards on 11 carries. -- Cyrus Jones' interception completely changed the game. It was essentially a 14-point swing as it stopped Texas A&M from scoring and led to a touchdown.

Pregame impressions from College Station
by Marq_Burnett
Sep 14, 2013 | 670 views |  0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- We're not too far from kickoff and both teams are warming up.

It is very hot here.

Here are a few pregame thoughts and observations:

--For those wondering if defensive end Ed Stinson would play, he's a captain. Along with Stinson, quarterback AJ McCarron and linebacker C.J. Mosley are the captains.

-- Alabama brought four quarterbacks: AJ McCarron, Blake Sims, Alec Morris and Luke Del Rio.

--Alabama had six running backs make the trip: T.J. Yeldon, Jalston Fowler, Dee Hart, Kenyan Drake, Derrick Henry and Altee Tenpenny. Freshmen Tyren Jones and Alvin Kamara didn't make the trip.

--Freshman Dee Liner tweeted he's redshirting this year and did not make the team.

--Cornerback Jarrick Williams is still lining up at the "star" defensive back position, which is Alabama's nickel back. Geno Smith, who's back from his suspension, warmed up with the third defensive group. --Alabama's four defensive lineman were Ed Stinson, Jeoffrey Pagan, Brandon Ivory and A'Shawn Robinson or Jonathan Allen. Robinson and Allen will compete for snaps with Dalvin Tomlinson (knee) being out for the season.

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