Game analysis: No. 1 Alabama 31, Colorado State 6
by Marq Burnett
mburnett@annistonstar.com
Sep 21, 2013 | 3910 views |  0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama running back Jalston Fowler (45) pulls away from Colorado State linebacker Cory James. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Alabama running back Jalston Fowler (45) pulls away from Colorado State linebacker Cory James. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
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Offense

The offensive line struggled a bit after a stellar performance at Texas A&M. Quarterback AJ McCarron was under pressure, and the line couldn’t create holes for the backs. The offense was also miserable on third down and consistently failed to keep drives alive. Outside of a few big plays, the Tide’s offense regressed.

Some of the best work came in the fourth quarter against a worn-down Colorado State defense, including a pair of touchdown passes – one by McCarron and another by backup Blake Sims.

Defense

The Tide was solid for much of the night in this area. Alabama didn’t let the Rams cross midfield until midway through the third quarter. There were some missed assignments, but the Rams couldn’t capitalize and make the Tide pay.

The Rams were able to sustain a few long drives, but had to settle for field goals instead of touchdowns. The defense was able to force a turnover that led to a touchdown.

Special teams

Place-kicker Cade Foster missed his first field goal try of the year and surely Tide fans are happy his attempt didn’t come in a pressure cooker. Foster redeemed himself by nailing a 46-yarder. Running back Kenyan Drake blocked punt and linebacker Dillon Lee scooped the ball and scored giving Alabama its third special teams score in three games.

Backup place-kicker Adam Griffith tried and made an extra point in the fourth quarter for the first point of his Crimson Tide career.

The special teams have been the one consistent bright spot for the team so far this season.

Coaching

Colorado State entered as a 39-point underdog, and no matter how hard the Alabama coach staff tried, they couldn’t get the Crimson Tide players truly excited about this game. Coming off a grueling game against Texas A&M seven days earlier, Alabama came out flat on a wet Saturday and never got into any type of rhythm.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban and his staff will have plenty of game film to show players their miscues.

Overall

Alabama came out sluggish and showed signs of not being completely ready for Colorado State. Luckily for the Tide, it is supremely talented, and the Rams didn’t have the athletes to compete. Saban has harped on improvement all week, but his team took a few steps back Saturday.
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